Provost Newsletter - January 2024

January 8, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year! A new start to the semester always seems like a good time to celebrate our faculty and their accomplishments.

I continue to be inspired by the quality of the faculty – individuals devoted to our mission and recognized as national leaders in their disciplines. Just last month, Dr. Dorina Mitrea, department chair and professor of mathematics, was recognized as a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, and Dr. Lorin Swint Matthews, chair and professor of physics and associate director of Baylor’s Center for Astrophysics, Space Physics and Engineering Research (CASPER) was recognized as a Fellow of the American Physical Society. These national fellowships bring visibility to our scholarly activity and help us recruit talented faculty, staff, and students to Baylor.

Another measure of our scholarly achievements is set by Academic Analytics, a private organization that assesses programs based on publications, citations, grants, and awards of faculty in Ph.D. programs. Today, we have 31 Ph.D. programs large enough to be ranked by Academic Analytics – with 20 of these programs in the top 50% of their discipline. Some of these programs are in disciplines of Baylor’s historic strengths (e.g., English, philosophy, political science, religion, and sociology), but many are newcomers, and five are STEM programs. This is truly astounding progress and reflective of Baylor’s recent elevation as an R1 institution.

Finally, as we continue to invest in the scholarly productivity of our faculty, we also are diversifying our ranks. Our last two cohorts of new faculty are the most diverse in Baylor’s history. With good recruitment and retention strategies, we are making progress toward creating a campus community that more closely resembles our student body as well as Christian communities of faith.

Welcome to spring semester 2024!

Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

Academic Affairs Announcements

Civil Discourse Series Kickoff Panel Discussion

January 22, 3:30 p.m., Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, Room 250
President Livingstone will host and moderate the kickoff of this year’s civil dialogue series -- a panel discussion with noted scholars, theologians, and authors. All are welcome.

Virtual Spring Faculty Meeting

January 23, 2024, 3-4:30 p.m., Zoom (link to be emailed to faculty and staff the day before)
All are welcome as the president and provost host our virtual spring faculty meeting. Join us to hear the latest updates on strategic planning, the COACHE survey, the Cherry Award, and more!

Baylor 101: Research Commitment

January 24, 1-2 p.m. Zoom
Join Dr. Kevin Chambliss as he gives an overview and updates on Baylor’s research investment. Learn more about the session and Baylor 101 on our website.

Readers Meet the Author

The Office of the President and the Office of the Provost are pleased to announce the next Readers Meet the Author events coming up in January and February. Light refreshments and a book signing will follow each conversation.

Dr. Felipe Hinojosa
January 30, 12-1 p.m., Schumacher Flex Space in the Moody Memorial Library
This event will feature Dr. Felipe Hinojosa’s new book, “Apostles of Change: Latino Radical Politics, Church Occupations, and the Fight to Save the Barrio.” Dr. Elesha J. Coffman will interview Dr. Hinojosa.

Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey
February 15, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m., Schumacher Flex Space in the Moody Memorial Library
This event will feature Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey’s new book, “We Were a Peculiar People Once: Confession of an Old-Time Baptist.” Dean Douglas Henry will interview Dr. Jeffrey.

Resisting Polarization

February 12, 7 p.m., Zoom
We invite you to join a conversation with journalist David French on how to resist polarization and hyper-partisanship. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register online via Zoom.

Vice Provost’s Corner

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs

Search Underway for Director of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL)
The search is currently underway for the next director of the ATL. Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested. All information pertaining to the search and position is available on the Office of the Provost website. If you have questions or would like to make a nomination, please contact the search's co-chairs, Dr. Jennifer Good and Dr. Kevin Pinney. Applications are due January 28.

Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL)

Please consider the following upcoming opportunities from the ATL:

  • STEM Ed Journal Club. Gather with other Baylor instructors to read and discuss literature on evidence-based practices in STEM courses. Register via our online Qualtrics form.
  • Are you interested in presenting or publishing work related to STEM education? Join the STEM Ed Writing Group to work on data analysis, IRB prep, project planning, and design, or, of course, writing. Contact Michelle Herridge for more information.

