LUBBOCK - Wayland Baptist University took the first steps toward welcoming New Mexico representation into its governing body by appointing Dr. Claude Cone, executive director of the Baptist Convention of New Mexico, to its Board of Trustees.
The nomination of Cone has been in the works for some time but was made official after messengers to the Baptist General Convention of Texas voted its final approval for an amendment to the BGCT constitution which allows institutions to elect directly up to 25 percent of their governing boards. The amendment was given initial approval at the 2002 BGCT meeting but required a final vote this year. The year gave institutions a chance to amend their own charters and bylaws to reflect the change and to select the desired individuals for the board positions.
"We have always enjoyed excellent trustees, and the process we have used in partnership with the BGCT through the years has served us well," said Dr. Paul Armes, university president. "The change approved by the Convention in its annual meeting this year will enable us to expand the geographical boundaries of our trustee resource pool. This will be helpful to us since we draw from such a large area covering several states."
The amendment includes the proviso that trustees submitted for approval be active members of a Baptist church and that "BGCT criteria shall be followed in regard to other matters such as limited terms of service, the naming of successors, degree of relationship, and other personal qualifications for service as a trustee."
Currently, those criteria limit a trustee's service to three years, with three consecutive terms the maximum service. After that point, a trustee is required to sit off the board for one year before he or she may be elected back to the board.
The Wayland board chose three positions to be elected by the university, choosing Cone to fill one of those spots. His appointment will begin immediately. The other two positions are currently filled by Jerry Golden of Canadian and Terri Jesko of Arlington, who were already serving on the board.
"Dr. Cone's election is an extremely positive development for Wayland. Not only is he a graduate of our university, he also serves as a Baptist leader in a state (New Mexico) which is very heavily represented in the student population at Wayland," Armes said.
BGCT messengers also formally approved new terms for the following trustees, expiring in 2006: Gary Abercrombie of Plainview; Ken Coffee of San Antonio; L.S. Foreman of Tulia; Eva Graham of Austin; Gene Owen of Plainview; C.C. Kelly of White Deer; Arnold Maeker of Lubbock; Mark Murdock of Lubbock, a former board chairman; Vernon Stokes of Midland; and Ken Thompson of San Antonio. All have previously served or are currently on the board.