Dr. Jim Patton


Dr. Jim Patton | Faculty Senate Chair

Dear Colleagues,

I cannot imagine a more gratifying and important life's work than serving as a member of the professoriate. Few enjoy our privilege of freedom to explore, create and teach. Given the recent Chronicle results on work satisfaction at US universities it would appear there are few places as attractive as Baylor at which to spend one's career. I personally feel extraordinarily fortunate, blessed, to be your colleague at what the Chronicle calls "the best of the best" places at which to serve as a faculty member. Baylor is also a beacon in the larger Waco community and our neighbors often look to us as individuals and as a university for leadership and support.

As a youngster both at home and at church I was often reminded that those blessed with privilege are expected to serve others as a matter of faithful discipline. I am always reminded in this context of Matthew 25:35-36 "For I was hungry, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in. Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me." In his comments on these verses John Wesley observes that works of outward mercy suppose faith and love and that to these we should then add spiritual mercy by bringing those in error and sin to truth and repentance. Wesley presages Abraham Maslow by rightly observing that the first priority is to provide for the basic physical and safety needs of our brothers and sisters, what Wesley calls "must needs".

While those of us at Baylor daily strive to help our students meet Maslow's highest need, that of full self-actualization, some members of our larger community suffer from more basic physical and safety needs. United Way has a 125 year history of gathering resources to support social service agencies that aid our disadvantaged neighbors in cities across America. United Way largely relieves these agencies from the burden of raising funds and that allows them to focus on what they do best - serving their clients, our neighbors.

United Way also provides a convenient service to those of us who give as it can serve as a single conduit for community giving. United Way vets its member agencies and its approval insures that your gift is used to achieve maximal benefit. For those who wish to give in a more targeted way United Way allows designation of specific agencies as recipients of your gifts. You may also choose to contribute to the Baylor Family Compassion Fund, which was established in 2010 to help those in the extended Baylor family who may have a compelling need of assistance.

Baylor's strategic plan, Pro Futuris, lists "Informed Engagement" as its third strategic vision. I thank all of you, my colleagues, for your continued community engagement, your prayers, your presence as a volunteer, and your gifts. Please consider the United Way when you give.


Jim Patton

Judge Ken Starr and Sue Koehler

Let's join the United Way in "Helping People Here."

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