Baylor’s Class of 2012 has come and gone, and with its graduation from the university comes the end of an era. “Baylor 2012,” the ambitious (and at times, controversial) strategic plan set forth a decade, has reached its conclusion.
The vision included dozens of specific goals. Many were met; others hit unexpected obstacles, but there’s no disputing that it was a tremendous decade of progress for the university.
Earlier this month, the Waco Tribune-Herald ran an excellent, in-depth series of stories looking back at various parts of Baylor 2012. I strongly encourage you to read at least the introductory story; all seven features are linked below, along with some interesting bits pulled from each story:
* “Baylor 2012 still a work in progress 10 years later” — “Baylor 2012 means little to Conrad Williams. The senior engineering major never read the vision document Baylor leaders crafted 10 years ago and is far removed from the controversy it once stirred on and off campus. But he is living the vision.”
* “A long way to go on Baylor 2012 endowment goal” — “By mid-2011 the endowment had grown by more than $400 million for the decade, an average of 6.2 percent annual growth, despite several hits to the school’s portfolio when financial markets were reeling.”
* “Baylor officials defend building campaign that critics say raised tuition too much” — The sticker price says the cost of attending Baylor has more than doubled in 10 years, but after scholarships and discounts, the “true annual cost” of a Baylor education today is just under $23,000; before the start of Baylor 2012, it was just under $15,000.
* “Baylor makes strides, but falls short of top-tier research goal” — “In hindsight, most everyone concedes that goal [becoming a top-tier research institution] was never within reach during the plan’s 10-year frame. Still, many at the university think the efforts initiated as part of the vision positioned Baylor to become one of the nation’s elite research universities. Vaulting to the next level will take at least another decade, they acknowledge.”
* “Baylor learns to balance research, teaching through controversial 2012 plan” — “Baylor University’s push to increase its research activity was not only a hallmark of its Baylor 2012 plan but also one of its most controversial components. … Fast-forward a decade later, though, and Baylor’s faculty seems generally pleased with how the school has balanced research and teaching.”
* “Baylor 2012′s impact was economic energizer for Waco” — “Baylor University economist Tom Kelly prepared an economic snapshot showing that revenue generated by Baylor from outside McLennan County will have a $1.79 billion impact on the local economy during the 2011-12 academic year.”
* “Baylor’s next strategic plan offers aspirations, not goals” — “‘One of my favorite comments from the feedback session was, “I can see you took my input seriously,”‘ [Provost Elizabeth] Davis said. ‘People could see not only their ideas but their words strung together.’”
The university’s new strategic vision, Pro Futuris, will build on the foundation laid by Baylor 2012 as the university continues to move forward in coming years.
Sic ’em, Baylor visionaries!