Presidential Perspective - September 28, 2017

September 28, 2017
Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Fall is upon us - at least that’s what the calendar says, not necessarily the thermometer - and October is shaping up to be quite busy. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, a special committee representing the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges will be on campus next week in response to Baylor’s warning sanction of December 2016. Homecoming, which is always a special time for the Baylor Family, is right around the corner, October 19-21. Then the following week I will be officially inaugurated as Baylor’s 15th President, with several activities planned for students, faculty and staff around the theme of “Transformation” and Romans 12:2. In these busy times, I pray that we all find time to rest, recharge, serve others and give thanks to the Lord for our many blessings.

Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:

  • The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education rankings were released yesterday, and Baylor was highly ranked at No. 6 among U.S. universities that create a high level of engagement, both in the classroom and among students. This data comes directly from students, who were surveyed about a range of factors, including their experiences with faculty, if they were pushed in the classroom to think critically, how they are inspired and motivated by their peers and professors and whether they would recommend the school to others. This is more evidence of Baylor’s strength and resilience, and I am grateful for our dedicated faculty and staff, who live out our University’s Christian mission daily by providing our students with an excellent education and the tools they need to lead, serve and succeed in their future.

  • Baylor now ranks second nationally among educational institutions and No. 89 overall on the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption’s 2017 Top 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces List. You may recall that the University in April expanded our benefits to include paid parental leave for staff and an adoption assistance program that benefits both staff and faculty. We are proud to provide a supportive work environment for our faculty and staff that fosters work-life balance and allows families to flourish.

  • Today we announced a gift of $2 million from Sherri W. and Robert “Bobby” L. Patton Jr. of Fort Worth that will enhance the legal writing and pro bono programs in our nationally ranked Baylor Law School. Established in honor and in memory of Sherri Wallace Patton’s father, the Charles E. Wallace Endowed Fund for Legal Writing will support programming in the Legal Writing Center that encourages excellence in legal writing. The Sherri W. and Robert L. Patton Jr. Endowed Fund for Pro Bono Clinics and Programs will provide overall support for Baylor’s award-winning pro bono clinics and initiatives within the Law School. The Pattons’ generous gift to Baylor also provides student scholarship assistance.

  • I continue to be amazed by the selfless service exhibited by our students each and every day. As many within the Baylor Family continue to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Alpha Phi Omega hosted a campus-wide blood drive two weeks ago and collected 350 units of blood through Carter BloodCare. The donations will impact more than 1,000 lives.

  • Thank you for your support and dedication to Baylor, and don’t forget Spirit Friday!

    Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
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