Presidential Perspective - September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

As we finish up our fourth week of the fall semester, I’d like to thank you all – students, faculty and staff – for your diligence and perseverance as we launched into a time of many unknowns. Because of your hard work, I am excited to share three noteworthy updates.

First, we were thrilled to learn that, despite many challenges, you helped lead Baylor to record enrollment numbers this fall. Based on our annual 12th day statistics, Baylor enrolled the largest and most diverse freshman class in the institution’s history. We also achieved record numbers of undergraduate, graduate and professional education students.

Second, we learned that Baylor moved up three places to No. 76 among National Universities in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report rankings. This is a testament to the high value our faculty and staff place on providing students with an exceptional and transformative undergraduate educational experience.

Third, we learned that Baylor attained elite Honor Roll status as a 2020 Great College to Work For. Great Colleges to Work For is a program that recognizes the colleges and universities that receive top ratings from their employees regarding workplace practices and policies. Thank you to all Baylor employees who shared their thoughts and completed the surveys.

Some other news to share this week …

  • As we start thinking about the Spring semester, Provost Brickhouse yesterday announced updates to the academic calendar. We continue to closely monitor our COVID-19 active case counts – which have declined from 603 on Sept. 3 to 107 as of yesterday – and declining positivity rates, combined with our Fall lessons learned to date to incorporate into our Spring planning.
  • I encourage all current students to utilize the new Navigate Student app through the Paul L. Foster Success Center. Navigate provides a customized experience for students’ academic needs through tools like advisement scheduling, tutoring appointment sign-ups, an integrated calendar, to-dos and more. Stay on track by downloading the free app through the Apple App Store, or Google Play Store.
  • During this time, it is important that we are taking care of our health physically, spiritually, and mentally – as we keep Family First at Baylor. Considering the impact that COVID-19 is having on our collective community, I would like to share a generous resource that is open to faculty, staff and students through the Gil Taylor Behavioral Health Series. This series will emphasize tools and practices to support emotional and mental health on our campus and in our community, and I encourage you to register for this speaker series beginning in October.
  • The Baylor University Career Center is hosting Virtual Career Day – Fall 2020 next Wednesday, Sept. 23. The benefits of hosting the career fair virtually include the ability to attend from anywhere, participating in group and one-on-one chats with recruiters and potentially having more exposure to hiring managers than at an in-person event. Over the summer, the Career Center staff contacted more than 3,500 employers in an effort to create new recruitment relationships and opportunities for all majors. All sophomores through graduate students should attend Career Day, as it will be the largest and best career event this semester for all Baylor students looking for internships and jobs. More information can be found in Handshake or by contacting the Career Center.
  • Baylor will join organizations nationwide in the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15-Oct. 15, as we recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans and celebrate their heritage and culture. Many virtual events have been planned over the next several weeks as we recognize the month and celebrate some of Baylor’s Hispanic Heroes.

We have football this Saturday! Baylor Athletics has produced a new football gameday website that includes valuable information whether you will be cheering for the Bears at McLane Stadium or watching from home this Saturday. In-stadium, on-campus or at home, we ask that you please follow our Family First COVID-19 preventive measures. We’ve made so much great progress – let’s not lose our positive momentum.

As always, #sicCOVID!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

P.S. – Tomorrow is Spirit Friday. Be sure to fling your Green and Gold!

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