Dean's Update - November 15, 2022

November 16, 2022

Dear Colleagues:

Next week brings us to the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are blessings within the Honors College for which I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for you, a faculty and staff who are known for ability, brilliance, character, dedication, effectiveness, faith—I could easily carry on through the rest of the alphabet, but you get the point.

I’m thankful for our students, the women and men whose promise-filled lives it is our privilege to engage over a handful of formative years.

I’m thankful for our program directors who stand at the front line of so many essential activities, whether teaching, researching, hiring, listening, encouraging, mentoring, evaluating, planning, budgeting, recruiting, and hoping.

I’m thankful for a dean’s office staff that works professionally and cheerfully to ensure we accomplish annual goals, communicate effectively, manage resources, recruit and support students, and represent the college graciously to its constituencies.

I’m thankful for our faculty senators whose advocacy and responsiveness reflects a labor of love in service to core needs of our academic community, and whose contributions to shared governance are vitally important.

I’m thankful for the custodians who empty our trashes, the building engineers who replace our lights and adjust our thermostats, and the caterers who bring good food and drink to our events.

I’m thankful for the alumni, friends, and donors who believe in our work, and who serve as advocates and benefactors of the Honors College.

I’m thankful for a noteworthy company of faculty and staff from yesteryear whose big ideas and heavy lifting gave rise to our Honors Program, University Scholars, Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, and Great Texts.

I’m thankful for a Christian intellectual tradition—one grounded in Holy Scripture and extended by theologically attuned reflection upon the vast scope of human experience—that we engage, exemplify, and extend in our teaching and scholarship.

I’m thankful for the confidence and trust you’ve lodged in me. I’m thankful for your countless expressions of patience and good will. I’m thankful for your willingness to identify challenges, ask for help, and provide perspective. I’m thankful for the honor of advocating for you, exploring solutions to problems with you, identifying opportunities and resources for our community, and celebrating our many accomplishments.

I’m thankful for prayerful solidarity with you in seeking the Lord’s wisdom, asking for the Lord’s mercies, looking for the Lord’s comfort in sorrow, trusting in the Lord’s goodness through all, and longing for the Lord’s redemption.

I have much for which to be thankful!

Among other causes for gratitude and opportunities for common cause together, take note of the following:

• Christmas Party plans are set for Thursday, December 15 at 12:00 p.m. in the President’s Suite of the Baylor Club. Festive food and drink, and the warm friendship of colleagues new and old alike, will help us celebrate the conclusion of the fall semester and anticipate the joy of Christmas yet to come. RSVP via this link.

• A new Travel and Business Expense Policy went into effect on October 1, and it includes several changes summarized here. The full, revised policy (BUBS 110) deserves your attention to ensure ease of planning, authorization, compliance, and post-travel reimbursement. Faculty Senate has posed important questions raised by the new policy, and our senator, Sam Perry, associate professor of communication in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, has passed along answers given by the business office, available in a FAQ-in-the-works that you can access here.

• I’m happy to celebrate two endowed scholarship funds established recently by young African-American alumni. BIC alumnus Matthew Pierce (BBA ’09) established a scholarship in honor of his mother, Marsha Pierce-Tomlin. His story and his hopes are recounted in a story Emily Clark wrote last month. GTX alumnus Christopher Scott (BA ’04) established a scholarship in memory of his grandmother, Costell Scott. Chris received the 2022 BU Medal of Service for Contributions to the Professions and tells his story in this video. Matt and Chris inspire my hope that the HC “exemplifies Christian truth, justice, and reconciliation amidst a racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in which we take joy and find enrichment.”

• Midterm elections are behind us, but we have perennial need for civil and productive dialogue, sound political judgment, and the cultivation of public trust and vision. In a recent episode of Baylor Connections, David Corey, professor of political science in the Honors Program and director of Baylor in Washington D.C., explores these issues with show host Derek Smith. Well done, David!

All the best,

Douglas V. Henry | Dean
Honors College | Baylor University | 254.710.7689