Provost Newsletter - November 2022

November 14, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

This month, we kick off our annual United Way of McLennan County Giving Campaign. This is a great chance for our faculty and staff to invest in the Waco community. No one is a better reflection of the good work they do than my husband, Mark.

A couple of Wednesdays a month, Mark rolls out of bed early and goes off to serve with Meals on Wheels Waco. He reworks old Southern classics into hot lunches and, on occasion, delivers them to our fellow community members around Waco. A freshly cooked meal can be a special treat and is always appreciated, particularly by the many Baylor sports fans on the Seventh and James delivery route! Fortunately, Mark’s cooking is substantially better than his sports banter, and the face-to-face deliveries give Meals on Wheels a regular check on how our community is doing. But what drives Mark is the connective tissue that forms around food. As he puts it, “we all have to eat,” and the process of cooking and feeding is one of those basic elements of humanity that draws together young and old and branches across religion, politics, and social status.

It is this desire to serve the community and to seek ways we are all connected that undergirds the fundraising that we, as a Baylor campus, do every year in service of the United Way. The United Way is the only external organization for which the Baylor community fundraises. The reason is simple: every dollar raised goes right back into our local Waco-area community. We want the money we give to go back to the United Way-supported organizations where so many of you are already dedicating your time.

As Mark knows, there are not enough local volunteers to feed those who need support through Meals on Wheels. The central office of Meals on Wheels in Waco supports the community with funds that supplement the volunteering and donations contributed by individuals, churches, and civic groups. The funds raised in this year’s 2022 United Way Campaign will go towards meeting the needs of our community organizations, filling that space between volunteers and the wider financial needs.

Giving is simple—just click the link above to learn more. For those of you with a healthy competitive spirit, know that the departments that reach 100% participation will receive a donut breakfast served by a special guest. Your gift makes a difference in our community. Please join me in supporting the United Way.

Have a wonderful November,

Nancy Brickhouse

Special Announcements

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Jim Bennighof’s Transition

In May 2023, Jim Bennighof will conclude 20 years of incomparable service as Baylor’s Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs. Also a Professor of Music Theory, Dr. Bennighof is the longest-serving Vice Provost in University history. Provost Brickhouse shared, “I am deeply grateful for the many years Jim has spent interviewing prospective faculty, managing complex and sensitive circumstances, and providing wise leadership for the Office of the Provost. Jim’s unwavering commitment to Baylor’s Christian mission can be found in the hundreds of currently-serving Baylor faculty interviewed by Jim during the search process.”

Following the conclusion of his service, Dr. Bennighof will enjoy a well-deserved sabbatical before returning to the School of Music to conduct research and teach. 

The search committee for a new Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs will begin immediately and will be chaired by Dr. Wes Null, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness. Please visit the Office of the Provost's website for the list of search committee members, a position description, and additional details regarding the search.

Questions regarding the search also may be addressed to Dr. Null at or (254) 710-7591.

Baylor’s Land Acknowledgement

November is Native American Heritage Month, and as a continuation of the efforts to tell the University’s complete history, several members of the administration participated in a land acknowledgment on November 2 at the Mayborn Museum. Following is the acknowledgement, which does not obligate the University in any way but rather focuses on next steps in education, partnerships, and community service. The University will also establish a Committee on Indigenous Affairs.

“We respectfully acknowledge that Baylor University in Waco and its original campus in Independence is on the land and territories originally occupied by Indigenous peoples, including the Waco and Tawakoni of the Wichita and Affiliate Tribes, the Tonkawa, the Nʉmʉnʉʉ (Comanche), Karankawa, and Lipan Apache. These Indigenous peoples were dispossessed of and removed from their lands over centuries by European colonization and American expansionism. In recognition that these Native Nations are the original stewards of Baylor's campus locations, the University strives to build sustainable relationships with sovereign Native Nations and Indigenous communities through education offerings, partnerships, and community service.”

More information about Baylor’s land acknowledgment can be found here.

National Compliance and Ethics Week

Last week, you may have seen messaging from President Livingstone and on social media highlighting National Compliance and Ethics Week. Research compliance and ethics are a priority throughout Baylor’s research enterprise, and Baylor is investing in resources to support that. Next year, the University will implement a new electronic research administration system to facilitate compliance and streamline communication with research staff. The system is known as Compliance and Research Administration—or CARA, for short. More information will be shared about integrating CARA into your work in the new year. The Office of the Provost is grateful for the teamwork between our Office of the Vice Provost for Research and many faculty across campus to bring this to fruition.

Third-Tier for Lecturers Update

Building upon the momentum from last year’s exploratory committee concerning the creation of a third tier for teaching faculty, Provost Brickhouse and the Faculty Senate continue to work together to develop a plan for implementing a new series of titles and promotion pathways. The committee continues to meet twice monthly and is making excellent progress.

