Presidential Perspective - October 5, 2023
Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:
In October we are joining our 180 fellow members of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) in celebration of Christian Higher Ed Month. From academics to student life and more, our faith animates all that we do here at Baylor. And as the largest CCCU collaborative partner and a Christian R1 research university competing at the highest levels of intercollegiate athletics, we have a distinct opportunity – and obligation – to share the light of Christ across Texas and the United States and beyond. We are truly blessed!
Some updates for this week …
- NEW CHRISTMAS ORNAMENT: Earlier this week we launched the annual Baylor Traditions Christmas Ornament. The 2023 ornament features the likenesses of our beloved bear cubs, Indy and Belle. Of no surprise, there has been tremendous demand. A limited number of ornaments were produced for delivery before Christmas. If you are a collector of the complete Baylor ornament set or simply want to commemorate this unique moment with the cubs, don’t delay in placing your order at this link. A portion of each purchase will go to support the Bear Habitat program and enrichment for Lady – who is loving her off-campus home – and Indy and Belle, who have settled in well at the on-campus habitat.
- STRATEGIC PLAN SUBMISSIONS: An important part of the Strategic Planning Process is the opportunity for members of the campus community to submit white papers describing strategic, interdisciplinary or cross-functional initiatives for consideration. White papers may describe activities that are new or already underway at Baylor and may be submitted by faculty, staff or students. The guidelines for the length and general content of white papers may be found on the Strategic Planning website. The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31.
- 2014 TRIAL AHEAD: Over the next few weeks, you may see headlines stemming from a lawsuit here in Waco federal court that involves allegations of physical assaults within the context of a dating relationship between two former Baylor students. This case involves allegations from 2014 and earlier – more than nine years ago – and is the last remaining lawsuit relating to the issues Baylor encountered prior to 2016. Under my administration, we have continued to work tirelessly to ensure that survivors of sexual assault or dating violence are provided with the processes and resources they deserve. Our Office of Equity, Civil Rights and Title IX can be reached at TitleIX_Coordinator@baylor.edu or 254-710-8454.
- CALLED TOGETHER: With the 2023 Baylor Symposium on Faith and Culture just around the corner Oct. 25-27, I find myself wondering about the political and social discord I see around the world. At the same time, I also see how our collective faith in God can bring people together for powerful conversations aimed at healing. The theme of this year’s Symposium hosted by our Institute for Faith and Learning in collaboration with the Soundings Projectexplores the ways that people of faith might foster a collective calling that transcends social alienation and political tribalism. I encourage you to check out the some 110 presenters/panelists from more than 70 institutions and register to attend this important event.
- MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS: Navigating college life can, at times, be overwhelming, stressful and exhausting for students. With this in mind, the Baylor Counseling Center will recognize Mental Health Awareness Day on Tuesday, Oct. 10, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Vara Martin Daniel Plaza. Please visit the Resources for Student Mental Wellbeing for a complete listing of Baylor’s mental health resources, some of which are available 24/7. Students, if you are struggling with mental health concerns, please contact the Counseling Center at 254-710-2467. Faculty and staff, you also can access the many resources available through our employee assistance program. Take time to explore these learning opportunities and resources over the next few weeks and discover ways to stay healthy in mind, body and spirit.
- FACULTY-STAFF APPRECIATION: Coming up on Saturday, Oct. 14, all faculty and staff and their immediate family members are invited to our Baylor Faculty & Staff Appreciation Night. This free, fun-filled evening is full of fellowship, food and gratitude for faculty, staff and their families, all on the banks of the Brazos River at Touchdown Alley and McLane Stadium. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., we will gather for a free meal provided by some of the best local food trucks in Waco along with a host of fun activities. Then at 7:15 p.m., you can head over to McLane Stadium to watch Disney's Zootopia on the big screen. Note that a Baylor ID card is required for event entry; immediate family members or a guest must be accompanied by a Baylor faculty or staff member. Be sure to register in advance.
The fall semester is flying by!
Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
PHOTO OF THE WEEK
We need the entire Baylor Family to fill McLane Stadium in a sea of Gold this weekend!