Baylor University Regent, Jaclanel McFarland, Exonerated of All Charges

HOUSTON, TX – July 17, 2003 – Baylor University regents today announced they are dropping all charges against fellow regent Jaclanel McFarland. A committee of regents unanimously concluded there was insufficient evidence to pursue further action against Mrs. McFarland, who had been accused of leaking information about an undercover drug operation.

An investigative committee launched an inquiry two months ago when Baylor President Robert Sloan and Chairman of the board of regents, Drayton McLane Jr., accused McFarland of alerting students through her son of the drug sting. The raid culminated in April with the arrests of six Baylor students. McFarland has steadily denied the claims, saying she knew nothing of the operation until after the arrests were made.

Stephen Loftin of Houston’s Hicks Thomas & Lilienstern, LLP, represents McFarland. “I am pleased and relieved the investigative committee recognized the truth and exonerated McFarland of all charges,” says Loftin. “She can now return to her committed service as a member of Baylor’s Board of Regents.”

McFarland has been a vocal critic of Sloan’s “Baylor 2012” plan to strengthen the school’s academic reputation while emphasizing its religious mission and believes Sloan launched the investigation for personal reasons.

McFarland, a 51-year-old Houston attorney, has served as a regent for the past 11 years. She is a Baptist General Convention of Texas appointee to the board and her term ends June 1, 2004. She could be nominated for another three-year term in November.