Presidential Perspective - November 5, 2020

November 5, 2020

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Election Day has come and gone, but extended vote counting and the expected delay in results have captured the attention of the nation. As elections are decided, we begin to look to the future and how our country can come together amidst today’s polarized political climate. How can we model post-election civil discourse that bridges political, ideological and theological divides?

I want to share two resources from Baylor faculty that can be helpful as we navigate these conversations in a charitable and respectful manner:

  • David Corey, Ph.D., director of the Baylor in Washington program and professor of political science in the Honors Program, was a recent guest on the Baylor Connections podcast. Take a listen as he analyzes our political climate and tone and examines how Christians can forge a different path in the midst of the current tenor.

A few updates to share with you this week …

  • As we near the Thanksgiving break, I encourage students to get your flu shot at the Baylor Health Center – at no cost to you – prior to Thanksgiving. With COVID-19 this year, it’s even more important than ever to ensure you are protected as we enter flu season. In addition, we will offer voluntary COVID-19 testing prior to the break for you to help keep your families, loved ones and local communities safe and well over the holidays. We will have more details about this testing to share soon.
  • This Sunday Baylor will join educational institutions and organizations nationwide in the observance of National STEM Day. Studies in the early 2000s revealed that U.S. students were not achieving in science, technology, engineering and math at the same rate as students in other countries. These areas also are important in Baylor’s goal to be recognized as the preeminent Christian research university, which includes reaching Tier 1/Research 1 status. Be on the lookout beginning tomorrow as we spotlight the work of our incredible STEM-related faculty online, on social media and via the Texas Tribune.
  • Baylor will celebrate BGCT Day this Tuesday in conjunction with our George W. Truett Theological Seminary. As you know, Baylor was founded by Baptist pioneers in 1845, and we remain committed to honoring this 175-year legacy through the Baptist General Convention of Texas. As part of the celebration, Rev. Dr. Michael Evans (DMin ’09), BGCT president, member of the Baylor Board of Regents and senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield, Texas, will speak at Truett Chapel on Tuesday at 11 a.m. This Chapel will be open to the public (social distancing and facemasks required) and also livestreamed via Facebook.
  • Back in the summer we made an institutional commitment to require diversity education for all current students, faculty and staff. Why is this the right thing to do? Our Christian values call us to love and respect one another – even in our differences – as we are all a part of God’s beautiful creation. Please monitor your email for instructions on completing this important, Baylor-specific diversity education module prior to the end of the fall semester.
  • Baylor’s Board of Regents is facilitating its quarterly meeting through tomorrow via a hybrid format – like many of our students’ classes this fall. As customary, we will provide a post-meeting summary to you via email late Friday.

Only 20 days left until the Thanksgiving Break! Also, as our weather turns cooler and we spend more time indoors, we can be more susceptible to COVID-19. Please continue to be diligent in wearing your facemasks, practicing social distancing and taking care of yourselves and others … we’ve almost made it.

Let’s #sicCOVID!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

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