When Baylor announced that the University achieved the prestigious designation of Research 1 (R1) status by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in December 2021, the designation placed the University among the nation’s top-tier research institutions as a doctoral university with “very high research activity.” The research contributions of faculty and the dedication of staff across the University directly contributed to elevating Baylor as a preeminent Christian research university.
With the announcement dropping in mid-December and earlier than initially projected, the opportunity to celebrate was somewhat tempered with most students, faculty and staff away for the Christmas break.
In April 2022, Baylor’s faculty and staff gathered at the Baylor Club at McLane Stadium to give this tremendous achievement the party it deserved.
The festivities included remarks from Provost Nancy Brickhouse, B.A. ’82, Ph.D.; faculty regents Brian Raines, Ph.D., and Sarah Dolan, Ph.D.; and President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
“Getting to R1 status is 100 percent attributable to the work of our faculty and staff,” Livingstone said. “It truly is a campus-wide accomplishment.”
The finale of the celebration included an eruption of green and gold confetti over the crowd; a special performance by members of Baylor’s Golden Wave Band on the McLane Stadium field, leading the crowd in “Old Fight!” and forming a block R1 formation; and a fireworks show to cap off the night of festivities and fellowship.
Although the celebration’s intent was to take a moment to acknowledge and appreciate the effort and work needed to get to this point, attendees were reminded that with this designation comes great opportunity.
For Dolan and other faculty members, the R1 achievement cements Baylor’s spot among the top universities in the country.
“We get to show the world that we are well on our way to being the preeminent Christian research university,” Dolan said. “We have a much higher ceiling than we had before. It means we’re nationally recognized as an institution for the incredible work that we’re doing and will continue to build on. But as everyone has said, this is not the goal. This is just a marker on our steep upward trajectory. This means we’re just getting started.”
A promise kept from her inaugural address in 2017, Livingstone reflected on achieving R1 status ahead of schedule, adding “I don’t even know how to say the level of gratitude I have for all of you for helping us to achieve that goal so much more quickly than we thought that we possibly could. Over the next five years or so, we have tremendous upside opportunity to have an even greater impact to move that needle even further. Thank you for everything each and every one of you did to make this happen and to make Baylor such a really, really special place.”
Visit baylor.edu/research for more information.