Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Letter from Leebron

I got this in my inbox overnight:

Dear Robert,

        Below is a joint statement by Bill Butler, the interim president of Baylor College of Medicine, and me regarding the proposed Rice-BCM merger.  Although discussions have ended, we look forward to continued and expanded collaborations with our colleagues at BCM.

       I especially want to thank the many alumni who provided thoughtful feedback and support throughout this process.  It is clear that you share a dedication to the institution and care deeply about Rice's success, and I appreciate your continued involvement in the life of the university.

Very truly yours,

David W. Leebron

January 12, 2010     

        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
Rice University
William T. Butler, M.D.
Interim President
Baylor College of Medicine

Since we're on a first name basis now, I want to say, thanks David for informing me of this and thanks for making what I feel was the right decision.

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