Monday, February 15, 2010

Future of BCM

*From:* Dr. William T. Butler [mailto:notestothepresident@BCM.EDU]
*Sent:* Wed 1/27/2010 5:46 PM
*Subject:* An Important Message from Dr. Butler

January 27, 2010

To Members of the Baylor College of Medicine Community:

Fourteen months ago, I agreed to take the position of interim president of Baylor College of Medicine at a time when our leaders were working to define what the future of the college should be.

Facing financial difficulties caused in great part by a slumping economy, we were open to considering all types of solutions. I am announcing today that the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees has unanimously approved that Baylor College of Medicine will continue as an independent, autonomous institution. We are not considering any additional partnerships at this time, but we will be free to develop relationships with other institutions when needed to strengthen and expand our academic programs.

Baylor College of Medicine has found its solution. And it's Baylor College of Medicine.

We have had some high profile discussions with Rice University and with Baylor University. In both cases, all parties involved decided it was best to support each other without any change in our affiliation status. All are agreed that we have identified many areas where we can develop joint programs.

Rice University and Baylor University are both respected institutions and we have high regard for their leaders, faculty, staff and students. We move forward in a spirit of mutual respect.

We are grateful for the support of Texas Children's Hospital, who helped us in this process of exploring partnerships. We would like to thank Texas Children's CEO Mark A. Wallace and his leadership team.

These months of discussions with others and thousands of hours spent looking at our organization have left us with one obvious path to take. We are particularly grateful for the advice and counsel from our faculty, students, staff and alumni. Baylor College of Medicine must take charge of its own destiny.

Our board of trustees has unanimously endorsed a three-point plan: establish a long-range comprehensive strategy; reach an agreement with the college's creditors, which will include the appointment of a chief implementation officer to oversee adherence to the comprehensive plan; and begin the search process for a new president.

Over recent months, we have had a significant improvement in our financial performance. We have a positive cash flow and our cash and investments now exceed $1 billion. Both clinical services and research revenue are up and the margins in both of those activities have increased. We will face some tough challenges, but I'm confident we will be successful.

With the decision on our independence made, the board will name a search committee as soon as possible to begin identifying candidates to lead the college in the future. I will continue to serve as interim president.

With the continued support of outstanding affiliated teaching hospitals, the dedication of faculty, staff, students, trainees and alumni and the encouragement of the Houston community, we face our future with a great sense of pride and optimism. We will draw on the commitment to excellence, independence and entrepreneurship that brought us to this day.

Our missions of conducting groundbreaking research and offering the best education and training for the physicians and scientists of tomorrow are the cornerstones of our future. The patient care we offer in our ownclinics and with our outstanding partner hospitals -- Ben Taub General Hospital, the DeBakey VA Medical Center, Texas Children's Hospital, The Menninger Clinic, Memorial Hermann TIRR, St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and The Methodist Hospital -- will always be practiced with the patient as the focus and linked to our research advances.

I personally thank you for your support as we've very carefully done our due diligence on what is the best future for Baylor College of Medicine. It has been a lengthy and complex process, but a necessary one.

With all of our accomplishments over the past 110 years, I believe that our best days are still ahead.

William T. Butler, M.D.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's Over!

January 12, 2010

To: The Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine communities

From: Presidents David Leebron and William Butler

We are writing to inform you that Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University have ended our discussions about a possible merger of our two institutions. At the same time, both institutions have agreed to develop further our existing academic and research relationship, which has grown significantly over the years.

Since we signed a memorandum of understanding in March of 2009, we have been in extensive discussions in an attempt to meet several conditions that both institutions considered to be essential for a successful merger. We joined in a thorough and deliberate process that explored the many benefits and challenges a merger would entail. With the MOU due to expire this month, the leadership of both institutions decided it is in the best interests of both BCM and Rice University to strengthen the existing relationship without a formal merger.

The months of discussion have provided a great deal of information that we will use to build on existing joint programs, such as in neuroscience and global health initiatives, and to create new ones that will best serve both institutions. A report prepared by a joint committee of faculty members from each institution identified many possibilities for collaboration that will be considered in the coming months.

We want to thank our administrative and faculty teams for their hard and creative work over the past year. Our respect for each other increased daily as we grew to know each other and each other's work better. We learned that we share similar missions and a commitment to the highest standards of education, research and community service. So, while we are bringing the merger discussions to a close, we are opening a new chapter of collaboration that will advance the field of biomedicine and improve human health.

