Presidential Perspective - August 29, 2019

August 29, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I am having a hard time determining what has been my highlight of the first week of the semester so far. From worshipping in the middle of campus last Sunday with more than 2,000 members of #BU23 to handing out 900-plus popsicles in my driveway on Monday, I have been extremely blessed to engage with our diverse students in a wide range of activities and welcome them back to campus.

And yesterday I had an inspiring time with our faculty as we publicly declared Baylor’s intention to pursue Research 1/Tier 1 (R1/T1) recognition by building on Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan, which will guide Baylor towards joining the nation’s top research universities and achieving status as the world’s preeminent Christian research university. As Provost Nancy Brickhouse outlined, the University is well on its way to earning R1 distinction, which will allow us to inject our Christian mission into higher education and solve some of the world’s great challenges, while also increasing the already strong value of a Baylor degree.

What an exciting time to be at Baylor, and I cannot wait to see what the remainder of the fall semester brings!

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • Let’s paint Waco green and gold tomorrow as part of the national recognition of College Colors Day. Participation in this event is quite simple: Wear green and gold to show off your Baylor pride. We’ll do this each of the following Fridays, and I hope you will join me in serving as brand ambassadors for our great university.
  • A few notes if you are planning to attend Baylor’s football season opener at McLane Stadium Saturday … With temperatures expected in the mid-90s at kickoff, make sure you are properly hydrated and ready to cheer for the Bears. Secondly, you need to “Know Before You Go.” Take a look at this webpage for the latest I-35 construction news, parking information and details on McLane Stadium’s safety and security measures. Real-time traffic information will be available at Waco4bmap.org or via the Waze app. This information and more is part of the Top 10 for Baylor Game Day.
  • Baylor psychologists’ research about how stressed caregivers of dementia patients are losing sleep was cited by CBS News as one of the day’s top three health stories on Monday. Doctoral candidate Chenlu Gao and Michael Scullin, Ph.D., director of Baylor’s Sleep Neuroscience and Cognition Laboratory, found that the unpaid caregivers — usually family members — lose 2.5 to 3.5 hours of sleep weekly. Even mild sleep loss can affect cognition and physical health, which is significant for both caregivers and those who depend on them. The study was published in JAMA Network Open, a publication of the American Medical Association.
  • 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 was recently updated to include new laws passed by the Texas Legislature. I encourage students, faculty and staff to review this important document on a periodic basis. While we may never be able to completely eradicate sexual violence within our society, I remain confident in Baylor’s substantial improvements that have been made in caring for our campus community. Let’s Set the Standard.

Thank you for being a part of the Baylor Family. We are United for Baylor!

Sincerely,

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President

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