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January 12, 2010

To:  The Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine communities

From:  Presidents David Leebron and William Butler

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