Baylor University Makes Statewide Splash on National Research Administrator Day

September 25, 2019

Media Contact: Lori Fogleman, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-710-6275
Follow us on Twitter: @BaylorUMedia

WACO, Texas (Sept. 25, 2019) – As Baylor University moves toward Research 1/Tier 1 recognition among the nation’s top research universities, the University today is honoring all staff who work behind the scenes to support research across the campus on National Research Administrator Day, while also making sure the state of Texas knows about the University’s ambitious research aspirations.

On this day, Baylor is honoring the research administrators, grant writers, staff and graduate students who each play an important role in the University’s success by supporting Baylor faculty and principal investigators who dedicate their time, energy and effort to “research that makes the world brighter.”

To celebrate National Research Administrator Day, Baylor has taken over hundreds of digital billboards throughout Dallas and Houston and their respective airports that insert Baylor in the conversation of the state’s research universities. In addition, Baylor has secured lead advertisement placements with the Texas Tribune for Wednesday. The day-long “takeover strategy” shines a light on Baylor’s thriving and vital research enterprise as faculty pursue their passions and engage colleagues across disciplines to examine solutions to challenges facing the world.

The digital billboard takeover includes:

Outdoor in Dallas and Houston

  • 115 digital boards in Dallas
  • 18 digital boards in Houston
  • 2 digital boards in Waco

Airports in Dallas and Houston

  • 144 screens in DFW International Airport
  • 16 screens in Houston Hobby Airport
  • 62 screens in Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport

The digital billboards with the taglines – “Today, we shine a light on our researchers who make the world brighter.” and “Celebrating bright minds who outshine expectations.” – will feature Baylor researchers:

  • Lori Baker, Ph.D., professor of anthropology and vice provost for faculty development and diversity, who engages in challenging and important work along the U.S.-Mexico border to repatriate families with lost loved ones.
  • Sara Dolan, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology and neuroscience and American Psychological Association “Citizen Psychologist,” who works with first responders, soldiers and citizens dealing with trauma.
  • David Jack, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering, whose research in composites and materials can enable safer travel for automobile and airplane passengers.
  • Cole Matson, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental science and member of the Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research at Baylor, who specializes in the genetic effects of contaminants on wildlife.
  • Dwayne Simmons, Ph.D., The Cornelia Marschall Smith Endowed Professor and chair of the department of biology, whose internationally recognized research studies how sensory cells in the ear and neurons in the brain respond to aging.

In addition, Baylor’s social media team is extending the digital billboards into the social space to create excitement among the Baylor Family and provide opportunities for them to share more about the celebration and the research being accomplished at Baylor.

Led by the National Council of University Research Administrators, National Research Administrator Day is observed annually on Sept. 25 to recognize the contributions made by research administrators and managers every day.

Research administrators and managers serve an important role in supporting research and providing value and expertise to the global research enterprise. They assist the faculty and researchers, protect the institution or organization and assure sound stewardship of sponsored research dollars. Research administration is found in many types of organizations around the world, including higher education from liberal arts colleges to research universities, health and medical institutions, research institutions, federal and both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

On Aug. 28, Baylor University officially announced plans to pursue R1/T1 recognition by building on Illuminate, the University’s strategic plan, which will guide Baylor towards joining the nation’s top research universities.

Today, 130 American college and universities are classified by the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education as R1, which are doctoral-granting institutions with the “highest research activity.” Baylor is among the 131 schools currently classified as R2 – doctoral institutions with “higher research activity.” Tier 1 universities aspire to higher levels of excellence not only teaching and research, but throughout the university in services to students, the arts, athletics and more.

With a foundational Christian mission and a historic reputation for excellence in academics, growth in research for Baylor University is a vital next step, said President Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D.

“Baylor University’s vision affirms that the world needs a preeminent research university that is unambiguously Christian, and we are uniquely positioned to achieve this goal by building on Baylor’s historic strengths and strategically investing in new areas of research and service,” President Livingstone said. “Through top-tier research, scholarship and external funding support, R1 universities bring their voice to bear in addressing our world’s most meaningful challenges. As Baylor achieves preeminence as a Christian research university, it enables researchers from throughout the University to infuse the quest for solutions, at the highest levels, with Baylor’s distinct voice and Christian mission.”

Illuminate provides the framework and commitment to investment over the next decade that will guide the institution towards becoming a top national research university. The strategic plan is built upon the foundation of Four Pillars, where Baylor will be a community recognized for its:

  • Unambiguously Christian Educational Environment
  • Transformational Undergraduate Education
  • Research and Scholarship Marked by Quality, Impact and Visibility
  • Nationally Recognized Programs in Human Performance through the Arts and Athletics

Within Illuminate, Baylor has identified five key areas for research growth:

  • Health
  • Data Sciences
  • Materials Science
  • Human Flourishing, Leadership and Ethics
  • Baylor in Latin America

Baylor faculty also share historic strengths in areas such as business, religion, education, family and consumer sciences, education and more and conduct research across a variety of disciplines to enrich understanding of the ways individuals and societies work, play, learn and worship.

Recent momentum for Baylor includes graduating 58 research doctorates this summer, the most for any graduation in Baylor’s history, and enrollment growth in the University’s graduate and professional online degree programs, which nearly quadrupled in a year. Moving from R2 to R1 is a “tremendous leap,” said Provost Nancy Brickhouse, Ph.D., but the University community has joined together to elevate Baylor to the top level of institutional achievement.

“I believe we’re capable of achieving R1/T1 status in striving to fulfill Baylor’s full potential and in keeping with our historically distinctive mission,” Brickhouse said. “It will take years of unwavering, strategic effort as a University and community of alumni and friends to achieve. Recognition for faculty research and Baylor’s collective scholarly and creative enterprise will be the key to our success.”


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.