Office of the Registrar (OoR)

Update on Room Scheduling
Beginning with the fall 2024 semester, the OoR will be making some adjustments to alleviate scheduling pressures faced in recent years:

  • The OoR will shift several current “non-shared classrooms” to “shared classrooms.” That change will provide the Office with more flexibility when scheduling classes.
  • Scheduling departments will be limited to offering 65% of their total sections during prime time.
  • Additional meeting patterns have been added to assist departments that need to offer sections outside of prime time.

These new strategies will distribute the use of campus space more efficiently toward the end of reducing scheduling conflicts. Questions? Contact Michelle Galvan.

Spotlight on the Academy

George W. Truett Theological Seminary

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Panel Discussion and Worship Service
Baylor University's Truett Seminary invites you to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Panel Discussion and Worship Service on January 15. Vice Provost Stephen Breck Reid will moderate a panel discussion regarding the life, ministry, and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Dr. Stephen Newby will lead the singing at the worship service where Rev. Dr. Joseph C. Parker, Jr. will preach.

E.K. Bailey Preaching Celebration
Truett Seminary and her Kyle Lake Center for Effective Preaching invite you to the E.K. Bailey Preaching Celebration on January 23, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Rev. Dr. Carolyn Ann Knight will be the guest speaker and a free Q&A lunch will be offered after the service.

School of Music

Concerto Competition
You are cordially invited to the final rounds of the School of Music’s Concerto Competition on January 20, starting at 10 a.m. in Jones Concert Hall. Eight student finalists will perform as they compete for the opportunity to present as a soloist with the Baylor Symphony Orchestra. This concert is free and open to the public and also will be livestreamed.

Baylor Libraries, Museums, and the Press

From Dean Archer
2024 brings rejoicing as the Mayborn Museum celebrates its 20th year, The Texas Collection continues to commemorate its centennial, and Baylor Press releases several new publications. There are also worthwhile challenges as the Libraries take on support for the graduate and professional programs previously managed by 2U. If you have questions about this transition or would like to visit, please contact Janell Wellbaum, and she will work with you to schedule a time for us.

Browzine: Your Virtual Research Assistant
Through licensing secured by the Libraries, the Baylor community has access to Browzine on a laptop, tablet, or mobile device. Browzine keeps up with a broad-ranging catalog of journals and delivers new content as it appears. Visit or download the Browzine app from the Apple App Store or Google Play to explore this useful resource.

New Video Studios Support Course Production…and More
The Garden Level of Moody Memorial Library is now home to state-of-the-art studio spaces designed to support the creation of high-quality online course content and other visual content. Visit the new studios, a part of the Experiential Learning Commons, and explore the possibilities.

New Microsoft Teams
Microsoft released a new version of Microsoft Teams for MacOS and Windows, and it is now available for use at Baylor. Open Teams on your computer, flip the switch in the upper left-hand corner and experience the New Teams. Classic Teams will continue working for several months before Microsoft moves everyone to the new platform. Learn more about the New Teams at HelpDesk+.

Important Academic Dates

Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar.

  • January 16- Clinical assistant professor's third-year review notebooks opened for review.
  • January 16- Deans’ letters and all other materials due to the Office of the Provost for the following reviews: (1) sixth-year clinical assistant review, (2) review for promotion to senior lecturer, (3) review for promotion from associate to full professor.
  • January 16- Faculty submit summary of activities forms to their chairs.
  • January 16- Notebooks for 2nd- and 4th-year regular lecturers should be submitted to their department chairs.
  • January 16- Tenure notebooks for 4th-year T-T faculty due to chairs. Chairs distribute colleague evaluation forms to tenured faculty.
  • January 16- First day of class.
  • January 16 to February 15- Annual reviews commence with meetings between chairs (or deans in single-department schools) and faculty.
  • January 16 to February 15- Schedule review meetings for 2nd- and 4th-year regular lecturers.
  • January 16 to February 15- Conduct evaluation meetings for 4th-year T-T faculty.
  • January 19- New Chair Training.
  • January 23- Spring Faculty Meeting (virtual).
  • January 23- Mentoring Dinner.
  • January 26- Chair Coffee and Conversation.
  • January 30- Readers Meet the Author: Dr. Felipe Hinojosa.
  • February 7- All-Chair Leadership Breakfast.
  • February 15- Readers Meet the Author: Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey

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