Sloan to head Houston Baptist: Former Baylor president to lead conservative school

September 5, 2006

Houston Baptist University trustees have elected Robert Sloan, former president of Baylor University, as president of the 2,300-student school.

Sloan, who assumes the new post this month, most recently was chancellor of Baylor, the largest Baptist university in the world, after serving in Waco as the school’s president from 1995 to 2005. HBU has a $35 million annual budget in contrast to Baylor’s $350 million budget. He succeeded Doug Hodo, who served from 1987 until his retirement in July. HBU is a conservative school that relates to both the fundamentalist and traditional Baptist state conventions.

During the last two years of Sloan’s presidency at Baylor, the faculty senate twice gave him “no confidence” votes, and the regents voted three times on Sloan’s continued employment—once coming within one vote of removing him from office. Most of the criticism centered on Baylor 2012—the university’s long-range plan to become a top-tier national school—and Sloan’s implementation of it.

Supporters praised his vision for blending a commitment to strong Christian faith with high academic standards. Opponents accused Sloan of alienating longtime faculty, saddling the university with debt, sacrificing classroom teaching in favor of research, and raising tuition so high that it priced Baylor out of the range of typical Texas Baptist families. –Associated Baptist Press