Presidential Perspective - February 1, 2018

February 1, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I am sending today’s email from Grapevine, Texas, as I attend the 2018 International Forum of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), which includes more than 180 Christian institutions around the world. Although Baylor may be one of the largest CCCU universities, we all share in the mission of advancing Christ-centered higher education and transforming lives by integrating scholarship, service and Biblical truth. I have enjoyed the interaction so far with fellow university presidents and educators, as we discuss the many challenges and opportunities that currently face Christian higher education.

Here are a few noteworthy items for this week:

  • Today is Founders Day, a momentous date in our institution’s history as we commemorate Republic of Texas President Anson Jones signing the Act of Congress on Feb. 1, 1845, officially establishing Baylor University. We are deeply grateful for our Founders Medal recipients for this year, Don and Ruth Buchholz, B.A. ’49, who have joyfully and generously shared their resources to ensure that a transformational Baylor education is accessible to generations of Bears.
  • I am already looking forward to Baylor’s first Green and Gold Weekend, April 20-22, which will feature Baylor Fling, the spring football game, a community-wide tailgate and a host of other athletics events, concerts and free fun for the entire Baylor Family. Some events require tickets, so be sure to mark your calendars and check out all the details.
  • If you were unable to attend the Spring Faculty Meeting last week, we have posted the entire 90-minute conversation with me and Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon online for viewing by faculty, staff and students.
  • UCLA chemistry professor Dr. Neil K. Garg has been named the 2018 recipient of the Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. Presented by Baylor, the Cherry Award is the only national teaching award – with the single largest monetary reward of $250,000 – presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching. We look forward to having Dr. Garg teach in residence on our campus next year.
  • A brief update on the Provost Search: The position description for Baylor’s permanent provost has now been posted to the website, and the search committee is continuing to solicit nominations. There is an online form for you to submit nominations for consideration by the search committee.
  • I have run across several interesting research projects by many of our faculty members over the past several weeks. Some that may be of interest include:
    • Dr. Lakia M. Scott, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, and Dr. Christina Crenshaw, lecturer in the department of English, published a study in the Journal of Human Trafficking that found that in-the-classroom curriculum can help ninth and 10th-grade students identify human trafficking risks to themselves and others while empowering them to advocate against trafficking.
    • Dr. Marlene Neill, assistant professor of journalism, public relations and new media, published her study in the Journal of Media Ethics on the various strategies that senior public relations executives use to provide ethics counsel to leadership.
    • Chemical & Engineering News covered research by Dr. Robert R. Kane, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry and director of the Institute of Biomedical Studies at Baylor, along with researchers from the Baylor Scott & White Research Institute and Baylor University Medical Center. Together they developed a “click chemistry” method to attach anti-inflammatory drugs to the surface of transplant tissue in mice, which has shown to thwart acute inflammation and reduce transplant damage and rejection.

I am proud to be flinging my green and gold in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex today and tomorrow! As always, thank you for being a light and for your dedication and service to Baylor.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

P.S.: If you haven’t seen this #BaylorLights video, it’s worth the 60 seconds.

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