Baylor Presidential Search Committee Continues Listening Sessions

April 22, 2009

Media contact: Jill Scoggins, Assistant Vice President for Media Communications, 254-710-1964

Morning session held for faculty; afternoon session held for students

The Baylor University Presidential Search Committee continued its series of planned listening sessions April 22, holding separate open sessions with Baylor faculty and students and private meetings with the Council of Deans and Waco-area community leaders.

"We continue to appreciate the participation of the Baylor family in this process," said Joe Armes, chair of Baylor's Presidential Search Committee. "The university is moving toward the end of another academic year, and there are many competing demands and commitments on faculty and students now. We are very appreciative that they took time out of their schedules at an especially busy time to speak with us about the qualities they would like to see in the 14th president of Baylor. We continue to learn from the valuable input we are receiving"

The meetings are part of an on-going series of listening sessions hosted by the committee to provide an organized forum for key stakeholders to provide input regarding Baylor's next president. The sessions kicked off April 14 with a general session for faculty and individual sessions for members of Student Government, Executive Council and Staff Council.

Armes said the sessions show the commitment of Baylor faculty and students to the university. "It is clear that faculty and students deeply care about Baylor's continued distinction and preeminence in Christian higher education," he said.

Faculty members said the next president of Baylor should possess solid experience leading a complex organization, an understanding of Baylor's unique role as a Christian university in the Baptist tradition, an interest in representing Baylor publicly on both the local and world stages and an ability to lead and collaborate with faculty in shaping the university's vision.

"As in the first faculty session, the comments from faculty in today's listening session provide excellent information to inform the search for Baylor's next president," said Georgia Green, chair of the Faculty Senate and associate dean of the Baylor School of Music. "It is clear that Baylor faculty have given careful, deliberative thought to the qualities our next president should possess, and their input is important to the committees in undertaking the search. I also encourage any faculty member who was unable to attend the sessions to provide comments on the form that is posted on the presidential search web page."

At the late-afternoon general session, students encouraged the search committee to hire a president who understands and enthusiastically supports Baylor's commitment to integrate faith and learning. Students said that the next president should be in sync with Baylor's commitment to achieving excellence in both teaching and research, without sacrificing one for the other. They also sought a president who is an active participant in the life of the University and embraces Baylor's Christian tradition along with its mission to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service.

"It was wonderful to see so many students who have a passion for Baylor, share a sincere love for its history and traditions and wish to have a voice in determining its future" said Chelsea Saylors, senior University Scholar from Rowlett, who represents Student Government on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee. "Our students' perspectives and opinions will be invaluable as we move forward in the search for Baylor University's next leader."

Listening sessions continue with an open session for university staff on Wednesday, April 29, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Room B110, Baylor Sciences Building. Statewide listening sessions with Baylor alumni are expected to commence in the month of May.

Additional information, including a form to provide input to the search committees and an audio podcast of today's open sessions can be found at www.baylor.edu/president/search/.

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