By Kalyn Story | Staff Writer
The Baylor presidential search committee is asking Baylor students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends to share their opinions on the search for Baylor’s 15th president.
“In addition to any input you would like to share, we ask for your ongoing prayers throughout this process,” presidential search committee Chair Bob Brewton wrote in an email to the Baylor family on Sunday evening. “Prayers that our University will continue to be on [a] mission to shape the lives of our students for leadership and service; prayers for this search committee, that we will seek the candidate God intends for Baylor; and prayers for our next President, that he or she will recognize the call to serve Baylor University.”
Baylor’s 14th President, Ken Starr, was removed from office in late May, and Interim President Dr. David Garland has been serving since. Baylor announced its presidential search committee on Sept. 8.
In the email, link to a website with a survey for people to fill out. The search input form asks for specific personal and professional characteristics survey-takers would like to see in a potential president and what experiences they want the candidate to already have had. There is also a place to recommend specific people for the position.
“Input from the Baylor family is extremely valuable to the committee, and it will be used to help develop a profile for the committee to look for in a potential candidate,” said Lori Fogleman, university spokesperson and Assistant Vice President for Media Communications.
This is not the first time Baylor has asked for input from its community members when filling the position of president.
“We think getting input from our community is a very important approach that has been taken in the past and is important to continue because the leader of this university is important to everyone,” said Andrea Dixon, presidential search committee vice chair.
In addition to the online survey, the committee will be hosting systematic listening sessions. Faculty Senators, faculty and staff representatives on the committee and members of the staff council will host listening sessions across campus in an attempt to make everyone’s voice heard. All deans have received an invitation for a one-on-one interview with the committee to voice their opinions.
Committee members will also be holding discussions in communities across Texas, including Waco, Dallas, Austin and Houston.
“Some people are more comfortable typing answers into an input form while others are more comfortable in conversations, so we wanted to make sure that we had more than one approach to bring this information in,” Dixon said. “This is a very broad-scale effort designed to make sure people’s voices are heard through the process.”
All the input the committee receives will go into a database. Dixon said they do this so that everyone who contributes opinions will have the same weight in the committee’s decision.
“We don’t want one person to have more input than another person. We will be looking across all the input for common characteristics the Baylor community can agree on that we want in a leader,” Dixon said.
All specific names suggested will be placed into a master list and be considered by the committee.
The online survey will be open through Nov. 18.