Baylor's president faces off against critics this week amid multiple controversies
Last November, Christianity Todaypublished a story about Baylor University, the world's largest Baptist institution of higher education, and President Robert Sloan's efforts to make it "the finest Christian institution of higher learning on this planet."
This week, it seems, everyone in Texas is talking about Sloan's efforts. Very rarely do college board meetings garner the kind of buzz that Baylor's Board of Regents gathering has received.
The university is enmeshed in several controversies, not all of them related to Sloan's efforts to reshape the school into a research university with strong evangelical Christian commitments. For example, the most widely watched Baylor story right now is that of college basketball player Patrick Dennehy, who has been missing since mid-June.
That investigation will almost certainly be discussed at the regents' meeting this weekend, but news reports say that Sloan's ambitious plans for the college, outlined in a plan titled Baylor 2012, will be the subject of very heated debate between regents divided on the mission—and on Sloan.
"The president's opponents, a mix of veteran professors, former regents and alumni, say the president has made moves to control the student newspaper, an alumni magazine and an outspoken regent," The Dallas Morning News reported Sunday. "They say they fear that Dr. Sloan, a Baptist preacher, is making the moderate Baptist school too conservative, even evangelical."
It's not unusual for a news story on a controversial subject like this to attract criticism for bias. But it's rare for such criticism to come from inside the same paper (at least by someone other than the ombudsman).