Presidential Perspective - June 1, 2023

June 1, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

I have enjoyed reading about the summer plans of many of you, whether it’s studying abroad, serving on a mission trip, getting ahead academically through our Summer of Discovery program or an internship or simply catching up with friends and family. Unfortunately, my summer plans are not what I would have chosen, but are what I need – surgery and rehab!

Next Wednesday I will undergo double-knee replacement surgery under the skilled hands of David Ferguson, M.D., of Baylor Scott & White’s Southwest Sports Medicine & Orthopaedics, which serves as the official provider of team physician services for Baylor Athletics. As a former women’s basketball student-athlete, these old knees have been giving me issues for a number of years, and it’s past time to get them fixed.

You may not see me around campus as much as usual over the next several weeks while I focus on my post-surgery recovery and physical therapy. Of course, I will continue to be connected to everything Baylor thanks to technology – phone, text, email, Teams, Zoom, Instagram, Facebook, you name it. Thank you in advance for your prayers, not only for me, but for Dr. Ferguson and his team, the rehabilitation specialists, and most importantly, the First Gent(!).

Some updates for this week …

  • MOST TRUSTED, AGAIN: I am excited to pass along the news that for the second straight year Baylor has been named among the nation’s top 10 Most Trusted Universities, according to global research firm Morning Consult as part of its Most Trusted Brands project that measures consumer brand trust across industries, including higher education. Baylor is included among the list of some of the nation’s most prestigious universities, including Johns Hopkins, MIT, Stanford, Cornell, Princeton, Notre Dame, Yale, Duke and Northwestern. Impressive!

  • WELCOME ECS DEAN: Please join me in extending a special Baylor welcome to Daniel J. Pack, Ph.D., who joined the University officially today as Dean of our School of Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Pack comes to Baylor after serving since 2015 as Dean of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. In addition to UTC, he was on the faculties at the University of Texas at San Antonio and the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he grew each institution’s research profile while expanding educational opportunities for students. A 2005 Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year, Dr. Pack is a wonderful fit for Baylor and our Christian mission, and we look forward to getting to know him as he works alongside our exceptional faculty, staff and students in ECS. I also want to take the opportunity to thank Interim Dean Erich Baker, Ph.D., for his leadership of ECS while also serving on the search committee that brought Dr. Pack to Baylor. 

  • GENERATIONAL IMPACT: Baylor is blessed to have parents who have joined in support of our mission for educating students in a caring, Christian environment so they may go on to lead and serve in their communities throughout the world. Earlier today, we announced a $5 million gift from John and Helen Carona of Dallas that has provided significant momentum and support for the renovation and construction of the Honors Residential College, as well as other major capital priorities through the Give Light Capital Fund. In recognition, Baylor will name the Carona Family Commons at the Honors Residential College and the Carona Family Premium Entry in the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion. A key part in fostering this caring community is having spaces where our students can live together alongside faculty and other students, and where they can build traditions and memories, whether they are sharing in classes or basketball games. I am grateful for the Carona family and their transformational support of these priorities, and we celebrate the impact this will have on generations of Honors College students and fans, alike. 

With my surgery next Wednesday, we’ll resume the weekly Presidential Perspective in a couple of weeks!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 1Jun23

Over the past 12 years, Baylor’s BIO4333 Science Leadership course has worked with local schools to create science modules for elementary and middle school students during the summer at the Lake Waco Wetlands. This year, 18 undergraduates taught six science modules related to water chemistry, watersheds, plankton, invertebrates, plants and the function of wetlands to more than 600 students in the third to sixth grades.