In about three weeks, some 3,000 freshmen will move into Baylor’s residence halls, including the new East Village. But they won’t be the only people living in the dorms; they’ll be joined by Truett Seminary students acting as resident chaplains, and in nine of the university’s 13 residential halls and communities, by Baylor professors.
These faculty masters and faculty-in-residence (and their families, kids included) move in literally down the hall from Baylor students. Which begs the question: Why?
“Our mission, especially at Baylor, is to be the embodiment of Christ in the world of higher education,” says Dr. Ian Gravagne, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering who moves from North Village to East Village this fall. “To do that, we have to be together. We have to live together, experience together, laugh and cry together… All the people who support Baylor need to understand that we know that, and therefore, we are strengthening our system of residential experience as much as we can, and as fast as we can.”
It comes down to Baylor’s commitment to forming the whole student — teaching not only textbook material, but also the kind of life lessons that are more likely to be learned outside the classroom than in it. Baylor’s success in attracting professors who are not just willing, but eager to engage with students in such a manner has attracted the eyes of leaders at schools such as MIT, Virginia Tech, BYU, Arkansas and Hong Kong University who have visited Waco to learn about Baylor’s programs.
As Baylor embarks upon a decade-long schedule of remodeling existing residence halls, one part of the renovation will be to create apartments for faculty-in-residence in traditional halls like Russell and Martin, further expanding the offering of such a service to as many Baylor students as possible.
Sic ’em, faculty-in-residence!