Dr. Howard Batson announced that Dr. David Garland has agreed to serve as the interim president of Baylor University. From my seat in the bleachers this is a huge step forward for my beloved alma mater. I have had only brief conversations with Dr. Garland, but I have found him to be a man of vision, insight, scholarship, and grace. I believe the Board of Regents should be commended for naming him to fill this critical role.
It probably goes without saying that the task facing Dr. Garland is a “God-sized task”, but Dr. Garland has demonstrated a deep confidence and trust in the Lord throughout his career. It is clear we need to get all the various factions in Baylor life back to the same table. Talking about each others, and plotting and scheming behind the scenes will never get Baylor to the place of prominence and influence we all long for it to hold. Baylor may be attempting the impossible by trying to be a distinctively Christian (even Baptist) university while also seeking to move into the upper echelons of academic research and instruction. From my perspective most “world-class” universities march to the values and principles of this world rather that the world to come. However, just a causal glance back in history reminds us that some of the greatest scientists and discoverers of history were devout men and women of faith. Faith and learning should go hand in hand because all truth flows from the very presence of God himself.
I pray the Lord will use Dr. Garland to help Baylor take a big step forward into its future.