David W. Leebron William T. Butler
President Interim President
Rice University Baylor College of Medicine

Friday, December 11, 2009

Faculty Plenary Meeting, Dec. 10, 2009

Date: Tue, 01 Dec 2009 14:21:26 -0600
From: Duane Windsor
Subject: Senate notice (faculty plenary meeting; faculty survey; information links)

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

A petitioned special plenary meeting of the faculty is now scheduled for December 10 (3-5 pm) in McMurtry Auditorium (Duncan Hall). Information concerning order of business will be sent out as soon as finalized.

Various non-confidential documents or links concerning the potential merger can be found at three websites: [you must be on campus to access]

Duane Windsor
Speaker, Faculty Senate

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Public Lecture on October 26, 2009

Public Lecture (Open to faculty, students, and the general public)

The Whole May Be Less than the Sum of the Parts:
A Personal Perspective on the Rice-BCM Merger

Moshe Y. Vardi
Rice University

McMurtry Auditorium, Duncan Hall, Rice University
October 26, 2009, 4-5:30pm
Overflow room: Duncan Hall 1064

Abstract: Rice University has been engaged since August 2008 in intense negotiations with Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) over a possible merger, motivated by the argument that such a merger "could produce many academic and scientific benefits" for both institutions. A Sept. 25, 2009, joint press release said that "We will work hard to bring our discussions to a successful conclusion over the next four months." In this talk, the speaker will offer his own analysis of the merger proposal, based on publicly available information.

Bio: Vardi is the George Professor in Computational Engineering and Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology Institute at Rice University. He is the co-recipient of three IBM Outstanding Innovation Awards, the ACM SIGACT Goedel Prize, the ACM Kanellakis Award, the ACM SIGMOD Codd Award, and the Blaise Pascal Medal. He is the author and co-author of over 350 technical papers, as well as two books: "Reasoning about Knowledge" and "Finite Model Theory and Its Applications". He is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for Artificial Intelligence, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the European Academy of Science, and Academia Europaea. He holds honorary doctorates from the Saarland University in Germany and Orleans University in France.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Faculty Meeting on August 28, 2009

Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 08:14:05 -0500
From: Duane Windsor
Subject: [PRES-FAC] reminder (upcoming faculty meeting - August 28)

Dear colleagues,

I am sending this reminder message that on Friday, August 28, noon-2 pm, I have scheduled a faculty meeting to hear an interim report from the Faculty Merger Review Committee (FMRC), chaired by Professor Don Morrison. The meeting will occur in McMurtry Auditorium (Duncan Hall).

The sole purpose of the meeting being called by the Speaker is to hear the interim report. (The FMRC has not completed its work and there is not yet a final report. The spring resolution establishing FMRC requires some faculty meeting to hear a report not later than early fall. So in consultation with Professor Morrison, I have established this meeting date.) The business of
the meeting will be focused solely on discussion of the interim report.

You are encouraged to attend if your schedule permits to hear this interim report.

Duane Windsor, Speaker, Faculty Senate

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Special Faculty Meeting

Over 60 faculty members signed the following petition, which would result in a special faculty meeting being convened.


Rice is contemplating a merger with Baylor College of Medicine, in what may be the most important decision in our institution's history.

When the Faculty Senate was formed, a provision was made for the full faculty to meet whenever events warrant it, upon the collection of 50 faculty signatures. In that spirit, we call for a meeting of the full faculty to discuss this merger and to air both our aspirations and our concerns.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The announcement of the MOU has moved Rice and Baylor closer to the expected merger. Here is the text of the announcement.

March 26, 2009

To the faculties, staffs and students of Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine:

We are pleased to announce that the governing boards of Rice and BCM this week approved the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that lays out a broad framework for formal negotiations about a possible merger of our two institutions.

While no decision on a merger has yet been made and many issues remain to be resolved, our boards have concluded that a closer affiliation has abundant potential benefits for both institutions, as well as for our home city of Houston. Months of informal discussions have confirmed that the missions and aspirations of our two institutions are in fact closely aligned, that both institutions would benefit in many ways from a merger and that, together, Rice and BCM could be one of the world's leading research universities.

The MOU framework will allow us to systematically and thoroughly move ahead with the next stage of discussions. Over the next few months, we will seek to address issues and concerns that have surfaced from those discussions, and we will continue to solicit input from members of our respective communities. The success of a merger, or any closer affiliation, will also depend significantly on how effectively we plan for and manage its implementation.

Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University are institutions of distinction that bring great achievements and greater potential to such a merger. Each is known throughout the world for contributions to important areas of human knowledge and service. Both are entering this conversation closely attentive to the importance of sustaining that which is great, inspired by the possibilities of expanded distinction and contribution, respectful of our values and traditions, and committed to our responsibilities to Houston and the broader society.

Thank you for the suggestions and insights that have helped shape our discussions so far. We continue to welcome your ideas going forward.

David W. Leebron William T. Butler, M.D.

President Interim President

Rice University Baylor College of Medicine