Presidential Perspective - May 23, 2024

May 23, 2024

Baylor Students, Faculty, Staff and Parents:

Even though we are at the beginning of the summer months, we had some big news come out of the University last week as the Baylor Board of Regents affirmed a new institutional strategic plan that will take us through 2030.

First and foremost, the new strategic plan embraces the global calling we have as a Christian university and the global impact we can now make as a Research 1 institution and with alumni living around the world. The addition of Pro Mundo – for the world – to Baylor’s motto, granted, was significant since the motto dates back to 1851, but it’s a vital expression of the University we know and love today. Baylor brings an important Christian perspective in an increasingly complex and challenging world, and we must lead in developing solutions through our scholarship and research and in preparing students to live, work and flourish in this global society.

Secondly, I again want to express my appreciation to the some 2,300 faculty, staff and students who participated in nearly 100 strategic planning listening sessions over the past year, as well as many others who provided feedback and ideas through surveys, interviews and white papers. Your input was extremely valuable to the Strategic Planning Group led by Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., and Chief of Staff Tiffany Hogue, J.D. – a broad-based team whose diligent work and collective efforts were greatly appreciated and impactful.

As we head into June – and the heat of the Texas summer – our administrative and academic leadership teams will begin college-, school- and unit-level planning based on the strategic plan’s direction to be completed by the end of the fall semester. Concurrently, we will work on a five-year comprehensive financial framework to be presented to the Board in the fall.

I cannot wait to unveil the strategic plan in its entirety to all of you in September once everyone returns to campus for the fall semester. But for now:

Pro Ecclesia. Pro Texana. Pro Mundo.

Some updates for this week:

  • COMMITMENT TO SAFETY: On behalf of our campus community, I express my deepest appreciation to our Baylor University Department of Public Safety for leading today’s joint active threat training exercise in partnership with local, state and federal law enforcement partners and emergency responders. BUDPS spent several months planning its annual exercise with this critical goal in mind: To work collaboratively in an active threat incident and further strengthen local emergency services coordination. Baylor is firmly committed to campus safety and security, and today’s exercise demonstrates the importance of this continual training and our ongoing leadership from BUDPS in this space.
  • ADVANCED MATERIALS INNOVATION: Baylor’s materials science research efforts continue their remarkable growth in innovative ways. Garritt Tucker, Ph.D., the inaugural Eula Mae and John Baugh Chair in Physics, is part of a distinguished interdisciplinary research endeavor to discover new materials and create new methods for advancing the performance of advanced materials under extreme conditions. Tucker is part of a $12.5 million Department of Energy research center, which includes collaborators at national research laboratories and other outstanding research universities. We’re excited to see the fruits of this research in the years ahead and grateful for grants like this that also provide opportunities for Baylor students to engage in significant national projects.
  • KUDOS TO BAYLOR LAW: Baylor Law School is ranked #1 in preLaw Magazine’s influential “Best Schools for Practical Training” Honor Roll. Among the 59 national law schools recognized, Baylor Law stood out for its unparalleled commitment to creating practice-ready legal professionals through externships, clinics and its unrivaled Practice Court program. The magazine emphasized, “Baylor University School of Law has consistently been a standout in this area in recent years. With its wide range of offerings and its commitment to preparing practice-ready lawyers, Baylor Law School tops the list this year.”
  • RECORD SPRING: We are celebrating a phenomenal year for Baylor students and recent alumni, who have earned some of the most prestigious and competitive fellowships and awards. We are now up to a record-shattering 18 Fulbright U.S Student Grants, along with an unprecedented fourth consecutive Churchill Scholarship, a record four Critical Language Scholarships, a record three Goldwater Scholarships, a Boren Scholarship, two NSF Graduate Research Fellowships and a GEM Fellowship. Wow! This illustrates the power of a transformational Baylor undergraduate education, the strong mentorship and support of our faculty and staff, the value we place on global connection and our University’s Christian mission to prepare men and women for a lifetime of worldwide leadership and service.

I trust that everyone’s summer is off to a fantastic start!

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.
President


PHOTO OF THE WEEK

Baylor’s Mayborn Museum celebrated its 20th anniversary last week by officially unveiling and dedicating three life-sized bronze Columbian Mammoth sculptures near the museum’s entrance on University Parks Drive. The sculptures are based on real-life measurements from the specimens found at the Waco Mammoth National Monument.