Vice Provost for Global Engagement

Visiting International Scholars
Visiting international scholars contribute to Baylor’s ongoing global initiatives and enrich our campus and academic community. We continue to see increasing interest from Baylor departments in bringing more visiting international scholars to campus. If a faculty member or a Baylor department would like to bring a visiting international scholar to Baylor as a postdoc, research scholar, or professor, the Center for Global Engagement will be happy to assist you with this process. For more information about the process for bringing scholars as Baylor hires, auxiliary faculty, or Fulbright scholars, click the link in the title.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness

Announcements from the Academy for Teaching & Learning (ATL)

  • Upcoming Seminar for Excellence in Teaching: “Race and Writing” (Dr. Coretta Pittman) – November 17, 3:30 p.m. Register here.
  • Check out the most recent episode of Professors Talk Pedagogy podcast: “Faith Traditions and Teaching” with Dr. Mikeal Parsons.

Student Financial Wellness at Baylor
The Student Financial Wellness Program in the Paul L. Foster Success Center helps students develop personal money management skills, explore financial options, and connect to economic and material supports that will help them flourish financially throughout life. Visit the Student Financial Wellness website to learn more about these new services for students. Be sure to send students to these resources!

Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) Race Equity Committee Event
Please save the date for the next gathering of the CASE Race Equity Committee on November 29 from 2:00 to 2:45 p.m. on Zoom. This session will feature faculty sharing strategies for incorporating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practices into their classrooms. Feel free to forward the invite to others who may be interested. Click here for a Zoom link.

Important Academic Dates

Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar.

  • November 20- Department chair summary reports for second-year tenure-track faculty members due to deans.
  • November 21-25- Thanksgiving holiday (no classes for the week, University open and staff in offices Nov. 21-22).
  • December 1- Faculty letters of application for promotion to the rank of Clinical Professor, along with three letters of assessment from outside evaluators, due to department chairs. 
  • December 5- Summary letters from deans documenting second-year tenure-track faculty reviews due to provost.
  • December 5- Colleague evaluation forms for sixth-year tenure-track faculty members due to department chairs from available tenured departmental faculty members.
  • December 6- Promotion recommendation forms due to the chair for tenured faculty seeking promotion to the rank of Professor.
  • December 10- Colleague Evaluation Forms for Senior Lecturer promotions, sixth-year Regular Lecturers, and sixth-year Clinical Assistant Professors are due to department chairs.
  • December 15- Department chair summary reports for Senior Lecturer promotion are due to deans.
  • December 15- Deadline for notification of non-reappointment for 3rd-year Regular Lecturers and for second-year tenure-track faculty.
  • December 15- Research leave decisions communicated by Provost’s Office.
  • December 15- Tenure letters and all other materials for sixth-year tenure-track faculty members due to deans.
  • December 15- Departmental chair summary reports and notebooks for sixth-year Clinical Assistant Professors due to deans.
  • December 15- Deadline for department chairs to provide summary teaching evaluations to second and fourth-year Regular Lecturers and third-year Clinical Assistant Professors.
  • December 17- Commencement.

Spotlight on the Academy

College of Arts and Sciences

  • Office of Engaged Learning Launches New Course: Learning for the World
    This new 1-hr. course for first-year students illuminates pathways to excellence for students who want to connect the work they do over their four years in the classroom to opportunities for immersion, application, and engagement beyond it, both locally and globally. Learning for the World was born out of a clear need to help our ambitious and high achieving students prepare themselves for the crowded national and international marketplaces of elite graduate admissions, employment, and competition for major fellowships and awards. We need your help identifying these high-achieving first-year students who might be a fit for this opportunity. Our request is simple: please nominate a first-year student by clicking here and providing us with their name and email address. Questions? Contact Dr. Andy Hogue. Thank you!
  • Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Achievement (URSA) Deadlines
    The URSA program in the Office of Engaged Learning administers six types of research grants to undergraduate students and faculty in all academic disciplines, including two new categories available this year: spring grant awards and grants for faculty leading research experiences for large groups of students. Spring award applications are due November 18, while proposals for the 2023-24 academic year are due January 27, and grants for student research travel, wages, and supplies are reviewed monthly.

Louise Herrington School of Nursing

  • Nursing Mourns Passing of Associate Dean
    The Baylor community is deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of the Louise Herrington School of Nursing’s Associate Dean for the Pre-Licensure Program and Clinical Assistant Professor Karen Cotter, Ph.D., RN, CNE. Further information about Dr. Cotter’s life and contributions to Baylor’s School of Nursing are available here.

School of Education

  • School of Education Graduate Named National Student Teacher of the Year
    Emily Blackwell, B.S.Ed. ’22, was named the 2022 National Student Teacher of the Year, awarded to only one student teacher annually by the international honor society Kappa Delta Pi and the national Association of Teacher Educators. Blackwell now teaches first grade at Brentfield Elementary in Richardson ISD.
  • School of Education Doctoral Student Receives National Dissertation Award
    Jennifer Gonzales, a doctoral student pursuing an Ed.D. in Learning and Organizational Change, received the national School Science and Mathematics Association’s 2022 Dissertation Award.

School of Music

  • A Baylor Christmas Returns!
    “A Baylor Christmas” is set to make a euphoric comeback for a suite of concerts on Thursday and Friday, December 1-2, at 7:30 p.m. as well as Sunday, December 4, at 3 p.m. The beloved performance returns to Jones Concert Hall in front of a full live audience for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the full details on this year’s return, click here.

Previous issues of the Provost's Newsletter can be accessed on the Office of the Provost website.