Baylor’s presidential search committee to hold listening sessions

Baylor's Presidential Search Committee will hold listening sessions for communities with questions and suggestions. Photo credit: Timothy Hong

Baylor’s presidential search committee is holding its first community listening session at 7 p.m. Thursday at First Baptist Church Woodway.

The listening session will focus on what personal qualities and experiences a leader should have to assume as the role of Baylor president.

“The next president of Baylor University will lead efforts to further strengthen Baylor’s national reputation for excellence in higher education while building upon its rich tradition of Christian commitment,” according to the search committee’s website.

The committee hopes the listening session will allow communities with interest to express their concerns and pose questions.

“These questions have to be answered by the people who are most influenced and affected by Baylor’s president,” presidential search committee vice chair Andrea Dixon said. “We need the community’s input to help us form the profile of who we’re looking for.”

The committee will take the input provided by community members at listening sessions and through online surveys to help evaluate the job description of Baylor’s president. They will also use the information gathered to form the candidate profile.

“Community feedback is vital to developing the job description and candidate profile,” Dixon said. “That is really where this research in the community and on campus is important to inform the description of type of individual we are seeking.”

The search committee will hold listening sessions in Waco and in other Texas cities, including Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

In addition to community sessions, there will be other sessions dedicated to hearing input from students, alumni, parents, faculty and staff. There will also be separate listening sessions for faculty and staff of color.

“If you go into a session, the faculty or staff member of color is going to be in the minority in the room, so their voice may not feel as well heard,” Dixon said. “We’re holding separate sessions to make sure that their input has another place and time for validation and will be heard.”

The community listening session will be hosted by Wes and Rebecca Bailey.

“The Baileys are alumni and long-time supporters of Baylor University,” said Lori Fogleman, university spokesperson and assistant vice president for media communications. “They are well-known leaders in the Waco community. They have graciously agreed to serve as hosts of a listening session for Waco-area alumni and community members to provide their input and ideas for the presidential search committee.”

Those unable to attend listening sessions are encouraged to give feedback and opinions through the survey that was emailed to the Baylor family on Sept. 18. The survey will be available until Nov. 18.