Presidential Perspective - September 19, 2019

September 19, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

The University’s official fall enrollment contains plenty of great news: Our freshman class of 3,307 students is the most academically qualified first-year class in University history and also among our most diverse freshman classes ever. This really signifies that Baylor is building a national and international reputation among students as we pursue Research 1/Tier 1 recognition as a preeminent Christian research university. In addition, we held our undergraduate enrollment steady at 14,108 students – right in line with strategic enrollment plans – while growing graduate and professional program enrollment to 3,925 students, including 1,028 enrolled in various online programs.

Here are several other items of note for this week:

  • Baylor is one of only 42 universities nationally that attained elite Honor Roll status as a Great College to Work For. This respected workplace recognition program distinguishes the colleges that get top ratings from their employees regarding workplace practices and policies. We are deeply grateful for our faculty and staff who commit their time and talents to educate our students to be leaders and servants throughout the world, while also enjoying an active community, stability, investments in employee success and outstanding benefits at Baylor.
  • We have funded the first two faculty chairs under our new Baylor Academic Challenge matching program, made possible as part of a $100 million gift to Baylor that maximizes the University’s investments in promising research and academic programs by matching dollar-for-dollar qualifying gifts to Baylor. The two $1.5 million gifts have resulted in $3 million endowed chairs that will help advance our goals as an R1/T1 university: The W. Grady Rosier Endowed Chair in Free Enterprise in the department of entrepreneurship and corporate innovation in the Hankamer School of Business and The Jackson Family Chair for Baylor in Latin America to expand the University’s international footprint and advance the priorities of the Baylor in Latin America initiative under Illuminate, with a specific focus on water-related research.
  • This academic year marks the start of the new College of Arts & Sciences core curriculum – the culmination of a significant, multi-year effort. Students seeking B.A., B.F.A., B.S. or B.S.A.S. degrees will now have up to 30 more hours to take additional electives or pursue second majors, minors or certificates, while still obtaining a shared foundation of knowledge, essential education skills and intellectual, moral and spiritual virtues. The core curriculum is comprised of 203 common courses, with 433 faculty members teaching an impressive 938 sections for a total seat enrollment of 25,989 this fall. Visit for more information.
  • I enjoyed attending our Hispanic Heritage Celebration luncheon earlier today with many of our students, faculty and staff. The National Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, and we have several events planned as part of the recognition.
  • We are excited to announce the launch of Go Gold! Discounts. By showing your Baylor ID card at participating Waco businesses, you will unlock special discounts and deals just for faculty, staff and students. Spending your time and money at local businesses is the easiest way you can support Waco’s growth. Look for the Go Gold! sticker in the window of participating businesses, or see the full list at
  • A special opportunity for faculty and staff: The Iowa State football game at McLane Stadium on Sept. 28 will feature a free tailgate and discounted ticket package specifically for you. The Faculty and Staff tailgate starts at 12:30 p.m. (two hours prior to kickoff), and four game tickets are available for the special price of $40. Please RSVP for the tailgate by next Tuesday, Sept. 24, and you can email for more information. Don’t forget to wear University GOLD as we “gold out” McLane Stadium!

If you see me or the First Gent on campus – or at one of our upcoming volleyball or soccer matches – be sure to say hello. I know it’s hard to miss us!


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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