Presidential Perspective - March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

There are a lot of ways to know how students are feeling on campus – from formal means (like our campus climate surveys) to more informal methods. I particularly enjoy chatting with students around campus to hear how things are going, whether that’s at Dr Pepper Hour, at athletics and student events, or just while walking around campus.

But this one’s new to me: As Digg reports, an AI facial recognition tool searched for smiles in Instagram selfies geotagged at universities nationwide – and the results labeled Baylor the No. 4 “Happiest College in the U.S.!” My experience certainly backs this up – Baylor students are the most joyful I’ve seen on any campus. Maybe Coach Drew’s “Culture of JOY” is rubbing off!

I’m certainly looking forward to seeing lots of smiles on campus next Tuesday, as Baylor celebrates Diadeloso!

Some campus updates for this week:

  • DAY OF THE BEAR: Speaking of Diadeloso, this Tuesday is the “Day of the Bear” – one of my favorite springtime traditions at Baylor when students take a break from the busy semester and enjoy fun, food, live music, entertainment and more on and around Fountain Mall. I hope to see you on campus, whether it’s at the intramural competitions, the free noon meal for faculty, staff and students, glow-in-the-dark roller skating, favorite food trucks or any of the multitude of activities. No matter which events you choose to enjoy, take time to reward your hard work during this special day.

  • STUDENT CAREER SUCCESS: Baylor graduates continue to shine on the career front. The Career Center just released its 2022 annual report, which shows our students achieving 90% overall job placement and 92% overall career success. I appreciate the dedication of our Career Center staff who ensure that each student has the opportunity and support to achieve their career potential. Please take a few minutes to read about our graduates’ impressive success in the Career Center’s Annual Report.

  • HONORING GREAT TEACHERS: Baylor’s historic commitment to excellence in undergraduate teaching was underscored this week as three outstanding educators were named finalists for the 2024 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. The only national teaching award presented by a college or university to an individual for exceptional teaching, the Cherry Award honors extraordinary teachers, stimulates discussion in the academy about the value of teaching and encourages institutions to value their own great teachers. I love that our undergraduates benefit from Cherry Award recipients. We’re happy to have our 2022 honoree, Hollylynne S. Lee, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Mathematics and Statistics Education at North Carolina State University, teaching in residence at Baylor this semester.

  • FACULTY FULBRIGHT AWARD: Kwang Lee, Ph.D., chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering in Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, has received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award to Yonsei University in South Korea for the Fall 2023 semester. A leading researcher in intelligent system techniques for power and energy systems, Dr. Lee will work with the entrepreneurship faculty at Yonsei on a comprehensive review of pumped-storage hydropower to develop intelligent control techniques to accommodate energy storage systems. Dr. Lee exemplifies the many ways Baylor professors are leaders in their field, building international connections as an R1 institution and developing programs that aid the educational development of their students.

  • SUPPORTING FACULTY DIVERSITY: Last fall we appointed Stephen Breck Reid, Ph.D., to a newly created role as Baylor’s Vice Provost for Faculty Diversity and Belonging. In this position, Dr. Reid works with deans, faculty, search committees and more to nourish and support our diverse family on campus. This week, Dr. Reid shares the heart behind his new role on Baylor Connections, and explains specific approaches to serving our faculty. You can hear the conversation in advance or listen tomorrow at 11 a.m. on KWBU-FM. Baylor’s caring community is a key part of who we are as a Christian research university, and it is vital to help new members feel a deep sense of belonging in the Baylor Family.

Thank you to our 2022-23 men’s and women’s basketball teams for all of the memories (and all the wins)!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Photo of the Week - 23Mar23

The Holy Spirit has been at work on the Baylor campus this week as we hosted FM72 on Fountain Mall Sunday through Wednesday for 72 hours of continuous prayer and nightly worship. Thank you to all of the students, faculty, staff and local churches who made this impactful experience happen.