Provost Newsletter - October 2022
I am excited about our new cohort of faculty! You may have heard – this fall, we welcomed 110 new full-time faculty to campus. Half of these faculty hold tenured or tenure-track positions. Five of these are endowed chairs. This is one of, if not the most, diverse cohorts of faculty in Baylor’s history. Almost 40% of these faculty are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, adding diversity to our classrooms and labs. My hope is that every member of this cohort will experience authentic Christian hospitality, i.e., an appreciation of one another as individuals made in God’s image. Please join me in welcoming this new cohort of colleagues to campus.
I am grateful for our faculty, regardless of how long you’ve been with us, for all the ways you invest in Baylor, its students, and growth as a university striving to reflect the best of our Christian faith. As we continue down the road through the autumn, I wanted to point you to some resources designed to support you and your families. I also want to note that today is World Mental Health Awareness Day, and there are several mental health resources available in the lists below. These resources are not exhaustive but are a great place to get started.
- Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL).
- The National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity (NCFDD) Faculty Success Program [external program, Baylor is a member]
- Institute for Faith & Learning (IFL).
- Debt Coaching- available through TIAA and the non-profit GreenPath.
- Federal Student Loan Forgiveness- assistance through TIAA in completing your Public Service Loan Forgiveness program application.
- Employee Assistance Program (EAP)- includes resources for counseling, referrals, and resources for childcare/elder care, legal support, financial support, and more.
- Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)- connect to members of the Baylor community that foster diversity and inclusion and provide social support and belonging.
- Employee and Family Resources- adoption assistance, crisis resources, dual career assistance, expectant and new parent information, and surviving spouse information.
- Mental Health First Aid training- The Baylor Wellness Department offers training to support individuals experiencing a mental health challenge.
- Accommodations Available for Faculty- ADA, lactation, and mother-friendly workplace information.
- Resources from the Spiritual Life Office- chaplain notifications, ministering to staff and faculty, spiritual direction, prayer services, and more.
If you have any questions about these programs, feel free to click on the available links or contact my office directly.
After a hiring freeze and the uptick in retirements during the pandemic, we are still playing catch-up when it comes to bringing on new faculty. This academic year, we will have 165 searches for new faculty, as well as eight (and counting!) endowed chair searches. I want to take a moment to thank those of you that have served and will serve on search committees as part of this process. You are the reason we have been so successful in bringing diverse and talented faculty to our campus.
Grateful for you,
Request for Stories from Our Faculty
We would love to hear the stories of those faculty serving in community organizations that have received funding from the United Way (a full list of supported organizations is available here). Click here to share your experiences with us—your story may be featured in the next Provost’s Newsletter!
Cherry Award Nominations
The Cherry Award Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2024 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. The committee seeks your help in identifying exceptional university teachers nationwide and encourages you to nominate them for the award. Three finalists will receive $15,000 for themselves and $10,000 for their home department. The Cherry Award recipient will join us at Baylor for a semester-long teaching residency, and will receive an additional $250,000, with $25,000 going to his or her home department. Learn more about this award by visiting the Baylor Cherry Award website or contacting the Cherry Award Office.
Congratulations to the 2022-2023 Baylor Fellows! The Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) launched the fellowship program in 2011 to recognize outstanding Baylor teachers across the disciplines and provide them the opportunity to implement new teaching approaches. This year’s theme is “Teaching for First Gen Success.”
Readers Meet the Author
"The Soul of the Helper: Seven Stages to Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It in Others” with Holly Oxhandler, Ph.D.
October 20, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Virtual via Zoom
Join us for the Readers Meet the Author series online as we listen and learn from Dr. Holly Oxhandler’s book, “The Soul of the Helper: Seven Stages to Seeing the Sacred Within Yourself So You Can See It in Others.” To register, click the event title above.
Provost’s Conference Series: Classics & Classical Education in the Black Community
November 5, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Cashion Academic Center, Room 506
Classical scholars and advocates of classical education will discuss the engagement of Black students and scholars with the classical tradition and their vision for its future. This is a conversation vital to education at all levels. To learn more and register for this FREE conference, visit baylor.edu/classics/conference.
