December 13, 2011

Baylor among best private college values

Baylor University has been named one of the Best Values in Private Colleges by Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Kiplinger ranked 100 private universities and 100 liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding education with economic value. The annual private school report appears in Kiplinger's December issue.

Baylor and the other schools included in the 2011-12 lists represent the colleges that provide high quality academics, in addition to great cost value even during these tough economic times. Kiplinger said the magazine focused on Baylor and the other private colleges because they exemplify the traits parents and students want when looking into higher education options: small class sizes, many financial aid options, high four-year graduation rate and low debt for students after graduation.

"We are honored to be acknowledged again as a Best Value by Kiplinger's," said Baylor President Ken Starr. "The Baylor experience is distinct in its level of personal attention, spiritual enrichment, academic and athletic excellence, and high-caliber student life programming. We work especially hard to ensure excellence in all we do while also remaining attentive to the cost of a Baylor education. By continuing to increase the level of scholarship support we provide to students, we can preserve the value of a Baylor education for generations to come."

Multiple top 25 programs making Baylor a leader in healthcare administration

Across multiple departments and even schools, Baylor is emerging as a leader in healthcare administration. The Baylor-U.S. Army master's degree program in health administration was ranked 11th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report this spring, tied with Boston University and Johns Hopkins, while the Hankamer School of Business' Robbins MBA Healthcare Program ranked 25th nationally in U.S.News' graduate school rankings of healthcare management programs.

From Baylor's recognized pre-med programs, to the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, to Baylor University Medical Center and the Baylor Health Care System in the Metroplex, the Baylor name has been synonymous with healthcare for years; with new additions such as the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership constantly adding to the university's offerings, Baylor will continue to be a leader in the industry for years to come.

Law students again best at passing Bar

For the 14th time since 2001, Baylor Law School students claimed the top pass rate on the Texas State Bar Exam with a 95.88 percent success rate, the highest pass rate for students from the nine Texas law schools. Of the 97 Baylor students who took the three-day exam in July, 93 passed on their first try.

The overall state pass rate was 88.36 percent, with 1,511 successful candidates out of 1,710 who took the exam for the first time. The University of Texas was second behind Baylor with a 93.66 percent pass rate, while the University of Houston was third with a 92.27 percent pass rate.

Baylor Law School has an unsurpassed record of success on the State Bar Exam, which is given twice a year and qualifies a candidate to practice law in Texas.

Environmental Science welcomes new chair and assistant professor

Two new faculty members were appointed to Baylor's Department of Environmental Science this fall: Dr. George Cobb, professor and chair of the environmental science department, and Dr. Cole Matson, assistant professor of environmental science.

Cobb, president of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, has joined the Baylor faculty from the Institute of Environmental Health at Texas Tech University.

Matson was executive director of Duke University's Center for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology. He specializes in the genetic effects of contaminants on wildlife, such as the genetic and developmental impacts of nanomaterial on fish and how environmental variables affect toxicity.

Elshtain joins Baylor faculty

Dr. Jean Bethke Elshtain, one of America's foremost public intellectuals, has joined the Baylor University faculty as Visiting Distinguished Professor of Religion and Public Life at Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion (ISR).

Elshtain also serves as The Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the Divinity School at The University of Chicago. At Baylor, Elshtain will produce new scholarship at the intersection of religion and public life, working alongside faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students from political science, philosophy and the Honors College.

"Professor Elshtain has achieved a sterling reputation as a public intellectual in the national and international academy as a result of probing deeply into issues that are of fundamental concern to Christians in society today. We're delighted that she will be joining us at Baylor as we continue to explore new opportunities for engaging in crucial cultural conversations at the highest level," said Dr. Elizabeth Davis, BBA '84, Baylor executive vice president and provost.

On Oct. 13, Elshtain was honored with the prestigious Democracy Service Medal from the National Endowment for Democracy, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the progress of democracy around the world.

Elshtain is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has been a Guggenheim Fellow; a Fellow at the Bellagio Center of the Rockefeller Foundation; the holder of the Maguire Chair in Ethics at the L