Provost Newsletter - February 2024

February 12, 2024

Dear colleagues,

Special thanks to those of you who attended the Spring Faculty Meeting on January 23 and to the people behind the scenes who ensured a well-run meeting with lots of good information. For those who were not able to attend, we recorded the meeting so you may review it when you have a chance; we spoke about some important topics that I wanted to highlight for you today.

University Chaplain Burt Burleson provided a beautiful invocation and reminded us that he serves as chaplain for all the university – students, faculty, and staff.

President Livingstone provided an overview of new vice presidents, capital project planning, new dining and facilities contracts, athletics, strategic planning, and the new Baylor Benefit Grant program. She also previewed some specific new programming for the spring: additional installments in the President’s Conversation Series on civil discourse, our hosting of the National Collegiate Day of Prayer on February 29, and the Solar Eclipse/Diadeloso on April 8.

Drs. Forest Kim and Gaynor Yancey, co-chairs of the COACHE survey on faculty satisfaction, reviewed the outcomes of the last COACHE survey from spring 2020 and encouraged broad participation in the new survey, which will be open from February 5 to March 22. Faculty engagement in the University strategic planning group’s listening sessions and white paper submissions was high and will be very influential in the development of the new strategic plan. We are hoping for similarly high levels of engagement in the COACHE survey as this tool can provide needed information on faculty engagement in implementing the new strategic plan.

My report to the faculty provided a broad overview of some critical new academic leadership hires and celebrated significant faculty accomplishments. Dr. Kevin Dougherty also announced the new Cherry Award winner, Dr. Jay Banner.

Finally, Dr. DeAnna Toten Beard, vice provost for faculty affairs, provided information regarding resources available to faculty and staff when they are concerned about the health and wellbeing of their colleagues. She also shared timely information regarding the new third-tier for those on the lecturer track.

We are blessed to be an institution that has great momentum and faithfully demonstrates its Christian mission each and every day. Thank you for your dedication. I am looking forward to spring 2024 and our work together!

Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

Academic Affairs Announcements

AI Faculty Forum: Dr. Christopher W. Stubbs

March 19, 3:30-5 p.m., Cashion 506
The Office of the Provost, in conjunction with the School of Engineering and Computer Science, is delighted to welcome Dr. Christopher W. Stubbs, dean of science at Harvard University, to the second "AI Faculty Forum." Dr. Stubbs will be sharing how AI is affecting higher education and how its use can be harnessed to address major scientific challenges and utilized for the betterment of students and faculty. Registration is encouraged, but not mandatory.

Ash Wednesday Services

February 14, 8:30 a.m. and 12:00 p.m., Elliston Chapel
Join Spiritual Life for our Ash Wednesday services at 8:30 a.m. and noon. Additionally, ashes will be given out from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Elliston Chapel and the Bobo Spiritual Life Center.

Important Spring Reminder for Faculty

As you continue to plan for the spring semester, please make a note of the important calendar items below:

  • April 8 will be Diadeloso AND 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. On this day, Monday classes will meet in lieu of Tuesday classes. For questions, please reach out to the Office of the Registrar.

Resisting Polarization

February 12, 7 p.m., Zoom
The Office of the Provost invites you to a conversation with journalist David French on how to resist polarization and hyper-partisanship. Faculty and staff are encouraged to register online via Zoom.

Readers Meet the Author

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

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 latest book, “We Were a Peculiar People Once: Confession of an Old-Time Baptist.” Dr. Douglas Henry, dean of the Honors College, will interview Dr. Jeffrey.

Dr. Devan Stahl
February 29, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m., Schumacher Flex Space in the Moody Memorial Library
This event will feature Dr. Devan Stahl’s recent book, “Disability's Challenge to Theology: Genes, Eugenics, and the Metaphysics of Modern Medicine.” Dr. Natalie Carnes will interview Dr. Stahl.

February 27, 3:30 p.m., Cashion 506
The U.S. Department of State has named Baylor a Fulbright Top Producing Institution for students. Did you know that faculty and administrators can also apply for Fulbright awards? Join the Office of Engaged Learning, Center for Global Engagement, and Office of the Provost for a campus-wide celebration of Fulbright milestones, where you can learn how to support students or how to apply for a Fulbright award yourself.

