Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:
We are experiencing nearly record-breaking temperatures in Waco, so I hope you are staying cool wherever you may be this summer! I am sending today's Presidential Perspective as I attend the July Retreat of our Board of Regents. We have had robust discussion on a number of items, including faculty engagement efforts as we build out our Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan for the next five years, as well as on significant issues facing higher education, particularly among Christian institutions. We will provide an update for you following the Board meeting tomorrow.
Here are a few additional noteworthy items:
- We learned this week that The Chronicle of Higher Education has named Baylor a 2018 "Great College to Work For" for the eighth straight year. In addition, the University again achieved Honor Roll status as one of only 42 standout institutions in their respective size categories. It is all due to you, our faculty and staff, for devoting your time and talents to create a caring Christian community for our students dedicated to leadership, service, academic excellence. In return, the University provides an active community, stability, investments in employee success and outstanding benefits – all of which make Baylor a "Great College to Work For."
- Our School of Education is a busy place to be in July. This month, we've welcomed Waco ISD early childhood students to campus for the Math for Early Learners Academy. The First Gent was blessed to visit with these wonderful students and their teachers last week. The best part about this summer early-intervention program is that research shows it improves early math ability, a key predictor of academic success. And we hope that their experience on our campus will lead to some future Baylor Bears! I am so appreciative of Interim Dean Terrill Saxon, our School of Education faculty, students and alumni for their commitment to strengthening education in our community and beyond.
- Do those surveys after medical appointments provide meaningful data? Keith Sanford, Ph.D., professor of psychology and neuroscience and a scholar of psychometrics who develops assessment instruments, conducted a series of studies to clarify problems with existing scales. From that, he has created a new Medical Consultation Experience Questionnaire that measures two aspects of patient experience – "alliance" and "confusion" – during consultations. Research published in Psychological Assessment, a journal of the American Psychological Association, suggests the new instrument works better than others. The research was funded in part by a grant from Baylor College of Medicine.
- In May, our Board of Regents authorized funding for a cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) system to streamline human resources and financial functions that will allow the University to operate more efficiently across departments and disciplines. More importantly, it will support our future growth and changing needs as guided by our Illuminate strategic plan. To assist with implementation of the Oracle-developed system, we have retained the services of Huron Consulting Group, which has successfully assisted private and public universities with the deployment of cloud-based systems. In the coming weeks, we will provide additional information about the project, so be sure to watch your email.
Thank you for your continued support and dedication to our great University. Remember to fling your green and gold afar tomorrow!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.