Presidential Perspective - August 15, 2019

August 15, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Campus is abuzz with preparations for the fall semester, which begins Monday, Aug. 26. This week I had an opportunity to spend time with Provost Nancy Brickhouse, our vice provosts and academic deans as we planned for the upcoming academic year and discussed Illuminate and our vision of becoming a preeminent Christian research university. We are making significant progress already, and there’s a strong commitment for Baylor to be a light in all of higher education.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • If you are a faculty member, Dr. Brickhouse and I personally want to invite you to attend our annual Fall Faculty Meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Foster 250. The doors will open at 3 p.m., with the program beginning at 3:30 p.m. This will be the first faculty meeting for Dr. Brickhouse, and we look forward to an in-depth discussion with you on Illuminate, our Research 1/Tier 1 aspirations and what it means to be a Christian research university.
  • Our University’s long-standing mission is to serve as a faithful witness to the liberating, transformative good news of the Gospel. I recently received a first edition of the Baylor Annotated Study Bible (BASB), which is available now through Baylor University Press in partnership with Tyndale House Publishers. Editors Dr. W.H. “Bill” Bellinger in our department of religion and Dr. Todd D. Still of Baylor’s Truett Seminary led this monumental effort, bringing together nearly 70 biblical scholars – all connected to Baylor in some way – to refresh our view of the sacred texts and provide a reliable companion for both personal and classroom study. In fact, many of our 1310 Christian Scriptures classes will use the BASB this fall.
  • I’m so pleased to see Baylor’s high level of engagement and leadership in the Baptist Scholars International Roundtable (BSIR), an annual forum at Oxford University where a community of global, intergenerational and interdisciplinary Baptist scholars exchange ideas, share papers and promote scholarship. Last year, the BSIR moved its administrative home to the Baylor Graduate School, under the energizing leadership of Dr. Laine Scales, professor and Master Teacher in the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, and Dr. Beth Allison Barr, associate professor of history and associate dean for student and faculty development in the Graduate School.
  • Baylor has a strong institutional commitment to diversity, as we strive to provide a loving and caring campus community and reflect the mosaic of God’s creation. We have launched a national search for a new assistant vice president for institutional equity, who will help lead our efforts to provide a safe and equitable learning, living and working environment for students, faculty and staff. You can learn more about this important position via the online posting.
  • In the span of a few days, we will celebrate two special moments in the lives of our students: Saturday’s Commencement and next week’s Move2BU as we welcome #BU23 to campus. The ongoing I-35 construction will cause some traffic delays, and we will share more information next week about specific traffic patterns and parking lot changes that occur on Wednesday and Thursday. A word of encouragement for our Move2BU leaders and volunteers: Your work is deeply valued and appreciated, and the First Gent and I are excited to join you as we make move-in a positive experience for our new students and their families. Begin hydrating now because we are going to need all hands on deck next week!
  • As you know, I love Spirit Fridays, which provide all of us a visible way to show our pride and support for Baylor by wearing the green and gold of our University. It’s also an exciting time as we roll out our Baylor United brand campus-wide featuring the historic and iconic interlocking BU. To get us ready for both – as well as the national College Colors Day on Aug. 30 – look for an announcement early next week about a special gift for faculty and staff.

Thank you for your dedication and service to Baylor!


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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