Elizabeth Vardaman Faculty Awards

Commonly referred to as “Betsy” awards, these honors recognize faculty who go above and beyond in mentoring undergraduate students in learning beyond the classroom. Learn more about the award and nominate faculty colleagues on the Office of Engaged Learning website, or contact Dr. Andy Hogue with questions. Nominations are due no later than March 1.

2024 World Congress on Moral Injury, Trauma, Spirituality and Healing

March 11-13, Virtual Program
Presented by the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor, alongside partners at Harvard and Duke University, registration for this virtual conference is free to anyone from Baylor wishing to attend. Learn more and register online.

Save the Date: Reception Celebrating the Teaching and Research of Baylor Women Faculty

March 19, 1-3 p.m., Hurd Welcome Center Ballroom
All are welcome to a reception celebrating the teaching and research achievements of our female faculty at Baylor University. To register for this special event, visit our website.

Vice Provost’s Corner

Office of the Vice Provost for Research

February RCR Workshops: Safe Laboratory Practices
This month’s Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) workshops focus on safe laboratory practices. Dennis Nolan, senior director of environmental health and safety, and University Biosafety Officer Wyndi Klement will present two workshops, available both in-person and virtual. Register for either session online.

  • Option 1: February 13, 11:00-12:00 p.m. in BSB A.202.
  • Option 2: February 27, 11:00-12:00 p.m. in BSB A.202.

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Awards Season
It’s award season, not just for the Oscars but for Baylor faculty as well!

  • Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year- the awardee for 2024 has been selected and will be announced at the Honors Convocation this spring.
  • Centennial Professor Award- Information on the nomination process is coming out to all faculty later this month.
  • Outstanding Faculty Awards- nominations due by February 23 from deans. All nominations should be sent as ONE PDF to the selection committee chair. Include the name of the award category, the name of the school, and the name of the nominee in the file name.

Thank you all for taking the time to nominate your colleagues for their contributions to Baylor!

Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Professional Education

Graduate Professional Education (GPE) Is Here to Serve You
GPE has experienced tremendous growth as we continue to foster and launch quality in-person, online, and hybrid programs. Our team can supply market research, competitive analysis, and other program development support, as well as guidance on marketing and curriculum as you work toward drafting a proposal for approval. Read more about how GPE can help you in this article!

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs

Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Please look carefully at these upcoming offerings from the ATL:

  1. Upcoming Seminars for Excellence in Teaching: Creating an Engaged Learning Course (February 16) and Artificial Intelligence: What Do Students Really Think? (February 27).
  2. University Teaching Development Grant Upcoming deadline: April 4. This grant provides financial support for activities that enhance faculty effectiveness in the classroom.
  3. The ATL, in partnership with the College of Arts & Sciences, is accepting applications for the 2024 Summer Ethics Seminar (SES). SES is designed to cultivate increased ethical literacy across the Baylor campus with an eye toward teaching and research. Learn more about SES and download an application. Application deadline: March 25.

Spotlight on the Academy

Diana R. Garland School of Social Work

Chafin Endowed Lecture Series with Dr. Traci Baxley
February 15, 4 p.m., Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, 811 Washington Ave., Living Room (2nd floor)
Join the Garland School of Social Work's Center for Church & Community Impact (C3I) for the Chafin Endowed Lecture Series with Dr. Traci Baxley. Her lecture will focus on strengthening families through social justice parenting. Please RSVP for this event online.

“Understanding Christian Nationalism from an Interfaith Perspective Lecture
April 22, 4 p.m., Kayser Auditorium
Join the Garland School of Social Work for this lecture by Rev. Paul Brandeis, president and CEO of the Interfaith Alliance, a national organization dedicated to protecting the integrity of both religion and democracy in America. Co-sponsors for the event include the Dept. of Religion and Baylor Interdisciplinary Core.

George W. Truett Theological Seminary

Willson-Addis Lecture
February 13, 11 a.m., Paul W. Powell Chapel, Truett Seminary
For this year’s Willson-Addis Lecture, Dr. Lynn H. Cohick, distinguished professor of New Testament, director of the Houston Theological Seminary, and president of the Institute for Biblical Research, will share a message entitled "What You Have Said Is True: The Samaritan Woman and Female Agency in the First Century."

Graduate School

Graduate School Annual Report
The Graduate School recently released its annual report. This year, the report focused on several key categories, including elevating our Christian Mission, raising graduation rates, and providing R1-level mentoring. Visit our websitefor information highlighting the Graduate School’s course in each of these areas.

