Henry Named 'Faculty Master' For Brooks College

Aug. 25, 2006
News Photo 3747Drs. Doug and Michele Henry and son, Zachary.

by Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

Dr. Randall O'Brien, provost and executive vice president, and Dr. Dub Oliver, vice president for student life, have announced the appointment of Dr. Douglas V. Henry, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor University, as "faculty master" for Brooks Residential College, which will open in fall 2007.

As faculty master, Henry and his wife, Dr. Michele L. Henry, associate professor of music education at the Baylor School of Music, will live at Brooks College and work collaboratively with the facility's residential coordinator to provide a heightened sense of community that fosters academic excellence, intensive faculty-student interaction and a rich student experience steeped in Baylor tradition. The faculty master will be a focal point in fostering and shaping the social, cultural and educational life and character of the college.

"Doug Henry brings impressive intellectual capital to his untiring energy for the life of the mind, a genuine love for students and a deep and abiding commitment to academic and Christian excellence. Michele's considerable musical giftedness and contributions to the faculty and students in the School of Music are very well known, along with her winsome Christian witness," O'Brien said. "Together Doug and Michele offer our students an inspiring example of two Christian scholars - husband and wife - who love God, learning, neighbor and each other. No doubt our students are the glad beneficiaries of this appointment."

"We are pleased that Doug has accepted this appointment as faculty master of Brooks College," Oliver said. "The very best learning environments for students are those that engage them in significant conversations, and Doug and Michele will be very helpful in creating such an environment at Brooks College. Baylor has a long history and a strong culture of faculty members who care deeply about the growth and development of students. The faculty master is a new opportunity that will continue that tradition, and we are excited to watch Doug develop in this role."

One of two new residential quadrangles under construction as part of Baylor's Brooks Village complex, Brooks College is the university's first traditional residential college like those made famous by Oxford and Cambridge in the United Kingdom and by Harvard and Yale in the United States. Brooks College will offer Baylor students a distinctive living-learning environment for 375 men and women of all academic majors in a community that is faculty-led.

Brooks College will feature suite-style housing, a great hall dining room, chapel, library and resource center, commons rooms, classrooms and faculty offices.

As part of his role as faculty master, Henry also will convene and coordinate the weekly community dinner, as well as invite distinguished guests to sit at the College's High Table; host lectures, study breaks and Master's Teas, where students will have the opportunity to talk with faculty and renowned guests from academic and popular culture; live in the master apartment and encourage a climate of academic excellence and community engagement; encourage faculty involvement in all aspects of the college's activities; and teach a section of University 1000 for Brooks College students.

Doug Henry said the new Brooks Residential College project embodies Baylor's long cherished commitment to students.

"As soon as we heard about plans for a faculty-member-in-residence, we began thinking about what a marvelous opportunity this form of service represented, and we found ourselves enamored with the ideals to which Brooks College is oriented," he said. "We want this grand undertaking to flourish, and we desire to be an integral part of it--through everyday encounters with students, through the celebration of common life during meals in the Great Hall, through the hosting of guests who can challenge and inspire the students, and through the possibilities for spiritual formation that regular prayer and worship in the chapel will provide."

Doug Henry earned his bachelor's degree in religion summa cum laude in 1992 from Oklahoma Baptist University. He then went on to complete his master's degree in 1994 and doctorate in 1996, both in philosophy from Vanderbilt University.

He joined the Baylor faculty in 2001 as a part-time lecturer in philosophy and the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, and was named assistant professor of philosophy in 2003. He currently teaches several courses in the Great Texts program in the Honors College and in the department of philosophy. In April, the division of student life honored him with the Outstanding Faculty Partner Award.

He served as associate director of the Institute for Faith and Learning at Baylor from 2001-02 and acting director from 2002-04, before being named the institute's director in 2004. He oversees the institute's activities and personnel, with responsibilities for program planning, administration, and assessment; active research and publication; grant writing and fund raising; faculty development; and coordination of regular conferences. He recently received a $500,000 follow-up grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., for "Baylor Horizons: Sustaining the Theological Exploration of Vocation," a university project which helps students, faculty and staff explore the relationship between faith and vocation. The matching grant will help fund $1.1 million in programs over the next three years, including Baylor's resident chaplain program and vocation-specific mission trips, among other grant activities.

