Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Rice-Baylor Merger Talks Collapse

This is huge.

Baylor College of Medicine and Rice University have ended 15 months of negotiations aimed at merging the two elite Houston schools.
In a joint statement sent to faculty staffs and students today, Rice President David Leebron and Baylor President Dr. William Butler gave no reason for the collapse of the talks. Just four months ago, they hinted a deal might be in place by the end of this month. (Todd Ackerman, The Houston Chronicle)

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

pretty shocking.
I wonder what did it.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Robert Boyd said...

I have to think it was the financial situation of Baylor (dire) and the financial situation of Rice (pretty bad). I think there might have been open revolt (possibly including pitchforks, burning effigies, molotv cocktails, etc.) if Rice had bought Baylor at the same time it was imposing deep University-wide cuts on all departments.

5:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to mention some controversial tenure denials in life sciences

http://media.www.ricethresher.org/media/storage/paper1290/news/2009/11/13/Opinion/Refusal.Of.Tenure.Highlights.Universitys.Misplaced.Priorities-3831134.shtml

http://media.www.ricethresher.org/media/storage/paper1290/news/2009/12/04/Opinion/Letters.To.The.Editor-3845141.shtml

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, I'm thinking. There was a story in Inside HigherEd and Science about how, in December, some anti-merger faculty members wanted to pass a resolution registering faculty disapproval. The resolution failed to pass, by two votes, because four administraotors (Leebron, Levy, Quillin and Coleman) voted as faculty (which is their right) against the resolution (therefore in favor of the merger). Given the timing of that vote (right before the Christmas holiday) and the timing of the announcement of the failed talks, one has to wonder whether the gang-o-four know what was coming but they did not want it to look like the rabble rousing faculty killed it.

I'm sure you're right that in the end, it was simply about money. But the lengths these people go to to create narratives favorable to them is astounding.

I love that smiley face huggy stuff at the end of the e-mail about how in love with each other Rice and Baylor are.

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact, it was known since December 5 that St. Luke's is out of the negotiations. From that point on, the merger was "a dead man walking." By the time of the Dec. 10 faculty meeting at Rice, the Rice administrators already knew that the merger have no legs to stand on.

2:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 2:17,
I heard a similar time line from a reliable source.
As a Rice semi-insider (adjunct fac), I saw that the merger talk pretty much sucked up all the oxygen in the place since last spring. And all for nothing.

10:49 PM  

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