School of Engineering and Computer Science

Save the Date: The Southwest Data Science Conference 2024 at Baylor University 
You and your students are invited to participate in the Southwest Data Science Conference 2024 at Baylor University on March 22. This international conference welcomes papers, abstracts, and posters in fields that intersect with data science, including business, social sciences, health, education, and more. The conference chair is Dr. Henry Han, McCollum Family Chair in Data Science.

SMART HUB: Baylor officially launched SMART Hub in January, a new research and innovation center that aims to revolutionize wireless communication methods for the U.S. Armed Forces. Directed by Dr. Charles Baylis, professor of electrical and computer engineering, SMART Hub was made possible through a $5 million congressional appropriation championed by Congressman Pete Sessions (TX-17).

University Libraries, Museums, and the Press

Discovering DH: Honoring Women’s Stories
February 28, 3 p.m., Moody 104
The Libraries, Arts and Sciences, and the provost welcome you to the next Discovering DH session, “Honoring Women’s Stories.” The speakers - all women Baylor faculty members - will showcase their humanities-centered research.

Baylor Libraries Author Series featuring Baylor legend Tommy Bowman and author Chad Conine
March 1, 6 p.m., Mayborn Museum Theater
Baylor Press, the Libraries, and Mayborn Museum welcome Baylor legend and 2024 Founders Medal recipient Tommy Bowman for a conversation with author Chad Conine about his biography, “Tommy Bowman: Answering the Call” (Baylor Press, 2023).

Bryce C. Brown Fellowship pplications
The Mayborn Museum offers two Brown Fellowships annually: one for those interested in our natural history collection and one for researchers in cultural history. Learn more and apply at the Mayborn Museum website.

Interruption to ILL, OSOFast Services
Renovations in the Libraries beginning in March will interrupt interlibrary loan and OSOFast services through early April. Contact BU_ILS@baylor.edufor questions.

Important Academic Dates

Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar.

  • February 12- Annual Faculty Performance Reviews due to deans.
  • February 15- Readers Meet the Author: Dr. David Lyle Jeffrey.
  • February 15- Appeal deadline for negative clinical associate faculty promotion to the rank of clinical professor decisions.
  • February 15- Provost makes recommendations to the president regarding promotion decisions for clinical assistant professors to the rank of clinical associate professor and regular lecturers to the rank of senior lecturer, following which the president will decide whether to promote.
  • February 15- President makes final promotion to full professor decisions and informs the provost, who communicates to the deans the promotion decisions (this applies to candidates from the previous year).
  • February 15- Deadline for regular lecturer’s review meeting with the chair, available tenured faculty, and senior lecturers to discuss progress and performance.
  • February 15- Letters of intent to apply for promotion to full professor in the following year are due to the department chairs; names of suggested external reviewers should also be submitted to the chair by this date.
  • February 15- Deadline for tenure evaluations of 4th-year T-T faculty.
  • February 16- 2024-2025 CIM Programs deadline for new and changes to existing programs (all types).
  • February 23- Chair Coffee and Conversation.
  • February 26- 2024-2025 CIM Course deadline for new and changes to existing courses.
  • February 26- Deadline to collect the colleague evaluation forms for clinical assistant faculty, 4th-year T-T candidates, 2nd-year regular lecturers, and 4th-year regular lecturers.
  • February 26- Suggested deadline for deans to return faculty performance review forms, with any necessary information, to their chairs so as to enable chairs to meet their Ignite submission deadline.
  • February 28- Discovering DH: Honoring Women’s Stories.
  • February 28- University Distinguished Professor selection committee submits a ranked shortlist to VPFA, who shares this list with the provost and president.
  • February 28- Previous year’s candidate for promotion to full professor will be informed by dean or dean’s designee of the promotion decision.
  • February 29- Readers Meet the Author: Dr. Devan Stahl.
  • March 1- Recommendations for promotion of clinical associate professors to the rank of clinical professor due to the provost from the deans.
  • March 1- Deadline for chairs/deans to enter final faculty evaluation ratings in Ignite.
  • March 11- Chairs summary reports of 2nd- and 4th-year regular lecturers are due to the deans.
  • March 11- Chairs summary reports of clinical assistant professors and 4th-year T-T are due to the deans.

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