Provost Newsletter - May 2024

May 13, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

The end of an academic year comes with the opportunity to celebrate the success of our students. This May, we anticipate that nearly 2,800 undergraduate and over 700 graduate students will be awarded their degrees. An aspect of our ceremonies that I enjoy the most is seeing our faculty there to congratulate students as they walk off the stage. I have no doubt that this is very meaningful to our graduates. I also want to thank the faculty marshals who made these ceremonies possible. In particular, I am grateful to Denyse Rodgers for her service as chief marshal for the past 18 years (and as a marshal since 1987!). She is retiring from Baylor this spring, and I will miss seeing her at our commencement ceremonies, working behind the scenes to ensure a ceremony for our graduates that is dignified and memorable.

Your commitment to teaching and mentoring our students is key to the success of our students at Baylor. Dr. Lenore Wright’s leadership of the Academy of Teaching and Learning (ATL) over the past 13 years and the work our faculty through the ATL has provided our students with an education that is both cutting-edge and timeless. It is cutting-edge in its inclusion of advanced technologies, data science, and the incorporation of the latest research that informs professional practice. It is timeless in its commitment to an environment in which students learn what it means to lead and serve in an increasingly diverse world from a place of humility, justice, and wisdom. Dr. Toby Brooks (joining us from Texas Tech’s Health Sciences Center) will take over the helms of the ATL this summer, building on the successes of Dr. Wright.

Across campus, our academic units are working on developing guidelines and expectations for the third-tier teaching professor rank. This is an excellent opportunity for us to reward our finest teachers on campus. These are not only faculty who are great in the classroom, but have built a reputation for outstanding teaching and have contributed in tangible ways to elevating the teaching effectiveness of others. In the same way that we reward our finest scholars via our promotion processes, so we should also reward our finest teachers.

Many thanks to the numerous faculty and staff we have supporting students over the summer – through leading study-abroad programs, teaching classes, mentoring students in their laboratories, advising students to keep them on track to graduate in four years, and all of the other nuts and bolts behind the scenes.

Your contributions and engagement are invaluable.


Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D.

Academic Affairs Announcements 

David Brooks Returning to Baylor

We are excited to announce that we will host David Brooks on Tuesday, Sept. 10, for a day-long slate of events and activities. We anticipate Mr. Brooks will visit with students, faculty, and staff before delivering a community-wide address in the evening. Mr. Brooks is a best-selling author, columnist, and commentator, as well as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Given his knowledge of present-day politics and foreign affairs, we expect his visit will continue to foster the spirit of respect and understanding that undergirds President Livingstone's Baylor Conversation Series on civil discourse. We encourage you to read Mr. Brooks' latest book, "How to Know a Person," and integrate aspects of the work into your courses this fall as you are able. Mark your calendars for this special event!

2023-2024 Promotions

We congratulate all of those who received promotions for the upcoming academic year. A complete list of all promotions is available on the Office of the Provost’s website. For more information on promotions, please see Baylor University personnel policies 704, 716, and 719.


Over the past few months, we have asked you to participate in the COACHE Faculty Satisfaction Survey. You responded, and we couldn’t be more grateful. Our response rate was 73.2%! This is higher than the response we saw in 2020 when Baylor first administered the survey, and much higher than this year’s national average of 48%. We are grateful to Drs. Forest Kim and Gaynor Yancey for leading this effort, as well as the rest of the COACHE Faculty Committee.

Information on the survey results will be shared in early spring of 2025.

Vice Provost’s Corner

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

New IFL Director Announced 
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Elisabeth Kincaid from Loyola University New Orleans has been named the next director of our Institute for Faith and Learning. Dr. Kincaid will join us on August 1.

2026 Cherry Award 
Nominations are now open for the 2026 Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching. Individuals nominated for the award should have a proven record as an extraordinary teacher with a positive, inspiring, and long-lasting effect on students, along with a record of distinguished scholarship.

Centennial Professors Named 
Dr. Jeffrey C. Petersen, director of the School of Education's graduate program in sport management and professor of sport management in the School of Education, and Dr. Julie Hoggarth, associate professor of anthropology in the College of Arts & Sciences, have been selected to receive the 2024 Centennial Professor Awards for summer research projects. Congratulations to these two faculty members on their awards!

Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award 
The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award recognizes superlative teaching, research, and/or service. The winner is chosen each spring semester by a faculty selection committee that receives nominations from faculty, students, and alums. The honoree receives a cash award and presents a lecture during the following academic year. This year’s awardee is Dr. Stephen Sloan, professor of history and director of the Institute for Oral History.

Master Teacher Nominations 
Master teacher appointments are the highest honor granted to faculty members for sustained excellence in teaching at Baylor University. Nominations for master teachers can be sent to your unit’s dean no later than October 4, 2024. Application requirements and nomination procedure information are available online via BU-PP 703.

Update on Teaching Professor Promotions 
Currently, all units are developing their guidelines for promotion to the new rank of teaching professor. Those will be reviewed by the Office of the Provost and returned to the units by the end of the summer, along with a newly developed promotion procedures document. This will enable all departments to begin discussing the process with senior lecturers in the fall in anticipation of a spring 2025 meeting for approval to seek promotion. Senior lecturers approved to proceed will submit their materials in the fall of 2025, and promotion decisions will be made official in the spring of 2026.