Vice Provost’s Corner
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
- Cornelia Marschall Smith Award Call for Nominations
Nominations are requested from all faculty for the Cornelia Marschall Smith Award, which honors a Baylor faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor through the highest level of teaching, research, and service. Nominations are due to the candidate’s dean no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 22, 2022. For more information on what to include in your nomination, visit the Provost’s website.
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Institutional Effectiveness
- Strong Retention for the Fall 2021 First-Year Students
Thanks to tremendous work across campus, we were pleased to achieve a 90.2% retention rate with the fall 2021 first-year students. That rate represents only the second time in university history that we crossed the 90% threshold (the other time being the 19-20 academic year when COVID caused us to implement pass/fail grading). Even still, we have very high ambitions to achieve our goal of 92% through implementing our Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plan. Please continue to partner with us and use all our campus resources to help our students succeed and return to Baylor!
- University Advisement (UA) transitions to Major Exploration and Success Advising (MESA)
The Office of University Advisement (UA) is now the Office of Major Exploration and Success Advising (MESA). One of the twelve advising offices across Baylor University, MESA advises undeclared students and specializes in guiding students who need support in thinking through a new academic major. The above name change grows out of recent structural changes with regard to advising and provides a better description and focus for the MESA office. Please send any students who need this service to Dr. Bob Shipp, director of MESA.
- First Generation Celebration Day on November 8th
The Paul L. Foster Success Center will host National First-Generation Celebration Day on Tuesday, November 8, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Vara Martin Daniel Plaza (right outside the Bill Daniel Student Center). At this event, we will celebrate the success of first-generation college students, faculty, staff, and alums. Please stop by to show your support! Also, if you were a first-generation student yourself, please consider completing a quick form so that we can continue building a community of support for first-generation students.
Academy for Teaching & Learning
Upcoming Seminars for Excellence in Teaching:
- Engaging Social Issues in STEM Courses (October 13, 3:30-4:30 p.m.)
- Race and Writing (October 26, 2:30-3:30 p.m.)
- Evolution and Instructor Religiosity (November 3, 2:00-3:00 p.m.)
- Teaching Philosophy Statements Workshop (November 4, 2:30-4:00 pm) – for faculty and graduate students
- Panel Discussion: Collective Wisdom for Working with International Students in the Classroom (November 1, 3:30-4:30 p.m.; Jones 200; no registration required)
- The next deadline to apply for a University Teaching Development Grant is November 3. (Up to $1500 every two years!)
Important Academic Dates
Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar.
- October 1- November 1- Conduct 2nd-year reviews for tenure-track faculty (must be done by November 1).
- October 14- Deadline for providing department chair summary teaching evaluations to 6th-year Regular Lecturers for Senior Lecturer review.
- October 14- Fall Break.
- October 14- Deadline for providing department chair summary evaluations to available tenured faculty, Clinical Associate Professors, and Clinical Professors in the department.
- October 20- Readers Meet the Author: Holly Oxhandler (virtual).
- October 20-22- Baylor Homecoming.
- October 31- Clinical Assistant Professors will submit promotion notebooks.
- October 31- Department chairs provide colleague evaluation forms to the available tenured faculty, Clinical Associate Professors, and Clinical Professors for Clinical Associate Review and schedules meeting to take place by November 30.
- November 1- Notebooks for Senior Lecturer consideration due to chair (or dean in schools in which the dean acts as chair).
- November 1- Chair provides evaluation forms to available tenured faculty and Senior Lecturers for meeting with Regular Lecturers (meetings should take place by November 30).
- November 1- Research leave applications for the following academic year due to department chairs (or dean in schools in which the dean acts as chair).
- November 1- Deadline for tenure candidates to submit tenure notebooks for review.
- November 1-30- Temporary lecturer forms for following spring due to deans this month.
