Two members of Baylor University’s board of regents have resigned after taking on new professional roles, Baylor spokeswoman Lori Fogleman said.
Robert Morris University President Christopher Howard and Kathy Wills Wright, who recently joined Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s staff, notified the board of their resignations in July.
Fogleman said the resignations are unrelated to the university’s sexual assault scandal, which led to the removal of Ken Starr as president and Art Briles as head football coach. Ian McCaw later resigned as athletic director after an independent investigation found “fundamental failure” in Title IX implementation and a football program operating “above the rules.”
In February, Howard became president of Robert Morris, located in a suburb of Pittsburgh. He resigned to dedicate more of his time there, Fogleman said.
A three-year member of the board, Howard earned a Bronze Star in Afghanistan after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy, according to his bio page on the Robert Morris website. He is also a Rhodes Scholar and earned a master’s in business administration from Harvard University and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.
Howard is also a former member of the National Security Education Program Board, according to information Baylor published when he was appointed as a regent. President Barack Obama nominated him for that role, and the U.S. Senate confirmed him.
Wright’s new position on McConnell’s staff prevents her from continuing on the Baylor board, Fogleman said.
Wright held several positions in President George W. Bush’s administration, including special assistant to the president for legislation and policy in what was then called the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, according to information Baylor published when she started as vice president. She holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Baylor.
In 2010, Wright resigned from the board after less than a year to accept her administrative post and rejoined the board in 2013. The board re-elected her to a new three-year term at its May meeting.
“Both served Baylor admirably and faithfully, and their perspective and expertise will be missed,” Fogleman said.
There is no immediate timetable for the board to replace them, Fogleman said.