Presidential Perspective - January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Happy New Year! And welcome to the first Presidential Perspective of 2018. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break, and you are as excited for the beginning of the spring semester as I am. We have many major initiatives underway that will begin to unfold this semester. Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:

  • As we finalize membership of the Baylor Provost Search Committee, I am pleased to report that Dr. Charles Weaver, chair of psychology and neuroscience in the College of Arts & Sciences, and Dr. Cindy Riemenschneider, professor of information systems and associate dean in the Hankamer School of Business, will serve as committee co-chairs. The 22-member group, which will be announced soon, will include faculty representatives from each College/School, two members of the Faculty Senate, two staff representatives, one undergraduate and one graduate student. The search committee will solicit candidate names from both internal and external sources and review a broad and diverse pool of candidates for this important leadership position. Our hope is to conclude the Provost search by the end of the spring semester.
  • Right before Christmas, we learned the good news that Baylor is again on the Kiplinger's Personal Finance list of the 100 best values among private universities, which is based on objective measurements of academic quality and affordability. We remain sensitive to the costs of higher education, and our firm commitment is to help students of all financial backgrounds achieve their dreams of a Baylor education, especially through increasing scholarship support.
  • I suspect many of you received at least one gift card as a Christmas present. Our own Dr. Jim Roberts, professor of marketing in the Hankamer School of Business, provided some practical advice and caution regarding gift cards in a recent Chicago Tribune article: "Wait for the newness and the excitement of having free money settle down a little bit. Look at it as if this is just like real money or cash; we should be patient."
  • Dr. Michael Parrish, professor of American history, has co-authored "Doris Miller, Pearl Harbor and the Birth of the Civil Rights Movement," the first scholarly biography of the Waco-born Miller that places him in the larger context of African American service in the U.S. military and the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement. During the World War II Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Miller rescued shipmates from the burning, oil-slick waters and grabbed an anti-aircraft gun to shoot at Japanese war planes. He also helped break down the walls of segregation in the Navy. A statue of Miller was dedicated in December along the Brazos River and a permanent Doris Miller Memorial is under construction at the riverside Bledsoe-Miller Park.
  • If you're a fan of "Wheel of Fortune," Monday's show will have a tinge of green and gold as Baylor faculty members Allison Alford, clinical assistant professor in the Hankamer School of Business, and her husband, Joe Alford, an intern supervisor for the School of Education, will compete on the popular game show. "Wheel of Fortune" airs in Waco at 6:30 p.m. on KCEN-TV Ch. 6.
  • Finally, don't forget that I will introduce the new "Baylor Connections" radio show tomorrow at 11 a.m. on KWBU 103.3FM. We will discuss Baylor's quest to become a tier one Christian research university, the Academic Strategic Plan and other University developments. In addition to the live radio broadcast, "Baylor Connections" will be available online at or via podcast.

If you see me around campus or at a Baylor basketball game over the next few weeks, please feel free to say hello and give a Sic 'em. Thank you for being a part of the Baylor Family.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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