• Faculty hires, dorm updates, athletic facilities & more: A round-up of recent BU announcements

    Exterior rendering of the Foster Pavilion

    Universities are always busy places — but the next few years are going to be particularly busy at Baylor, following recent announcements from BU’s Board of Regents. Highlights include:

    * Faculty hires: Baylor announced plans to hire and support 100 new faculty members — 20 a year for five years — in support of the university’s strategic plan, Illuminate, and to continue research growth.

    * Residence hall renovations: Baylor will continue its efforts to renovate each of the legacy residence halls, starting with Collins in 2022-23 and Memorial/Alexander in 2023-24; work on Allen-Dawson and Kokernot will follow. (North and South Russell, Penland and Martin have already been renovated in recent years.) Work on Memorial/Alexander will also include creating a new common space for the Honors College.

    * Foster Pavilion: During the Baylor-Oklahoma game, it was announced that the new home for Baylor men’s and women’s basketball will be called the Paul and Alejandra Foster Pavilion, in honor of the couple’s $100 million gift to support both the pavilion and the Foster Academic Challenge that prompted the funding of 14 endowed faculty chairs. The location of the Foster Pavilion is expected to be announced in early 2022, with groundbreaking beginning next summer.

    * Fudge Football Operations Center: A new home for Baylor football’s day-to-day operations will soon go up along the Brazos River near the Allison Indoor Practice Facility, thanks to a lead gift from Kristy and Jeremy Fudge. The new building will also allow Baylor Athletics to more fully utilize existing space inside the Simpson Athletics & Academics Center.

    Also newly opened or in the works: the newly opened Black Gospel Archive & Listening Center in Moody Memorial Library; a $2.5 million expansion of Baylor’s Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic to include the new Mary Jo Robbins Clinic for Autism Research and Practice; a new materials science laboratory space in the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC); and a life-size sculpture of a Columbian mammoth that (thanks to an anonymous donor) will stand in front of the Mayborn Museum.

    All that on top of already publicized major efforts such as the Tidwell Bible Building renovation, the Hurd Welcome Center (for which construction is now underway at the corner of I-35 and University Parks Drive), and the Global Flourishing Study (a $43 million research effort by Baylor and Harvard faculty). Lots to celebrate, and lots to look forward to!

    Sic ’em, Bears!