Presidential Perspective - February 22, 2018

February 22, 2018

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

While we were deeply grieved to learn that the Rev. Billy Graham had passed away yesterday, we rejoice that he has been called home as a good and faithful servant of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1970, Rev. Graham visited the Baylor campus and spoke of the University's commitment to faith and learning and to helping our students understand their responsibility to be the hands and feet of Christ and serve others throughout the world – a commitment to which Baylor remains faithful today. His connection to Baylor remained strong as his daughter, Anne, served on our Board of Regents, and three of his grandchildren proudly earned their Baylor degrees. Our deepest prayers continue to be with the Graham family, and we join millions around the world in giving thanks for Rev. Graham, for his unyielding faith in a risen Savior and his mission to bring Christ's light to the world.

Here are a few noteworthy items:

  • As we communicated with you last Friday, I have shared the initial framework of Baylor's Academic Strategic Plan – Illuminate – with the Board of Regents, members of the President's Council and our Deans. Their feedback was extremely positive, and Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon and I look forward to sharing the plan with our campus community. Please save the dates of Tuesday, March 27, at 3:30 p.m., or Friday, April 6, at 1:30 p.m. We will provide the locations for these Baylor Conversations with you in the weeks ahead.
  • Yesterday, in conjunction with the Baylor Line Foundation, Baylor announced the slate of alumni-elected Regent candidates presented for election this spring. The candidates are: William Kevin Cherry, B.A. (Business Administration) '79, J.D. (Law) '82, Dallas; Wayne Fisher, B.B.A. (Finance) '61, J.D. (Law) '61, Houston; Katie Jo Baumgardner Luningham, B.A. (University Scholar) '11, Kansas City, Mo.; Mark Allen Newton, B.A. (Religion) '85, Lufkin; Rusty Phenix, B.A. (Law) '84, J.D. (Law) '84, Henderson; and Gordon Wilkerson, B.B.A. (Accounting/Real Estate) '82, Lubbock. More information about the candidates will be provided to alumni in the spring issue of Baylor Magazine, on the Baylor website and via social media. The election will be conducted from April 23 through May 2.
  • Baylor faculty member Dr. Tyrha Lindsey-Warren provided an insightful analysis on the new blockbuster movie Black Panther and its importance for today's society in a recent interview. A clinical assistant professor of marketing, Dr. Lindsey Warren studies consumer behavior and attitudes, multicultural media, advertising, movies and entertainment.
  • Congratulations to Coach Kim Mulkey and the Lady Bears basketball team for winning their eighth-straight Big 12 Conference title. Only one other Big 12 team – in any sport – has ever won more consecutive regular season championships. If you are currently a Baylor freshman, you were in the fifth grade the last time the Lady Bears didn't win the Big 12!
  • As a result of some recent media coverage, I want to reinforce that Baylor takes the prevention of and response to incidents of sexual violence within our campus community very seriously. Our Title IX policy and procedures have been recognized across the country as best practices, and we follow our policy and procedures consistently in all cases. I encourage students, faculty and staff to review Baylor's Title IX policy on a periodic basis. While we may never be able to completely eradicate the scourge of sexual violence within our society, I remain confident in Baylor's substantial improvements that have been made in caring for our campus community over the past 18 months.

As always, thank you for your dedication and service to Baylor. And like the Rev. Billy Graham, let's all share God's light with the world.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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