In the last decade or so, Baylor University has seen some incredible growth — in new on-campus residence halls and academic facilities, in recruiting both more academically accomplished students and a more diverse student body, in improved graduate programs and additional support for mission trips, and from increased faculty publication to creating a winning tradition in college athletics.
It’s now time to look ahead to the next decade. Moving forward, Baylor’s core commitments — our mission, core convictions and foundational assumptions — remain steadfast and serve as a strong foundation as we plan for the future.
To that end, I was glad to read President Ken Starr’s e-mail to the entire Baylor family last week asking alumni, students, faculty, staff and other friends to join in the process. Later this winter and into the spring, university leaders will be soliciting the Baylor family’s engagement in dialogue about Baylor’s future.
But first, please take some time to familiarize yourself with who and where we are today. A helpful website has been created to help carry all of us through this process at baylor.edu/strategicplan. The site includes some great reading — not only those documents linked above, but also an excellent beginning by Provost Elizabeth Davis, BBA ’84, that includes a series of questions we should be asking ourselves. How we can manage the rising costs of higher education? How does the integration of faith and learning play out? How can graduate students be better integrated into the life of the university? In what ways can Baylor provide leadership in national and international conversations across a variety of fields? How should Baylor’s culture of caring impact the community?
Reading through all this, two things occur to me. First, there’s a lot to think about before we even start brainstorming what the future might hold for Baylor. Second, there’s so much to be proud of about where our university is today that it’s almost unimaginable to think of where we can be 10, 25, 50 or 100 years from now. I look forward to seeing Baylor’s future unfold and to being a part of it, alongside the entire Baylor family, as we begin to sketch out our road map for the next decade.
Sic ’em, Baylor family!