News and Notes from the Office of the President

April 27, 2011

President's Note

"He is not here; He has risen!" (Luke 24:6)

From the utter despair of the cross on Good Friday to the elation of the empty tomb on Sunday morning, I do hope you and your loved ones had a blessed Easter. As we return to spring on the Baylor campus and the work before us as we close out the semester, let us continue to bear witness to the Resurrection and the work of God in the world through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Tuition Equalization Grant

Earlier this month, I wrote to all faculty, staff and students, as well our alumni and friends in Texas, about the importance of the Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) to the future of higher education in our state and to our students at Baylor.

As you know, a plan currently under consideration by the Texas Legislature would cut the TEG nearly in half, potentially devastating a program that has served financially challenged Texas families since 1971.

This year alone, more than 3,200 Baylor students – nearly one in four – are benefiting from this smart-dollar investment. Without it, many students would be unable to attend Baylor. That's why we are asking those who love Baylor and love our students to get involved in efforts to protect the TEG. If you are inclined, we urge you to visit the website we have created, educate yourself about the program and consider contacting your state legislator to let him or her know how important the TEG is to you, to Baylor and to the future of Texas.

For more information about the TEG, please go to the Protect the Promise website:

Passing of Dr. F. Gordon Stone

On April 6, Baylor University – and indeed the world – mourned the passing of one of the true heroes of 20th century chemistry, our own Dr. F. Gordon A. Stone, Emeritus Robert A. Welch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Stone was an unparalleled leader in the field of organometallic chemistry and one of Scientific Information's 100 most-referenced chemists in the world. While he was a Commander of the Order of the British Empire and a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, Dr. Stone relished particularly his work with our students. He mentored hundreds of students and co-authored more than 750 primary journal articles with graduate students and postdoctoral assistants.

Gordon Stone was a gifted researcher, committed to continual discovery. He also was a dedicated teacher, who invested wholeheartedly in the lives of his students. In this manner, Dr. Stone provided a shining example of what it means to be a faculty member at Baylor University.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the Stone family as we continue to remember and celebrate the life of an extraordinary member of the Baylor family.

Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year, Collins Professor, Cherry Award Finalists

As the University nears the end of another academic year, a number of our colleagues have been recognized as stellar faculty, who have gone above and beyond in the classroom and in their scholarly pursuits.

Robert Darden, BSEd '76, associate professor of journalism and media arts, has been named the Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year. The annual award is presented to a faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor through teaching, research and service. Professor Darden is well known for leading Baylor's extraordinary Black Gospel Music Restoration Project, which preserves the most at-risk music from the black gospel music tradition. He will receive $20,000 and present a public lecture in the fall.

Baylor's senior class has selected Dr. Marcie H. Moehnke, MS '03, PhD '05, lecturer in biology, as the 2011 Collins Outstanding Professor. The award – generously provided by the Carr P. Collins Foundation – recognizes and honors outstanding teachers at Baylor. As the Collins Professor, Moehnke received a cash award of $10,000 and will be recognized May 16 during commencement. In recognition of this award, Dr. Moehnke delivered a lecture earlier this month with the colorful and enticing title "Life Lessons from Scientific Serendipity."

Baylor also has announced the three outstanding finalists for the prestigious 2012 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching:

  • Dr. Brian P. Coppola, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of Chemistry, University of Michigan
  • Dr. Heather Macdonald, Chancellor Professor of Geology, College of William & Mary
  • Dr. Allen J. Matusow, W.G. Twyman Professor of History, Rice University
We will have the opportunity this fall to interact with each of these distinguished scholar-teachers, as they visit our campus to present a series of lectures. The Cherry Award recipient – announced in spring 2012 – will teach in residence at Baylor during fall 2012 or spring 2013. We look forward to welcoming these remarkably talented fellow educators when they visit our campus.

Read more here about the Cherry Award and our very strong group of finalists.

Strategic Planning Community Input

We have been very pleased with the enthusiastic response to the community input portion of our strategic planning process. This portion of our strategic planning will conclude this week. In the short time that remains, we encourage individuals and departments to get involved, sharing ideas and perspective that will help inform the development of Baylor's next 10-year strategic plan.

To date, more than 50 on-campus groups have submitted their ideas, while some 800 alumni and friends have attended community town hall meetings in Texas and across the United States. In addition, more than 200 individuals have participated using the input form available on the strategic planning website.

For more information about our progress thus far and to provide input, please visit the Strategic Planning website.

State of the University Address

Last week, Baylor's chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) – long with the Faculty Senate – sponsored the State of the University Address in the Barfield Drawing Room. It was a great honor to celebrate the careers of our retiring faculty members – whose years of cumulative service to Baylor University totaled more than 600 years.

Additionally, I was pleased to report upon the strong and healthy state of our University. Great and mighty things have been accomplished on campus during the academic year that is now coming to a close. We are extremely grateful to our students, faculty, staff and alumni. There is a continued sense of energy and optimism as we move forward building Baylor together.

Bright Future for Big 12

Just 10 months ago, the future of the Big 12 Conference was considered tenuous. As the Baylor Nation rose up, we were able to weather those challenging weeks and eventually celebrate the perseverance of the Big 12.

Earlier this month, the Big 12 announced a 13-year agreement with Fox Sports Media Group for exclusive cable rights to at least 40 football games per season.

The agreement represents an emphatic endorsement of the Big 12 Conference, underscoring the immense popularity of Big 12 athletics with fans and supporters of collegiate sports nationally. It also testifies to an extraordinary degree of unity among the member institutions of the Big 12.

We look forward to the television broadcasts of historic rivalries that will continue to be viewed and celebrated for years to come.

Read more here about the agreement.

Athletic Event Schedule

BASEBALL: at Nebraska, April 29-May 1, in Lincoln, Neb.

MEN'S GOLF: at Big 12 Championship, April 25-27, in Hutchinson, Kan.

MEN'S TENNIS: Big 12 Championships, April 29-May 1, at Baylor Tennis Center

SOFTBALL: vs. #5/6 Texas, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at Getterman Stadium; at Iowa State, April 30-May 1, in Ames, Iowa

TRACK AND FIELD: at Drake Relays, April 27-30, in Des Moines, Iowa

WOMEN'S TENNIS: Big 12 Championships, April 28-May 1, at Baylor Tennis Center

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