He has edited two books, Christianity and the Soul of the University: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community (Baker Academic, 2006) and Faithful Learning and the Christian Scholarly Vocation (William B. Eerdmans, 2003). He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book reviews in such scholarly journals as Logos, Christian Scholar's Review, Perspectives in Religious Studies, Philosophia Christi and Faith and Philosophy.

Michele Henry earned her bachelor's degree in music education magna cum laude in 1991 from Oklahoma Baptist University. She then went on to receive her master's degree in 1992 from the University of North Texas and her doctorate in 1999 from the University of Minnesota, both in music education.

She joined the Baylor School of Music faculty in 2001 as an assistant professor of music education and now serves as associate professor. In addition to teaching, she directs the Baylor Women's Choir and is faculty sponsor for the Baylor Music Education Association.

With a specialization in sight-singing instruction and evaluation, she has published articles in scholarly publications such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, Journal of Music Teacher Education, Symposium, Texas Music Education Research, Choral Journal, Southwestern Musician and UPDATE: Applications in Music Education. In addition, she has served as a conductor, clinician and judge for choir festivals, contests and camps in Texas, Tennessee, Ohio and Arizona.

The Henrys are members of Calvary Baptist Church in Waco, where Doug has taught adult Sunday School and Michele directs the youth choir. They have an 8-month-old son, Zachary.

The Henrys will join several Baylor faculty members who serve as faculty-in-residence - Cindy Fry, a senior lecturer in School of Computer Science and Engineering at Baylor, and her family who reside in Heritage House, home to the Engineering and Computer Science Living-Learning Center in the North Village; Dr. Julie Sweet, assistant professor of history, and her husband, Dr. Thomas Riley, a part-time lecturer in history, who are faculty-in-residence at the North Village; and Dr. Xin Wang, who resides at the Honors College Living-Learning Center, housed in Alexander and Memorial residence halls.

"For the past five years, we have been working to ensure that Baylor's faculty are embedded in the campus residential experience," said Dr. Frank Shushok Jr., dean for student learning and engagement at Baylor. "Faculty members in residence, faculty partners and faculty participation in residence hall programs are all evidence to this end. The faculty master, however, communicates something more. We not only want faculty participation in residential life at Baylor, we want them to help lead the experience as well."

Studies have documented the benefits for students who live on campus with faculty-in-residence, including strengthened retention numbers, improved academic performance and higher graduation rates. Baylor is uniquely positioned to provide this kind of residential experience for students, Doug Henry said, as recovery of an age-old "best practice" and part of a trend-setting national phenomenon within higher education.

"Inasmuch as Baylor wants to be counted among the truly great universities, we do well to learn from the finest institutions that have preceded us," he said. "Baylor's significant steps toward residential college life, embodied by Brooks College, will only increase the respect that we have long known is warranted for the education we offer our students."

Brooks College is named after Baylor's seventh president, Samuel Palmer Brooks, who served the longest tenure as Baylor's president from 1902-1931. During his tenure as president, Baylor was transformed from a university in name only to a true university. When Brooks began at Baylor, the university had fewer than 300 students. He established a College of Medicine, College of Pharmacy, College of Dentistry and a theological seminary, organized the College of Arts and Sciences and the Schools of Education, Music, Business and Nursing and reinstated the School of Law. Brooks also established Baylor Hospital in Dallas. Baylor's enrollment at the end of his presidency exceeded 3,000 students.

"During our time at Baylor, we have been honored to welcome students into our home, come to know and grow in our admiration of them, model thoughtful Christian life for them, and celebrate major milestones with them. We still hear from those who have graduated, reporting on their accomplishments, telling of their aspirations, and sometimes asking for our counsel," Doug Henry said. "By living alongside 375 students in Brooks College, we hope that we can help make the experiences of more students at Baylor special, memorable and life-changing."

Looking for more news from Baylor University?