Presidential Perspective - January 6, 2022
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
It’s been nearly a month since my last weekly Presidential Perspective and so much has happened as we concluded 2021 and ushered in the New Year. With apologies to singer Kelly Clarkson, here are a few highlights “Since U Been Gone:”
- We received notification from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education that Baylor has earned “Research 1,” or R1 status, joining the nation’s elite research institutions and elevating our status as a preeminent Christian research university.
- Nearly 1,200 students walked across the stage at December’s Commencement and joined the line of 150,000 Baylor Alumni making an impact around the world.
- Baylor and the City of Waco announced an initial agreement to partner on the riverfront location of the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion adjacent to the Clifton Robinson Tower on University Parks Drive. Baylor will not incur any debt to construct the future $185 million home of our championship basketball programs, which will also be a closer walk for the large majority of on-campus students than the current Ferrell Center.
- Baylor won the prestigious 88th Allstate Sugar Bowl after a 21-7 victory over eighth-ranked Ole Miss of the SEC. The defensive masterpiece was the Bears’ 12th win of the season – the first team in school history to win as many games.
- We announced that Family Weekend will be held Sept. 16-17 (Texas State game weekend), while the 113th anniversary of the nation’s oldest collegiate Homecoming will be Oct. 20-22 (Kansas game weekend).
You can learn more about Baylor’s R1 status and the Foster Pavilion as I discussed both on last week’s edition of Baylor Connections. My prayer for 2022 is that the Lord shines His light in us, through us and over us. The past year was such a blessing for Baylor despite all the challenges caused by the pandemic, and we look forward to a bright 2022.
Some additional updates for this week:
- As we monitor the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19, please continue to follow personal health guidance, including staying home if you are sick and then contacting your healthcare provider. This applies to symptoms related to COVID, the flu, other respiratory viruses, a stomach bug and even seasonal allergies since we are in the midst of cedar season in Central Texas. Students, over the holidays, you have access to 24/7 urgent care through the Baylor Telehealth by AcademicLive Care Hub. The Baylor Health Center in the McLane Student Life Center will reopen for student healthcare Jan. 10.
- We continue to move forward with the searches for new deans for the School of Engineering and Computer Science and the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. There is great interest in Baylor given our recent jump to R1 status, and we are excited to share the University’s momentum with candidates for these two important leadership positions.
- Our next installment of Readers Meet the Authors: A Virtual Reader Group for Baylor Faculty and Staff is Tuesday, Jan. 25, as we will hear from Beth Allison Barr, Ph.D., professor of history and associate dean of graduate studies. Her latest work is titled “The Making of Biblical Womanhood.” Free books will be provided to the first 15 people who register for the 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. virtual event.
A good New Year’s Resolution would be to head to the Ferrell Center to watch our two championship-level basketball programs as they begin Big 12 play. The games are exciting and super fun!
Sic ’em, Bears!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
Yes, I think I see a smile from Coach Dave Aranda as confetti falls in the Superdome following Baylor’s Sugar Bowl victory over Ole Miss. Congratulations to the AP Big 12 Coach of the Year and to all our student-athletes and staff for the best football season in school history.