Vice Provost for Global Engagement

Reminder to all Faculty and Staff to Register for International Travel  
As faculty and staff plan for official international travel for Baylor this summer, please remember that travel registration is required (per the Baylor University Global Safety and Security policy 2.2c). This includes all faculty, staff, students, dependents, and guests. Baylor international travel is covered by an On Call insurance policy at no cost to faculty and staff. Your travel registration is your enrollment for insurance for all travelers. Students, dependents, and guests will pay for insurance at a rate of $2 per day to Baylor University. Personal travel is not required to be registered and is NOT covered by this insurance policy.    

To register, please visit the Center for Global Engagement website for the registration portal (you must be on a VPN if registering off-campus). If you have any questions or need registration assistance, contact, Lynae Jordan or call 254-710-2657.

Vice Provost for Institutional Research and Professional Education

Career Center Annual Report 
The Career Center 2023 Annual Report is now available online. It shows student achievement of 92% overall job placement and 93% overall career success. The annual report includes information about job and graduate school placement, top destinations, average starting salaries, and much more.

Graduate Professional Education (GPE) Certificate Programs 
Did you know that GPE can help you bring for-credit certificate programs into your unit’s portfolio? Certificates help our students by providing access to new training and skills for resume-building and personal development. These certificates can also be a launchpad for future degrees! Reach out to Cece Livelyfor market research and support in developing a certificate program for your unit.

New Dashboard Available
A new IRMA dashboard focusing on Baylor faculty global activity is now available in the University Reports channel. This dashboard provides a five-year summary of faculty activities outside the U.S. (data from Digital Measures). Faculty members who hold licenses, certifications, or professional memberships in a foreign country will need to update the country field on the relevant DM screen to ensure inclusion in the dashboard. If you need to request IRMA access, please complete our online request form.

Vice Provost for Research

Foreign Engagement Reminder 
Faculty whose research collaborations extend beyond the U.S. should note new federal guidance that highlights research security. Universities are obligated to safeguard against the misappropriation of research, which could impact national or economic security, foreign influence, and more. Baylor recently convened a Research Security Advisory Group to ensure compliance and education. Visit OVPR’s Export Compliance page for information related to export controls and foreign travel.

Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Affairs

Paul Foster Success Center: Thank You and Great News on Progress Reports 
The Center for Academic Success and Engagement (CASE) thanks our faculty for submitting over 47,500 progress reports in the sixth week of the spring semester. This proactive effort led to personal contacts for 2,500+ students, guiding them to campus resources. Your contributions are vital in supporting students. Thank you!

Academy for Teaching and Learning: New Director Named 
We are delighted to announce that Dr. Toby J. Brooks, currently assistant dean of faculty success at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), has been named the next director of our Academy for Teaching and Learning. Dr. Brooks will join Baylor as a clinical professor in the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation within the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences. Dr. Brooks’ service with Baylor will begin on July 15.

Please consider the following opportunities from the ATL:

  • Augustine Teaching Institute, June 10-12: Join a community of Baylor colleagues to discover how the pedagogical wisdom of history’s great thinkers can inform our teaching today. Participants will read and discuss Augustine, Quintilian, Erasmus, a Confucian text, and more. Register online. Questions? Contact Dr. Christopher Richmann.
  • Course Makeover Workshop, May 30-June 1: Build, re-build, or re-think your course. Register online.
  • Teaching with AI Playground: Experiment with how generative AI can enhance your course design, lesson plans, feedback, and assignments while also helping students develop AI literacy. There are two options to attend: May 24 (in person, register online) or June 21 (Zoom, register online). Questions? Contact Dr. Christopher Richmann.

Office of the Registrar: Spring 2024 Grade Submission 
BearWeb is now available for spring 2024 grade submission. Grades must be submitted according to the spring 2024 grading schedule. Detailed resources are available on the Office of the Registrar’s website.

Spotlight on the Academy

University Libraries, Museums, and the Press

Canvas Content Fix-a-thon 2024
May 16, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Virtual (via Zoom) 
In concert with Global Accessibility Awareness Day, LATS is hosting its Second Annual Canvas Content Fix-a-thon to highlight the need for more inclusive digital content. Learn to improve the accessibility of digital course content using Baylor’s UDOIT accessibility checker.

A Mammoth Masquerade Weekend Celebration
May 17, 6 p.m., Mayborn Museum 
To honor the Mayborn Museum’s 20th anniversary, a Mammoth Masquerade Gala will be held at the museum on May 17. The Gala, presented by H-E-B, will include a silent auction, strolling dinner, a preview of the Tom Tischler mammoth sculptures, and a Q&A with Charles Walter and Brad Livingstone. Get your tickets online.

Then, on Saturday, May 18, at 1 p.m., the Mayborn welcomes everyone for a family-friendly Mini-Mammoth Masquerade. Admission to the mini-masquerade is free for museum members and students. Come and join us!

Important Academic Dates

Additional deadlines are available on the Academic Units Deadlines calendar.

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