Presidential Perspective - October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017
Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I have been in Washington, D.C., this week participating in Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women Summit, which gathers some of the world’s top women leaders not only from business, but also from government, philanthropy, education and the arts. I have quickly learned in my travels that the Baylor Family is everywhere, as I ran into Kim Lubel, former president and CEO of San Antonio-based CST Brands, which operates convenience stores on behalf of Valero Energy Corporation and this summer completed a $4.4 billion merger with the Canadian parent company of Circle K convenience stores. Kim is a 1987 master’s graduate of Baylor’s international relations program and 2016 recipient of the University’s Medal of Service for Business Leadership. Kim serves as a great example of a Christian, values-driven leader in corporate America. And, like me, she’s excited about our University’s future.

Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:

  • In the wake of the horrific tragedy at Texas Tech University earlier this week, I wanted to offer some reminders about safety initiatives and available resources for our campus community:

    • If you or anyone you know needs help, resources or support, please seek out the numerous resources on campus such as the Counseling Center, Beauchamp Addition Recovery Center, Title IX Office, Spiritual Life and the University Chaplain, Health Services and the Paul L. Foster Success Center. These offices are equipped to address stress and anxiety, addiction struggles, interpersonal violence, spiritual support, health issues and concerns and academic needs.

    • If you notice any issues of concern or want to report an incident or suspicious activity, you can submit information anonymously online at

    • Baylor’s Department of Public Safety has instituted several safety tools such as the BU Campus Guardian app, which allows users to communicate directly with the Baylor University Police Department, on-campus call boxes and security cameras outlining the perimeter of campus.

    • As part of DPS’ proactive preparedness strategy, the Emergency Management department organizes an active shooter training program through BUPD. Baylor departments are able to request active shooter training to be prepared in the event of an emergency.

  • Wednesday’s online edition of the Baylor Lariat included a well-done and insightful article about the good work of our Spiritual Life and Character Formation Task Force, which was created in June 2016 to strengthen these areas within and outside the classroom. In the story, Lariat staff writer Phoebe Suy examines the myriad of ways our faculty, students and staff are reinvigorating Baylor’s Christian mission daily in both word and deed.

  • Every day I continue to be amazed by the work of our faculty. I recently saw a BaylorProud post about the efforts of Dr. Bill Mitchell, Emeritus Professor of History, who led teams of Baylor professors and other volunteers to help rebuild Iraq’s higher education system following the rule of Saddam Hussein. Their work of a decade ago is chronicled in Mitchell’s new book, “Baylor in Northern Iraq During Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

  • Next week will be a special time on our campus with all the pageantry and celebrations surrounding Homecoming. I am looking forward to my first Homecoming as Baylor’s President, participating in events such as bonfire, the parade and reunions, as well as attending the football game against West Virginia. Be sure to make your plans now for Homecoming and this special Baylor tradition.

  • Baylor’s Board of Regents will also be in town next week for its quarterly meeting. I will provide the Regents an update on our Strong-Secure-Strategic objectives for this year, which will also include Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon’s status report on the academic strategic planning process. The meeting agenda will be posted publicly on the Board website on Monday.

  • And then the following week, it is my distinct honor to be officially inaugurated as Baylor’s 15th President. A host of activities are scheduled for the week – including a special student dinner with Brad and me on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. outside of Allbritton House – leading up to the installation ceremony on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Ferrell Center. I encourage you to view the full schedule and make plans to attend this celebration of Baylor and our transformational future.

  • I have always wondered what Brad, the “First Gent,” does while I am traveling on University business. Judging from this Twitter post, he apparently likes to hang out by Rosenbalm Fountain with our new labradoodle puppy, BU (pronounced “Boo”). If you see Brad and BU on campus, be sure to say hello.

Thank you for your continued support and dedication to Baylor. And, yes, I am celebrating Spirit Friday and wearing green and gold to my alma mater Oklahoma State on Saturday. Sic ’em Bears!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
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