Presidential Perspective - August 31, 2023

August 31, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

We did get a little break in the temperature this week – and blessedly, some rain on Sunday after a record 56 consecutive days without a drop! But the heat is on again as Baylor Football kicks off the season vs. Texas State Saturday at 6 p.m. at McLane Stadium. Here’s what we are doing to ensure that everyone stays hydrated while you cheer on the Bears:

  • Begin hydrating the night before and drink water throughout the day.

  • Wear sunscreen and lightweight, light-colored clothing to help stay cooler.

  • Fans are permitted to bring one clear, unopened plastic water bottle into McLane Stadium or an empty non-metal water container to refill for free on the concourse.

  • “Water Monsters” and Port-A Cool fans will be located throughout the concourse.

  • Baylor Athletics and Baylor Student Life are partnering to provide students with water vouchers to use at concessions located throughout the stadium.

  • And don’t forget this is a Clear Bag event.

If you’re new to Baylor, we have an incredible on-campus stadium on the banks of the Brazos River, but we do have to begin some early preparations to make Game Day a success. Some parking garages and parking lots will close after 6 p.m. or later on Friday. (Make note of the time on the yellow signs at each entrance.) If you normally park in the Dutton Garage on Fridays, you will need to move your car by 6 p.m. To help students who have parking permits for Dutton, parking is available for you in other Faculty/Staff areas on campus starting at 2 p.m. tomorrow when you move your vehicle.

Some updates for this week …

  • COLLEGE COLORS DAY: Tomorrow we will join colleges and universities nationwide in the celebration of College Colors Day, signifying the kickoff of football season and the start of other athletics events. In other words, Baylor Family – It’s time to fling your Green and Gold! We’d love for you to share your photos wearing Baylor attire on social media using the hashtag #SicEm, and be sure to check out the new Bear Country Collection at the Baylor Bookstore, Hurd Spirit Shop and Bruiser’s Locker Room. As in previous years, I encourage you to wear Green and Gold not only for tomorrow but each and every Friday this fall.

  • GET HOWDY TICKETS: Students – I hope by now you’re aware of your invitation to HOWDY at the Hurd next Friday evening at 7 p.m. It’s sure to be a fun-filled opportunity to engage with your fellow students and enjoy complimentary food trucks, line dancing, a Ferris wheel and many other activities, not to mention a FREE concert beginning around 9:30 p.m. by Bailey Zimmerman — one of country music’s hottest new artists – and a special surprise to end the evening. Get your concert ticket through your Student Ticket Account and join in the festivities as we celebrate the official opening and dedication of the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center.

  • CAMPUS CLIMATE SURVEY. Next Tuesday, you will receive an email from the Office of Institutional Research with an individualized link to our 2023 Campus Diversity Climate Survey. The survey is distributed every three years and helps us understand perceptions of respect, cooperation, diversity, belonging and accessibility, among other topics. We know these can be challenging issues individually and collectively, and although progress has been made, the work is never complete. Hopefully, you have visited our website on matters of diversity and belonging to see some of the forward steps we have taken, such as outcomes from the Commission on Historic Campus Representations, continuing support of the McNair Scholars Program and launching several Employee Resource Groups. Remember the survey is anonymous – unless you offer personally identifiable information – and it should take about 15 minutes to complete. Your opinion counts, and I encourage you to participate.

  • EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING: Congratulations to our 10 Baylor faculty members across the disciplines, who have been selected by Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., as 2023-24 Baylor Fellows for their excellence in teaching and commitment to pedagogical innovation, inspirational teaching and the cultivation of these areas among Baylor faculty. The Baylor Fellows are:

    • Nadine Welch, M.S., CCC/SLP, 2023-24 Senior Fellow, clinical associate professor of speech pathology
    • Stephanie Boddie, Ph.D., associate professor of social work
    • Sam Henderson, M.F.A., assistant professor of acting in film and digital media
    • Lesley McAllister, D.M.A., professor and division director of keyboard studies
    • David Reid, J.D., clinical assistant professor of accounting and business law
    • Eric Robinson, Ph.D., associate professor of educational psychology
    • Sarah Schnitker, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience
    • Michele Stover, Ph.D., lecturer in chemistry and biochemistry
    • Lauren Weber, M.F.A, M.M., senior lecturer in theatre arts
    • Michael Whitenton, Ph.D., lecturer in Baylor Interdisciplinary Core
  • SEAT AT THE TABLE: As an R1 Christian research university, our world-class faculty have the opportunity to have a seat at the table and provide leadership on issues of national and global importance. Recently, George Cobb, Ph.D., professor and chair of environmental science, was selected to serve as chair of the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC), which provides independent advice on science and technical issues to assist the Environmental Protection Agency in implementing the Toxic Substances Control Act. Dr. Cobb leads this multidisciplinary committee of experts who speak directly to the science used to evaluate the human and environmental risks posed by chemicals used in commerce.

  • BAYLOR ALERT TEST: September is National Preparedness Month to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies that could happen at any time. Tomorrow at 10 a.m. – and on the first Friday of each month throughout the year – Baylor joins our City of Waco and McLennan County partners to test our Outdoor Warning System, which includes tornado sirens and voice activations. Tomorrow, we will also conduct a required test of our multi-tiered Baylor Alert emergency notification system, which we use to alert our campus community of a significant emergency or threat on or near campus. Be sure to register and confirm your contact information.

The semester is certainly off to a busy start!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Aerial Image of McLane Stadium

Let’s fill McLane Stadium this Saturday night against Texas State. I cannot wait to hear you roar as we kick off the 2023 football season!