Presidential Perspective - September 5, 2019

September 5, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

Earlier this week our President’s Council had a retreat in which we charted our priorities for the academic year and discussed our journey to become a Research 1/Tier 1 university. Our team is fully committed for Baylor to achieve recognition as the preeminent Christian research university and have a distinct, much-needed voice in higher education. Baylor is blessed to have such dedicated leaders who love the Lord and love our University. We are excited for what the future holds as we work alongside each of you in this important effort.

Here are several items of note for this week:

  • September is National Preparedness Month, and Baylor’s Department of Public Safety has launched the Sic ’em for Safety campaign to educate students, faculty and staff about the various safety resources and initiatives available on campus. The month will feature information from fire prevention to global preparedness and will culminate with the annual National Night Out event on Oct. 1. As part of the safety awareness campaign, DPS also produced the “Avoid. Deny. Defend.” active attack training video, which should have reached your email inboxes this morning. I strongly encourage you to view this video as soon as possible. While the content is sensitive, it contains potentially life-saving information should you ever find yourself in an active attack situation. Our prayer is that we should never have to deploy the skills and lessons outlined in the video, but if we must, you want to ensure that you are prepared and confident in your response.
  • If you find yourself on campus late at night, a reminder that the University provides an after-hours shuttle on campus until 2 a.m. that runs a continuous loop every 15 minutes. You can follow the bus (in real time) on the BUS app to estimate your pick-up time. Additional safety resources include the BU Campus Guardian app that can safely track your movement around campus and alert someone if you don’t arrive when expected, approximately 1,900 surveillance cameras that are able to see activity as it is occurring, call boxes and emergency phones strategically placed around campus to call BUPD directly, and active police patrol in cars, bikes, and on foot on campus throughout the day and night. At any time, if you feel threatened, or if you see any suspicious activity, you should call the police immediately at 254-710-2222.
  • Exciting news for recent School of Education graduate Lauren Hornbeak, B.S.Ed. ’19, who has been named the 2019 National Student Teacher of the Year by Kappa Delta Pi and the Association of Teacher Educators, as well as Clinical Teacher of the Year by the Texas Directors of Field Experience. Lauren said she chose teaching because she believes the classroom is her mission field, and our School of Education has prepared her well as she begins her professional career as a biology teacher at Cypress Creek High School near Houston.
  • Baylor junior biology major Anirudh Gothwal is a co-author on new research published in JAMA Oncology, which found a lack of racial and ethnic diversity in clinical trials for cancer drugs, raising concerns about the effectiveness of cancer drugs in some patients. Anirudh, who hopes the research will further efforts towards equality in healthcare, maintained the study database and took part in screening and reviewing articles analyzed in the study led by the University of British Columbia, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle and Baylor.
  • Tailgating is a time-honored college football tradition, but did you know it also could strengthen relationships? A recent study by Meredith David, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing known nationally for her research on phone snubbing (“phubbing”) and smartphone addiction, found that tailgating helps people disconnect from their devices and make real connections with loved ones and friends. The results of Dr. David’s study, conducted in partnership with her husband, will be presented later this month at the Atlantic Marketing Association Conference.
  • Speaking of tailgating and football, we had more than 9,000 students pull tickets for last week’s season-opening win. We hope to see everyone back at McLane Stadium this Saturday at 3 p.m. as Coach Matt Rhule and our Bears face UTSA. Be sure to hydrate, wear sunscreen, cheer loud and have fun. Here are some additional gameday tips, and don’t forget real-time traffic information will be available at or via the Waze app.

It was great to see so much green and gold on campus last Friday for College Colors Day. Don’t forget to wear green and gold for every Spirit Friday. Have a great remainder of the week.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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