Presidential Perspective - February 2, 2023

February 2, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Texas weather is often described as, “Wait five minutes, and it’ll change!” Just a few weeks ago, our temperatures were in the 80s, but we know how quickly the weather can remind us that it is indeed winter. I wanted to extend my gratitude to all of you – students, faculty and staff – for your flexibility and positive spirit through disruptions to our normal university operations this week, especially so early in the semester. From our Baylor Department of Public Safety to Facilities and Operations to our administrative team, we are cautious in our decision-making, particularly when hazardous road conditions and your safety are involved. I know we all look forward to warmer temperatures this weekend and returning to a more normal weather pattern for this time of year.

Some non-weather-related updates(!) for this week:

  • MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Three important dates for the Fall 2023 semester have been set, now that the Big 12 football schedule has been announced:
    • Family Weekend – Sept. 15-16 (football vs. Long Island)
    • Fall Break – Oct. 13-14 (football open date)
    • Homecoming – Oct. 27-28 (football vs. Iowa State)

  • HAPPY BIRTHDAY, LADY: I hope you will join me in celebrating Lady, our beloved American black bear, who turned 21 on Jan. 31. Because of the winter weather this week, we are having our birthday party for Lady TOMORROW at 3 p.m. at the Bill & Eva Williams Bear Habitat. There will be free birthday t-shirts for the first 400 students, birthday cake for Lady – a three-tiered fruit and ice cake with fresh grapes, cherries, pineapple, almonds and mangos – as well as a more traditional cake for all her human visitors, Dr Pepper floats and opportunities to take photos with the birthday girl! As always, we are grateful for the diligent student caretakers in the Bear Habitat who ensure Lady’s comfort and care 365 days a year – even during inclement weather conditions. Rest assured, Lady is much better equipped for handling this cold than the rest of us, and her team is providing special care, including extra fresh hay, insulation and warmth throughout the colder days of winter.

  • FACULTY-STAFF CHAPEL: Our first Faculty-Staff Chapel of 2023 will be Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 1 p.m. in Truett Seminary’s Paul W. Powell Chapel. Hosting the service will be Rev. Jimmy Hunter, pastor at Toliver Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Waco, and Horace Maxile Jr., Ph.D., associate professor of music theory in Baylor’s School of Music. I hope you will make time to join this important gathering for corporate worship.

  • FACULTY RECOGNITION: As a Christian research university, Baylor and our R1 faculty impact the world through top-tier research that addresses society’s greatest challenges. The global research of Bryan W. Brooks, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science and Biomedical Studies, illustrates why “the world needs a Baylor” by contributing to the development of science-based approaches to identify, diagnose and manage complex environment and health challenges, ranging from water quality to chemical hazards to harmful algae blooms. This week, Dr. Brooks was elected to the rank of AAAS Fellow by the Council of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, for “his foundational work on the environmental toxicology and chemistry of contaminants of emerging concern, and associated impacts on water quality and human and ecosystem health.” Congratulations!

  • NEW ENDOWED CHAIR: We are pleased to welcome Hannah Stolze, Ph.D., to Baylor as the inaugural William E. Crenshaw Endowed Chair in Supply Chain Management in the Hankamer School of Business. Dr. Stolze comes to Baylor from a joint appointment at Lipscomb University and Wheaton College, where she launched the Wheaton Center for Faith & Innovation, a research and training institute that fosters the integration of marketplace and ministry. The past three years have certainly made clear the importance of the supply chain in meeting needs around the globe, and we are excited that Dr. Stolze will be joining our faculty this fall to grow Baylor’s impact in this vital field of study.

  • ACCREDITATION REVIEW UPDATE: Led by our Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Baylor’s SACSCOC Fifth Year Review report has been written and is in the final stages of being edited, but most importantly, it is on track to be submitted well ahead of its March 15 due date. It’s exciting that this review includes a summary of the “Global Baylor” initiative, which was launched as the institutional quality enhancement plan five years ago. Baylor has been accredited by SACSCOC since 1914, and most recently was reaffirmed by the SACSCOC Board of Trustees in December 2018. The production of this latest report has taken place over the past two years and has involved contributions from hundreds of individuals across campus. Thank you to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and to everyone who has contributed to this very important report and milestone.

As many of you know, February is Black History Month. I will write more about this important celebration in the weeks ahead, but be sure to check out the full schedule of University recognitions and events.

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 19Jan23

Happy 21st Birthday, Lady! We love you!