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Methodists unhappy about the plans to put the George W. Bush library on the SMU campus -- particularly on account of a policy institute planned there -- are pressing for the deal to be approved by a regional delegates council that includes Arkansas delegates.

Bishop Scott Jones of Wichita, Kan., president of the jurisdiction’s College of Bishops and a trustee at Southern Methodist, said Sunday in Dallas that the bishops had voted 10-to-0 this month, with one abstention, to allow the process to go forward. “S.M.U. has the authority to sign a 99-year lease, renewable up to 249 years,” Bishop Jones said.

But asked what would happen if the delegates failed to ratify the decision when they meet July 15 to 19, Bishop Jones seemed stumped. “I think the situation you’re describing has never arisen,” he said.

Bishop Kenneth W. Hicks of Little Rock, Ark,., who retired in 1992 and is a nonvoting member of the College of Bishops, said “it would be much healthier” to leave the decision to the delegates.

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