Presidential Perspective - February 16, 2023

February 16, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Even though Baylor has been classified as a “Research 1,” or R1, university only since December 2021, our recognition as a top research institution continues to grow. In a recent “State of the Brand” survey we commissioned in conjunction with national firm Morning Consult, 21% of adults across the country identified Baylor as an R1 university. Over 40% of Texans classified Baylor as R1, right alongside the University of Texas at Austin and ahead of Notre Dame.

And we are just getting started, as we know “The World Needs a Baylor” to have a seat at the table – informed by and grounded in our Christian faith – to collaborate with the brightest minds and seek solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

Some updates for this week:

  • SAFETY AND SECURITY: As part of our ongoing commitment to campus safety and security, our Baylor Department of Public Safety is constantly assessing and reassessing the University’s multilayered safety and security operations. In light of recent events around campus and at other universities, we are taking additional precautions, including reassessing door lock schedules. It’s important that students, faculty and staff have their Baylor ID cards with them for building access. Please continue to be cautious and aware of your surroundings whether you are on or off campus, and if you see (or hear) something concerning, say something and immediately contact BUPD at 254-710-2222 or 9-1-1, use one of the 81 emergency call boxes and 123 emergency telephones across campus or connect directly to BUPD through the BU Campus Guardian smartphone app.

  • FULBRIGHT TOP PRODUCER: Last spring, we celebrated a record 14 Baylor students selected for the 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Student Program to study, teach English or conduct research overseas while serving as cultural ambassadors for the United States. The 14 students placed Baylor – for the first time – on the Fulbright Top Producing Institution list and at No. 16 nationally among the research institutions with the highest number of applicants selected for the highly competitive award. Our campus community is invited to join the Office of the Provost and Office of Engaged Learning for a celebration of this Fulbright milestone on Tuesday, Feb. 28, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Cox Reception Hall at Armstrong Browning Library.

  • SMARTPHONES IN CHURCH: Smartphone use has quickly become a fixture of everyday life, even in uncertain spaces like church services. Noted smartphone researchers and Baylor marketing professors Meredith E. David, Ph.D., and James A. Roberts, Ph.D., have developed a new model and powerful predictor of the acceptance of incorporating smartphones into a church service, with perceived ease of use, perceived usefulness and playfulness all playing a role. Their research could provide church leaders with helpful guidance on how to integrate and encourage smartphone use in church (for example, encouraging worshippers to follow the sermon on their Bible app) that also could help with gaining acceptance from church members.

  • MEET THE TRAILBLAZERS: In fall 2021, Baylor welcomed its inaugural Trailblazer Scholars as part of the Gilbert-Walker cohort, named in honor of Baylor’s first Black graduates Rev. Robert Gilbert, B.A. ’67, and Mrs. Barbara Walker, B.A. ’67. Trailblazer Scholars are selected for their commitment to advancing racial equity, diversity and belonging on our campus, and in addition to their studies, they participate in leadership and service opportunities through the Department of Multicultural Affairs and through other groups and programs at Baylor. Three Trailblazer Scholars in the Gilbert-Walker cohort – Erin Babatunde, Israel Beverly and Connie Mendoza – are students in the Robbins College of Health & Human Sciences. As Trailblazers, they’ve been able to engage in cultural learning that is valuable for their future careers serving diverse communities in the fields of public health and communication sciences and disorders.

Next week, Baylor’s Board of Regents will be on campus for their quarterly meeting. We’ll provide a summary of the meeting at the end of the week.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 16Feb23

Baylor ranks 21st nationally in undergraduate research/creative projects, according to the 2022-23 U.S. News & World Report rankings.