Provost Newsletter - November 2023
Here at Baylor University, we aspire to provide all our faculty and staff opportunities to grow their talents and reach their highest aspirations. We welcome your input in that process and have made changes based on your feedback.
In the spring of 2020, we issued the COACHE Survey to learn more about the professional experiences of our faculty. We gleaned that many of our faculty felt stuck in mid-career uncertainty – unsure how to continue developing themselves in ways the university recognized. Addressing this required that we examine our policies on faculty promotion and revise them in ways that clarify expectations. This has been completed in most academic units across campus.
While this was a step in the right direction, more was needed. The problem for faculty on the lecturer track was that there was only one opportunity for promotion. Once they achieved the rank of senior lecturer, they hit a professional ceiling.
We have now changed this. A new policy has been approved that will allow senior lecturers who have been in rank for at least six years to apply for promotion to teaching professor. Achieving this third tier on the lecturer track recognizes teaching that meets the highest standards of excellence and innovation, as well as leadership and scholarship in teaching that influences others within and outside the Baylor community.
I ask that all academic departments and divisions at Baylor develop unit-based guidelines consistent with this policy by May 2024. This timeline will allow qualified senior lecturers to apply for promotion in the 2024-25 academic year. A reminder that the COACHE survey will be taken again in spring 2024, and we welcome your feedback as we continually refine our practices.
At Baylor, teaching matters. This new policy demonstrates our commitment to excellence in teaching and reflects our strategic priorities as we support faculty development across categories and ranks.
All the best,
Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.
Academic Affairs Announcements
Mary Alexander Named New Vice Provost for Administration and Operations
The Office of the Provost is delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Mary Alexander, currently vice provost for academic administration and chief of staff to the provost at the University of South Carolina, to the position of Baylor University’s vice provost of administration and operations. We look forward to welcoming Dr. Alexander to campus on January 3, 2024. Provost Brickhouse wishes to thank Vice Provost Lisa Rhiney for her excellent work in the role; she will be missed greatly in the Office of the Provost, and we wish her the best in her retirement.
Jeremy Counseller Named New Dean of the School of Law
Following a nationwide search, the Office of the Provost is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeremy Counseller, Baylor University’s Abner V. McCall Chair of Evidence Law and professor, as the new dean of the Baylor Law School. Professor Counseller will begin his position on July 1, 2024. The provost also expressed her appreciation for Professor Patricia Wilson’s leadership since July 2023 as interim dean of the law school.
Carnegie Classification Changes: R1
You may have recently seen that the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education is simplifying its R1 metrics. President Livingstone addressed these changes in the Presidential Perspective on November 2. Should you have any questions regarding Baylor’s research, please feel free to reach out to the Office of the Vice Provost for Research.
Important Spring Information for Faculty
As you begin to plan your spring syllabi, please make a note of the important calendar items below:
- April 8 will be Diadeloso, AND, on that day, there will be a total solar eclipse. We will not hold classes that day.
- Importantly, even though April 9 is a Tuesday, for instructional purposes, that day will be an instructional Monday. In other words, students will attend their Monday classes on April 9. That adjustment has been made because we needed an additional instructional Monday for the spring semester (not a Tuesday). On this day, Monday classes will meet in lieu of Tuesday classes. For questions, please reach out to the Office of the Registrar.
Call for Nominations: Outstanding Professors
Baylor University will honor twelve faculty members as “Outstanding Faculty” for this academic year. The award represents a singular honor, as the recognition comes from one’s colleagues. Peers make selections of these faculty through a nomination process. All nominations should be sent to the dean of one’s respective school or college no later than January 26, 2024. Thank you!
Faculty Retirement Program Deadline
Faculty who are interested in participating in the Faculty Retirement Program must submit their interest via the online form by November 15. Additional information on the program for retirement dates of May 2025 or May 2026 is available on the HR website.
Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR) Documentary Screening Event
Join ISR for a screening of the film “Join or Die” on November 14 at 6:30 p.m. in the Fudge Family Auditorium at the Hurd Welcome Center. This documentary is based on Dr. Robert Putnam’s book “Bowling Alone,” featuring interviews with Putnam and experts on the importance of community involvement for democracy and flourishing. A talkback between the directors and community leaders will follow the screening. Tickets are free and can be reserved online.
Vice Provost’s Corner
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Guidelines for Promotion to the New Rank of Teaching Professor
As Provost Brickhouse noted in her message this month, the approval of a revised BU-PP 716 requires all academic departments and divisions to create unit-based guidelines detailing how candidates for promotion will be expected to provide evidence for seasoned teaching leadership and teaching excellence at Baylor, in the discipline, and within the wider academic community. Guidelines should be brief and effective for practical application. Please submit to Vice Provost DeAnna Toten Beard by May 15 for the Office of the Provost to review over the summer.
Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Professional Education
Graduate Professional Education (GPE) Resources for Faculty & Staff
GPE is growing and innovating, and we are excited about working alongside faculty to expand opportunities for future Baylor Bears. Over 3,000 students are enrolled in GPE programs at Baylor University – could GPE partner with you or your academic unit for new certificates and degrees? We can offer:
- Ideas and workshopping for new programs.
- Providing research regarding program viability.
- Marketing support.
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs
Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Please consider the following upcoming opportunities from the ATL:
- Interested in learning more about STEM Education Research or writing up results from a study you’ve done? Email Dr. Michelle Herridge to request times for the STEM Ed Journal Club in the spring or to get more information about our brand-new STEM Education Research Writing Group!
- Special Seminar: Thoughtful and Effective PowerPoint (November 29, 4 p.m.).
- Call for interest: December Course Makeover Workshop. If you are interested in a two-day course makeover workshop before the spring semester, email Dr. Christopher Richmann (or call 254-710-4064) with your schedule preferences.
Paul L. Foster Success Center
Access to Navigate Advising Tool
For those who may not have used it before, Baylor’s Navigate advising system is a powerful tool that provides instructors, advisors, department chairs, UPDs, and others with information to support our students and their academic success. Do you or someone you know need access/additional access to Navigate? If so, please complete this request form. All request forms are reviewed weekly, and access will be granted at that time. For questions, please contact Carroll Crowson.
Office of Access & Learning Accommodation: Testing Center Final Exams
As we approach final exams with limited seating capacity, please help us by proctoring any of your final exams that may be given remotely online. Reach out to us at OALA_T@baylor.edu with any questions.
Spotlight on the Academy
Diana R. Garland School of Social Work
You’re Invited: Screening & Discussion of Professor’s Documentary
Dr. Stephanie Boddie will screen her documentary “Unfinished Business: From the Great Migration to Black Lives Matter” on November 14, at 3:30 p.m., in Truett Room 107. The event will feature a conversation with Dr. Boddie, Dr. Anthony Reddie, and Dr. Stephen Newby, with Dean Jon Singletary as moderator, and is open to all.
Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences
Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series
Please join Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences for the inaugural Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series on November 30 at 1 p.m. in Cashion 506 or online. This year’s lecture, “The Power of Prevention,” will be offered by Dr. Tyler Cooper, president and CEO of Cooper Aerobics/Cooper Clinic and current Baylor University Board of Regents member. The lecture is free and open to the public.
School of Music
A Baylor Christmas
- Thursday, November 30, 7:30 p.m.
- Friday, December 1, 7:30 p.m.
- Sunday, December 3, 3 p.m.
Important Academic Dates
Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar.
- Month of November- Available tenured faculty, clinical associate professors, and clinical professors in the department are to review clinical associate professor’s notebooks during November. Also, candidates for promotion to full professor will meet with departmental professors, chair, and dean. Review meetings will also take place with candidates for senior lecturer (must be completed by Nov. 30).
- November 13- Cornelia Marschall Smith Award Lecture: Dr. Richard R. Russell.
- November 14- New Faculty Coffee, Cookies, & Conversation.
- November 15- Virtual Event: Lecturers Preparing for Promotion.
- November 20- Summary reports for 2nd-year T-T faculty due to deans.
- November 20- Notification of research leave approvals due from deans to the Office of the Provost.
- November 18-24- Thanksgiving holidays.
- November 30- Review meetings with candidates for senior lecturer and clinical assistant professors should be complete.
- December 1- Chair Coffee & Conversation.
- December 1- Review letters for candidates for promotion to the rank of clinical associate professor should be acquired by the department chair from three evaluators outside the University by this date.
- December 1- Faculty letters of application for promotion to the rank of clinical professor due to the department chairs.
- December 4- New Chair Training.
- December 5- Deans' recommendation letters for 2nd-year T-T faculty are due to the Office of the Provost.
- December 6- Promotion to full professor recommendation forms due to chairs.
- December 6- Colleague evaluation forms for tenure candidates due to chairs.
- December 7- Tenured faculty's last day for access to tenure review candidate's folder in BOX.
- December 11- Colleague evaluation forms for senior lecturer promotion are due to chairs.
- December 12- Chair's letter and all other materials for promotion to full professor candidates due to deans.
- December 12- All materials for tenure candidates (e.g., chair letters, colleague evaluation forms, external letters, and notebooks) due to deans.
- December 13- The last day for chairs to access tenure review candidates' BOX folders.
- December 16- Commencement.
Previous issues of the Provost Newsletter can be accessed on the Office of the Provost website.