Celebrating Baylor's Rise to Preeminence as a Christian Research University
Every year, the Baylor Family celebrates National Research Administrator Day — observed on September 25 — as an opportunity to express our enduring gratitude to research administrators, grant writers, staff, postdoctoral researchers and undergraduate and graduate students who each play a vital role in the University’s success. While their work often occurs out of the public’s view, they are crucially important in supporting Baylor’s faculty and principal investigators.
With September 25 falling on a weekend this year, I want to ensure we bring as much attention as possible today to the passion for service that our research staff and faculty share. This passion has dynamically contributed to Baylor’s recent achievement of earning Research 1, or “R1,” status, which has elevated the University among the nation’s top research institutions as a doctoral university with very high research activity. Accordingly, National Research Administrator Day has a special significance this year.
In the course of achieving R1 status and growing in our research enterprise, Baylor has remained firmly grounded in the Christian principles and transformational education that have defined the Baylor experience for generations. We believe it is our responsibility to instill in our students a commitment to serving the surrounding world as Christian leaders. Indeed, this focus on service and solution-oriented research can be found throughout the pages of Illuminate, Baylor’s strategic plan.
Our success has been evidenced, among other measures, by a variety of external assessments, beyond the Carnegie designation. More recently, a survey undertaken by Morning Consult, a nationally recognized research firm, placed Baylor among the nation’s top-10 most trusted universities, joining the likes of MIT, Stanford and Harvard. The same study landed Baylor second on the list of most trusted universities among parents. In addition, for the 11th straight year, Baylor has been named one of the top two schools in the Big 12 Conference and one of the top five in Texas in U.S. News & World Report’s annual college rankings. Of particular note is that Baylor moved up in several important categories, coming in at No. 10 for First-year Experience (up from No. 15), No. 16 for Best Undergraduate Teaching (up from No. 33), No. 21 for Undergraduate Research/Creative Projects and No. 46 for Best Colleges for Veterans (up from No. 111).
As Baylor’s President, I draw inspiration from the message of Romans 12:2, which I also shared during my Inauguration in 2017: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.” As we continue advancing as a University, we will continue to discern God’s will as we strive to prepare students for worldwide leadership and service and address some of the world’s greatest challenges. The members of our faculty, staff and student body, who work to support and enrich our research enterprise, deserve many rounds of applause for their contributions to our success in fulfilling Baylor’s mission.
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.