Presidential Perspective - February 22, 2024

February 22, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

It’s a big week on the Baylor campus as tomorrow we will host a ceremonial groundbreaking at 1:30 p.m. for the future Memorial to Enslaved Persons on Founders Mall. The Memorial will incorporate new areas of reflection, gathering and community that honor Baylor’s complete history and our original campus in Independence. You are welcome to join the Board of Regents, special guests and me for a moment of recognition as we prepare our hearts and look forward to the Memorial’s official dedication and ribbon cutting to come in Spring/Summer 2025.

Also on Friday, we will honor the recipients of the 2024 Baylor Alumni Awards during a special event at the Mark and Paula Hurd Welcome Center. They have such great stories of how Baylor impacted them as students and, in turn, how they have blessed others as Baylor Alumni.

Some updates for this week:

  • LIVE FROM WACO HALL: Baylor is excited to serve as the originating site for the 2024 Collegiate Day of Prayer next Thursday at 7 p.m. at Waco Hall. The worship and prayer service for students is free, but a ticket is required for admission. Other members of the Baylor Family near and far should plan to participate via live stream. The live stream will be available online, on Baylor’s official Facebook page and on our YouTube channel. You can learn more about the event on our Collegiate Day of Prayer webpage, and we hope you tune in as we pray for college students here at Baylor and worldwide.
  • COACHE FACULTY SURVEY: Earlier this month, full-time faculty (employed for more than one calendar year) were invited to participate in the Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education (COACHE) Faculty Job Satisfaction Survey. This confidential survey is administered nationally by Harvard University, and in addition to providing aggregated reports for Baylor – and no reports for groups of less than five respondents – this survey offers us the opportunity to compare our results against those of peer institutions. The survey takes about 25 minutes to complete, and it is critical that we have broad participation across the University to better understand the needs of faculty. An online FAQ is available if you have questions about the survey. Provost Brickhouse, the academic leadership of the University and I are all committed to acting upon the results of the survey as we continue to support areas of success and work together with faculty to find solutions in areas needing improvement.
  • MORE FULBRIGHT KUDOS: Last week Baylor was named a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for the second consecutive year, and I’m thrilled that the great Baylor Fulbright news continues into this week for a Baylor faculty member. Lourenco Paz, Ph.D., associate professor of economics in the Hankamer School of Business, has received the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award, a prestigious and competitive fellowship of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs that allows Dr. Paz to teach international trade courses and conduct research on trade agreements alongside faculty in the World Economy Department at Corvinus University of Budapest in Hungary. Dr. Paz is the fourth Baylor faculty member in the last two years to earn the Fulbright U.S. Scholar award, serving a key role in international diplomacy while building relationships with nations and their universities. Students, faculty and staff can learn more about Fulbright opportunities through the dedicated Baylor Fulbright website.
  • DIGITAL HUMANITIES FOCUS: Provost Brickhouse and I hope you will join us Wednesday, Feb. 28, at 3 p.m. for Discovering DH: Honoring Women’s Stories as we hear from five women faculty from across the University who will highlight their groundbreaking scholarship in the digital humanities. Their presentations in room 104 of Moody Memorial Library will focus on different topics within digital humanities, an interdisciplinary field that focuses on the use of digital tools and data science methods such as data visualization, text mining, mapping and digital exhibition within the humanities. This event also kicks off Women’s History Month. Space is limited, so register now to save your seat.
  • AI FACULTY FORUM: Please mark your calendars for the upcoming forum, Harnessing Generative AI for Learning, on Tuesday, March 19, from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in Cashion 506. This event, hosted by the Office of the Provost and the School of Engineering and Computer Science, will feature special guest Christopher Stubbs, Ph.D., dean of science and professor of physics and astronomy at Harvard, for a conversation about the use of GenAI in higher education. Registration is available now for this important faculty event.

Best of luck to all our students participating in All University Sing and this final weekend of performances. What a special Baylor tradition!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.


Alex Yokochi, Ph.D., professor and associate dean for research and graduate education in the School of Engineering and Computer Science, works through an experiment with a group of sixth graders at Cesar Chavez Middle School in Waco as part of National Engineers Week.