- November 1- Research leave applications due to the provost’s office from academic unit deans.
- November 1- Conduct Review meetings with candidates for Senior Lecturer (must be completed by November 30).
- November 2- New Chair Training Lunch.
- November 3- University Teaching Development Grant applications due to Lenore Wright.
- November 5- Provost’s Conference Series: Classics & Classical Education in the Black Community.
- November 10- Deadline to collect colleague evaluation forms for 2nd-year tenure-track faculty.
Spotlight on the Academy
College of Arts & Sciences
- Beall-Russell Lectures in the Humanities
October 10, 3:30-5:00 p.m., Cashion Academic Center, Room 506
Join us for the 2022 Beall-Russell Lecture Series featuring Maya Lin speaking on “The Humanities at the Intersection of Art and Architecture.” To register, click here.
- New national philosophy award honors retired Baylor professor Kay Toombs
This month, the Society for Phenomenology and Essential Philosophy (SPEP) will present its inaugural award named in honor of retired Baylor philosopher and alumna Dr. S. Kay Toombs. The award is given annually to junior scholars for “the best submission addressing disability, ableism, research in philosophy of disability, and/or research in critical disability studies.”
- Four Arts & Sciences faculty members are honored for sharing core virtues with their students
Four faculty members are the inaugural recipients of the Core Curriculum Virtues Recognition Award from the College of Arts & Sciences, given annually to faculty members who have inspired moral, intellectual, and/or spiritual virtues while teaching a course in Baylor’s Unified Core Curriculum. They are Dr. David Bridge (political science), Dr. Allyson L. Irom (modern languages and cultures), Ms. Julie King (environmental science), and Dr. Jerolyn Morrison (art and art history).
- Baylor journalism chair is honored for ethical communication
Dr. Mia Moody-Ramirez, chair and professor of journalism, public relations and new media, has received the Bill Neher Award for Ethical Communication from the Butler University College of Communication. The award “honors premier examples of effective and ethical oral, written, or mediated communication on issues of significant public interest.”
- Drumwright Family Lecture
October 18, 4:00 p.m., Alexander Reading Room, Honors Residential College
Jessica Hooten Wilson, Ph.D., Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Liberal Arts at Pepperdine University, will be speaking on the topic: “Something to Offend Everyone: The Tertium Quid in Walker Percy.”
George W. Truett Theological Seminary
- Parchman Endowed Lectures
October 11 (11 a.m. and 4 p.m.) and October 12 (11 a.m.), Paul Powell Chapel, Truett Seminary (Baugh-Reynolds Campus)
Truett Seminary looks forward to welcoming distinguished lecturer Dr. Chris Wright, who serves as Global Ambassador for Langham Partnership, speaking on “Wisdom in Mission: Missional Hermeneutics and Israel’s Wisdom Literature.”
Louise Herrington School of Nursing
- Welcome to New Associate Deans
LHSON is pleased to welcome four new associate deans to take the helm in Fall 2022, including Dr. Lisa Jones, Associate Dean for the Pre-Licensure Programs; Dr. Deborah Petty, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Dr. Deborah Shirey and Dr. Stacia Hays, Associate Deans for the Online Graduate Programs.
School of Education
- Congratulations to Todd Kettler!
Todd Kettler, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of the Department of Educational Psychology, has been accepted as a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Creativity and Innovation. Fellow is the highest category of membership and is designated for scholars who have made a “significant impact on the field”; the status grants Fellows the opportunity to propose and lead ISSCI initiatives.
- Baylor Libraries Author Series: Aurelia Davila Pratt
October 18, 6:00 p.m., Schumacher Flex Commons, Moody Memorial Library
The Baylor Libraries and Diana R. Garland School of Social Work proudly present the inaugural Baylor Libraries Author Series presentation featuring Aurelia Dávila Pratt Baylor alumna and author of “A Brown Girl's Epiphany.” This event is free and open to the public.
Previous issues of the Provost's Newsletter can be accessed on the Office of the Provost website.