News Briefs

Livingstone Selects New Chief Business Officer

President Linda A. Livingstone, PhD, appointed Brett Dalton as the University’s chief business officer. While also overseeing operations, facilities, information technology and various strategic partnerships, Dalton will lead progressive systems of financial planning, reporting and control as the University moves forward under the Illuminate academic strategic plan. His appointment is effective July 1.

Dalton will join Baylor from Clemson University, where he served as executive vice president of finance and operations and managed the institution’s $1.2 billion budget. Dalton provided leadership and management of Clemson’s strategic planning, resource planning and utilization, and strategic partnerships and programs. He also servesd as an adviser to the president on financial strategy and resource development and is responsible for management of financial resources, working closely with Clemson’s leadership to develop long-range financial plans and strategies.

Dalton

“We cannot be more excited to welcome Brett Dalton to Baylor University and our leadership team. He is truly one of the top creative financial minds in higher education,” Livingstone said. “I am confident that Brett, in this critical, new position of chief business officer, will bring tremendous energy and new, innovative ideas to provide the financial components and infrastructure for Illuminate.”

Dalton’s accomplishments at Clemson include the successful implementation of three five-year financial plans. During this time, Clemson moved from a third-tier ranking to a Top 25 ranked public university, achieved an R1 Carnegie classification and completed the university’s first $1 billion capital campaign. He also successfully co-led the development of Clemson’s strategic plan, oversaw more than $800 million in capital projects and achieved and maintained the highest bond rating in the history of the university.

Dalton earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics from Clemson.

Education Partnership Earns National Award—Again

For the second year in a row, a Baylor School of Education (SOE) partnership with a nearby school district received national recognition for the way it prepares future teachers. 

SOE’s partnership with Waco Independent School District is the recent recipient of the top honors from the National Association for Professional Development Schools (NAPDS). Last year, the SOE-Midway Independent School District partnership earned the honor. 

SOE

The NAPDS award is given to a small number of school-university partnerships each year whose work creates and sustains genuine, collaborative relationships between K-12 schools and higher education, providing the next generation of teachers with valuable classroom experience. NAPDS cited the Baylor-Waco ISD partnership “for its mutually beneficial 25-year collaboration and its leadership in PDS work nationally.”

Baylor launched the program a quarter of a century ago, and today has six partner campuses within Waco ISD at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels. Baylor sophomores begin the program by visiting a school campus for two hours a week. Juniors act as teaching assistants and visit three hours a day Monday through Thursday, while seniors are considered teaching interns and work in Waco ISD classrooms Monday through Thursday during the school year.

Law School Earns Ultimate Bar Passage Rate

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar released data in March showing that 100 percent of Baylor Law School’s 2015 graduates passed the bar exam within two years of graduation—the highest rate of all 204 ABA-approved law schools.

It was the first time for the ABA report to show “ultimate” passage rates, those reflecting the number of students who passed the bar within two years of graduation. Almost 88 percent of 2015 graduates across the country passed the exam within the two-year timeframe.   

Law School Dean Brad Toben said the achievement reflects the effectiveness of the school’s program. 

“This ultimate bar passage rate underscores, once again, the remarkable commitment
of Baylor Law’s faculty and staff to educate and train our students as they prepare to serve in the legal profession,” he said. “They have a genuine interest in seeing each student succeed.”

Cyber Security Team Advances to Nationals

This spring’s Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) saw the Baylor Cyber Security Student Organization (CyberSec) advance as one of 10 teams to nationals in Orlando, Florida.

Dr. Jeff Donahoo, BS ’91, MS ’93, Baylor professor of computer science and CyberSec coach, said, “Cybersecurity is about safeguarding our private information and protecting the critical infrastructures we all depend on for our daily lives. It is not sufficient to just be good at cybersecurity; one must be better than those who would do harm. 

The better individual—hacker or security—is determined in competition, whether simulated or real. 

“Contests like CCDC allow future practitioners to compete where failure, while unpleasant, is constructive.” 

National CCDC competitions test cybersecurity skills by having teams defend a commercial network against attacks by a “red team” of professional hackers. Teams are scored on their ability to minimize system infiltration, keep critical services in operation, and prevent exfiltration of sensitive data. The first competition was held in 2005.

Model UN Team Earns Honors at Conference

Competing among nearly 3,000 students from approximately 100 nations, Baylor’s Model United Nations (MUN) team of 16 students earned Outstanding Delegation, the highest team recognition award, and broke a team record for the most awards received at the National Model United Nations Conference March 24-30 in New York City.

Baylor’s team had the role of representing Iceland in eight committees. In addition to the team awards earned, students were named Outstanding Delegation in Committee by their peers in five of the eight committees in which they participated. This is the highest individual award and marks the most individual awards the team has ever received at a national conference. 

Two of the delegations also received Outstanding Position Paper Awards for the researched policy memo submitted in February.

Dr. Rebecca Flavin, senior lecturer in political science, is the faculty adviser for the team.

“Over the course of the NMUN conference I grew as a leader and communicator because I had the opportunity to work with other students from all over the world,” senior Sahir Amlani, assistant head delegate, said. “In this setting, we had to create inclusive solutions to world issues in a way that all countries could support. … I also gained an understanding about the importance of compromise in negotiations.”

Humanities R&D Spending Earns Recognition

In the spring, The Chronicle of Higher Education released its list of Colleges with the Greatest R&D Spending in the Humanities, fiscal year 2016, and Baylor is ranked No. 20 among private institutions in research-and-development spending in the humanities. 

Throughout the 2016 fiscal year, the Chronicle noted that Baylor invested more than $2.8 million in R&D in the humanities, which is more than 10 percent of all R&D spending at the University. 

Baylor historically has emphasized the importance of the arts and humanities and will continue to do so as part of Illuminate, the University’s academic strategic plan. (See related story on page 26.)