Virtual Fall 2020 Faculty Meeting and Staff Forum Kick off Semester

September 9, 2020

Baylor recently held virtual versions of the annual Faculty Meeting and Staff Forum via Zoom to provide important Baylor Community updates and kick off the fall semester. The Faculty Meeting and Staff Forum were both recorded and are available for viewing.

Faculty Meeting

President Livingstone and Provost Brickhouse were joined by Board Chair Mark Rountree, Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, Special Adviser to the President Malcolm Foley and Paxton Riter, CEO of iDesign along with other Baylor leaders for the 2020 Virtual Fall Faculty Meeting.

After encouraging words from Chair Roundtree and President Livingstone, Provost Brickhouse spoke directly to faculty.

"As we begin this most unusual fall semester, we are certainly working under extraordinary conditions," Brickhouse said. "I join President Livingstone and Chair Roundtree in expressing gratitude to you for all of the difficult and challenging work you have done, going back to the middle of March, providing for the continuity of our students' academic experience. I believe this semester will be successful, despite the many changed circumstances in providing instruction and taking care of our students."

The meeting went on to provide updates and information for faculty, including:

  • Recognition of the Outstanding Faculty Award winners from the 2019-2020 academic year
  • Recognition of new deans for the Libraries, Honors College and School of Education
  • A presentation, tutorials and information from iDesign, a Dallas-based independent instructional design firm that has partnered with Baylor to provide faculty in-depth resources within the University's learning management system
  • Explanations and information from Dr. Hotez about the uniqueness of COVID-19, efforts toward a vaccine, best practices and looking ahead to the future in higher education

For faculty unable to participate or to review all updates shared, the Fall 2020 Faculty Meeting can be viewed here.

Staff Forum

Fall 2020 Staff Forum host Cheryl Gochis, vice president and chief human resources officer, was joined by Baylor Board Chair Mark Rountree, President Linda Livingstone, President of the Black Faculty and Staff Association Tonya Hudson, Provost Nancy Brickhouse, General Counsel Chris Holmes, Vice President for Student Life Kevin Jackson, Staff Council Chaplain Jarrod Mathis and Vice President for Internal Administration and Compliance and Chief of Staff Robyn Driskell.

"I'm grateful we could be together today, even if it is virtually," Gochis began the forum. "Over the past few months, it's been a joy to see how our Baylor staff has adapted from the onset of COVID-19 all the way to this fall where we've seen staff go above and beyond to ensure a successful start to the fall semester."

Each of these Baylor leaders shared information for staff, including:

  • More than 70 Baylor employees volunteered as Campus Safety Volunteers for a combined 614 hours to help hand out face masks, hand sanitizer and direct students to campus tents
  • In partnership with USDA, Urban Institute, McLane Global, PepsiCo, ChartwellsK12 and more, the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty coordinated with Baylor staff to serve 40 million meals to 275,000 children
  • More than 200 Baylor volunteers worked a combined 480 hours to fill 22,897 Family First Care Kits for the Baylor community
  • The Black Faculty Staff Association, open to all faculty and staff, is looking forward to future events and initiatives like creative recruiting efforts, member check-ins and meetings, and strengthening ties with Black faculty, staff and students at Baylor
  • Surveillance testing for COVID-19 began in which a random sample of faculty, staff and students are tested for the virus, providing a more accurate positivity rate for the campus

Additionally, all faculty and staff are welcome to join the virtual Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Faculty Welcome Reception on September 15, 2:30 to 4 p.m. The Zoom meeting information will be sent to all faculty and staff the day prior to the event.

For staff unable to participate or to review all updates shared, the Fall 2020 Staff Forum can be viewed here.

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