Presidential Perspective - July 11, 2019

July 11, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

It’s nice to email you again after a little hiatus as the First Gent, Shelby and I recently spent some time away from campus. It’s definitely summertime in Waco as the temperatures nudge closer to the 100-degree mark each day … and the countdown to the fall semester begins to wind down.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • Congratulations to Kevin Chambliss, Ph.D., who has been appointed by Provost Nancy Brickhouse as our new Vice Provost for Research. Dr. Chambliss has served in this role in an interim capacity since January, which will allow us to accelerate Baylor’s progress toward our R1/Tier 1 aspirations of becoming a preeminent Christian research university.
  • Speaking of research, I was excited to read about a breakthrough Baylor study led by Jung-Hyun Min, Ph.D., associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, that provides a better understanding of the dynamic process by which sunlight-induced DNA damage is recognized by the molecular repair machinery in cells as needing repair. Dr. Min and her team’s research was published in the Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) Journal as a “breakthrough article” – only 1 percent to 2 percent of papers received by NAR earn such a designation.
  • Baylor is blessed with one of the nation’s most beautiful campuses, and I get to work in the prettiest spot on campus! That’s not just my opinion; it’s the result of a survey conducted last month on Baylor’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. More than 31,000 votes were cast as eight different locations battled for the title of “prettiest spot on Baylor’s campus.” In the finals, Pat Neff Hall narrowly defeated Armstrong Browning Library for the designation. So much beauty on this campus – you can’t go wrong!
  • As many of you know, our Paul L. Foster Success Center-Student Success Initiatives hosts a free student food pantry called The Store, but they also help ensure that students are equipped with supplies such as notebooks, pens/pencils, highlighters, filler paper, index cards and folders, especially as the fall semester begins. If you’d like to contribute, you can drop off items at the SSI front desk in the Sid Richardson east wing basement. Thank you for your care and concern for our students.
  • The I-35 construction adjacent to campus becomes more significant each day. Since May, we’ve experienced major changes that have impacted campus, including mainlanes reduced to two lanes, closures of Exit 334A (4th/5th St.) and the 11th/12th St. bridge, removal of the 8th St. pedestrian bridge, and, most recently, the temporary closure of a portion of Dutton Avenue from S. 5th St. to S. 8th St. We will keep you informed of any upcoming changes. In the meantime, as you navigate the construction zone – whether by car, bike or on foot – be alert, stay patient and consult the real-time website before you go.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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