Presidential Perspective - October 24, 2019

October 24, 2019

Baylor Students, Faculty and Staff:

I’ve been traveling this week, and I am currently en route to California to meet with several members of the Baylor Family and prepare for Saturday’s Give Light event at the Paramount Theatre in Hollywood. Yes, glitz and glam go well with green and gold! As I update our alumni and friends on all the many things happening at Baylor, they are energized about our strategic plan Illuminate and our aspirations to become the preeminent Christian research university. The generosity of the Baylor Family continues to warm my heart, as so many have given sacrificially to support our students, faculty and distinct mission in higher education. As I’ve said many times, “The World Needs a Baylor!”

A few items to spotlight:

  • My travels started this week in Washington, D.C., as I attended the FORTUNE Most Powerful Women Summit along with women CEOs and executives from some of the top companies and organizations nationwide. During one of the town hall sessions, I had an opportunity to discuss the gap between values and behaviors that often negatively affect organizations, an area of my academic research and scholarship. It’s important that we always keep our University mission and values in focus as we make decisions. As Tod Bolsinger wrote in his book Canoeing the Mountains, “The mission trumps all.”
  • Dr. Amanda Hering in our department of statistical science received some really good news this month. She is part of the National Alliance for Water Innovation, a research consortium that won a $100 million grant from the Department of Energy to transform the U.S. water system through desalination. Dr. Hering’s connection to NAWI began more than two years ago as she worked on data-driven automation of decentralized wastewater treatment facilities with environmental engineering colleagues at Colorado School of Mines. As the Baylor site director for NAWI, she will be combining Data Sciences with Health, two of the initiatives within our Illuminate strategic plan.
  • Speaking of Illuminate, we continue to make excellent progress on implementing our strategic plan, and I’m grateful to Provost Nancy Brickhouse, the Illuminate Steering Committee, our faculty and entire campus community for their dedication to this collaborative effort. This week, Dr. Brickhouse shared some exciting steps forward on research priorities, funding for research and strategic hiring in several key areas to support our goal of R1/Tier 1 recognition.
  • I would like to congratulate seven Baylor Law faculty and staff who were recognized this week in a ceremony that highlighted their contributions as “Solid Gold Neighbors.” The Solid Gold Neighbor program is our intentional and purposeful community engagement initiative to advance work around economic development, health, education, cultural wealth and city growth. Please join me in congratulating Prof. Pat Wilson (People’s Law School), Prof. Bridget Fuselier (Adoption Day), Josh Borderud (Baylor Law Clinics), Prof. Laura Hernandez (Immigration/Naturalization Clinic), Prof. Tom Featherston (Estate Planning Clinic), David G. Henry (Patent/Intellectual Property Clinic) and Prof. Connie Nichols (Patent/Intellectual Property Clinic).
  • The Baylor University Police Department again will participate in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Take-Back Day, which is a safe, convenient and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. The official take-back event will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday at BUPD in the Speight Parking Garage. BUPD also began accepting prescription medications as of today.
  • Don’t forget that we will cancel Waco-based classes and close campus at 12:30 p.m. next Thursday to prepare for the 7 p.m. football game against West Virginia. Details are provided in the memo distributed last month. It’s “Growl-O-Ween,” complete with full-size candy, face painting, inflatables and photo ops for the kids, as well as a postgame fireworks show and more. We need all of our students there to cheer for our Bears, and to faculty and staff, please bring your families out to McLane Stadium for a memorable evening.
  • Our Board of Regents and the campus community continue to mourn the loss of Mark Hurd, one of our Regents, Baylor benefactors and Oracle CEO. It’s hard to walk across our campus and not see an area where Mark had made an impact. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Paula and their daughters Kelly, B.B.A. ’14, and Kathryn.

I certainly miss being on campus this week. Thank you for being part of the Baylor Family.


Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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