Davis mug

Davis

Tommye Lou Davis, a longtime Baylor University administrator, will soon leave the school’s executive council and return to a faculty position in the Department of Classics in the fall of 2018 after a yearlong sabbatical.

Baylor President Linda Livingstone, who has evaluated Baylor’s organizational structure since her June 1 installation, made the announcement to faculty and staff Thursday.

“Over the past several weeks, Tommye Lou and I have discussed the possibility of her returning to the classroom to teach and serve our students directly, which she cites as her first love,” Livingstone wrote in an email.

Davis was chief of staff to the president two times and associate dean of the Honors College. She became vice president for constituent engagement in 2010.

Davis will transition from the role on Sept. 30.

Davis angered Baylor alumni in 2015 when emails she exchanged with regents and administrators were released within a lawsuit, illustrating efforts to snuff out the Baylor Alumni Association.

“Don’t ever doubt how I feel about the BAA,” Davis wrote to then-Regent Neal “Buddy” Jones in 2011. “I have a strategy. They need to go away. I am and will continue to work with that goal always in mind.”

Alumni center

Davis was a central figure in the 2013 demolition of the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center, which housed the association’s operations.

“Can’t wait to tear that building DOWN!!!!” Davis wrote to Jones in 2012. “If it is tied to (McLane Stadium), few will complain! :-) How sweet it will be!”

The emails produced in the lengthy legal battle suggested razing the building was only meant to diminish the BAA — and it in no way interfered with a plaza to the pedestrian bridge connecting McLane Stadium to the main campus.

Jones also referred to members of the alumni group as ”terrorists.”

Davis also threatened the administrative job of Baylor football icon Walter Abercrombie, according to the emails, if he had connected a $10,000 donation from a regent to BAA initiatives.

Davis later apologized in a Tribune-Herald letter to the editor.

Baylor and the BAA — now called the Baylor Line Foundation — resolved their many differences in a March 2016 settlement.

Davis returned to the news this summer when emails she exchanged with Jones in 2009 showed Jones calling Baylor students he suspected of drinking ”perverted little tarts,” “very bad apples,” “insidious and inbred,” and “the vilest and most despicable of girls.”

Jones, a then-regent who would later become board chairman, sent the emails to Davis because she is faculty sponsor of the sorority to which Jones referred. According to the emails, Davis told Jones the students in question were of legal drinking age at an engagement party.

U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman later ruled the exchange “may be relevant” to proving Baylor violated Title IX. The emails were made public within one of several such lawsuits the university faces amid a sexual assault scandal.

Davis declined comment through a Baylor spokesman. Her departure from the executive council is unrelated to any past event, a source with knowledge of the situation said. Instead, it dealt with administrative “organizational realignment” Livingstone continues to study.

Employee since 1966

Davis has been a Baylor employee since 1966 and has received several teaching awards as an associate professor of Latin. She also led Baylor efforts to bring George W. Bush’s presidential library to campus.

Baylor Vice President for Development Dave Roselli will oversee the Division of Constituent Engagement on an interim basis, Livingstone wrote. The future of the role of vice president for constituent engagement is undetermined, according to a spokesman.

Phillip has covered higher education for the Tribune-Herald since November 2015.

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