Presidential Perspective - January 18, 2018

January 18, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

It's been quite a few years since I've experienced a Waco winter, but I certainly don't remember it being this cold. I hope everyone enjoyed the "Snow Day" on Tuesday and you have been able to stay warm. Please know that we do not take the decision to close campus lightly, particularly this early in the semester. We consult with various state and local emergency management officials as well as the National Weather Service to make a prudent decision for your safety and security. And I just know our students took advantage of the extra study time!

Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:

  • A great tip from one of our faculty members: Write down a "to-do" list before heading to bed at night. Dr. Michael K. Scullin, director of Baylor's Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory and assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, has found that taking five minutes to write down upcoming tasks aids in falling asleep. Dr. Scullin's research has been discussed this week on ABC's "Good Morning America," and covered by USA Today, TIME and Forbes, among other national media outlets.
  • Yesterday we announced the members of the search committee who will work to identify candidates for Baylor's permanent provost over the coming months. The committee roster can be found on the provost search website, which also includes a mechanism through which you may submit potential candidates for consideration. We will provide periodic updates to you on the process, which we hope to be complete by the end of the spring semester.
  • A reminder that our annual Spring Faculty Meeting is next Thursday, Jan. 25, on the fifth floor of the Cashion Academic Center. The reception starts at 3 p.m., which will be followed by a conversation with me and Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon at 3:30 p.m.
  • Our Title IX Office recently made some minor revisions to the University's Title IX policy as part of an annual review that will guide the process of investigating and adjudicating any reports of sexual violence within our campus community filed after Jan. 8 of this year. Each of us should review the updated policy and understand the importance of reporting incidents to the Title IX Office. In our recently released climate survey data, we learned that knowledge of where to report is well-established, but more understanding is needed about what to expect from the Title IX process. Reviewing the policy annually and participating in one of the training sessions offered by our Title IX team are important steps we all can take.
  • The brilliance of Moody Memorial Library has returned as we held a ceremonial relighting of the campus landmark last night. As part of the library's 50-year anniversary and in conjunction with the "Where Lights Shine Bright" campaign, 92 newly installed LED lights were activated on the upper exterior level of the facility, replacing fixtures that have not been operational for decades.

I hope your spring semester is off to a great start. I've enjoyed following students on social media who are taking pictures with the BA_LOR, L_GHTS and SH_NE letters across campus and sharing their stories at #BaylorLights. Thank you all for being a light and for your dedication and service to Baylor.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President

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