• What does the new academic strategic plan, ‘Illuminate,’ mean for Baylor?

    Pat Neff lit green

    At their regular May meeting, Baylor Regents accepted a new academic strategic plan initiated last year by President Linda Livingstone.

    If you’re like many alumni, the news may have sparked some questions: What is an academic strategic plan? Where did this plan — dubbed Illuminate — come from? And what does it mean for Baylor?

    First, an academic strategic plan guides the university towards its goals. As President Livingstone has noted, “Our goal remains constant: To bring light to the world as a preeminent Christian research university, building on Baylor’s historic strengths and strategically investing in key areas of research.” Illuminate just offers more details as to how we get there.

    Work on this plan began months ago, as President Livingstone led Baylor deans, professors and other academic leaders in discussing how the university might continue to build Baylor’s strength and academic reputation. The Baylor Conversation Series also offered opportunities for alumni and others to learn more and provide feedback on the process. All together, that work led to a plan for the next five-plus years that is built on four core principles and five signature academic initiatives.

    [Baptist Standard: “Christian environment key part of Baylor strategic plan”]

    The four principles? Baylor will build its future on a commitment to pursuing 1) an unambiguously Christian educational environment, 2) a transformational undergraduate education, 3) research and scholarship marked by quality, impact and visibility, and 4) nationally recognized programs in human performance through the arts and athletics.

    The five academic initiatives?

    • Health — focused on environmental, family and community determinants of health, biomedical research, health policy, law, leadership and ethics
    • Data Sciences — biomedical informatics, cybersecurity and business analytics, with an overarching theme of ethical uses of large-scale data
    • Materials Science — technologies that make products faster, stronger and lighter, providing solutions for enhanced quality of life
    • Human Flourishing and Ethics — understanding the conditions by which humans, communities and societies flourish.
    • Baylor in Latin America — health and disease prevention; business development and international trade; human capital formation and education; immigration, migration and human trafficking; congregational development; democratic governance and economics; and culture and arts.

    “These selected ‘signature’ academic initiatives will amplify and expand our Christian commitment and position Baylor for leadership in fields of national importance,” says President Livingstone. “By strengthening scholarship, deepening learning and enhancing teaching, these initiatives will support our commitment to excellence in undergraduate education and growth in graduate education.”

    You can learn more about Illuminate by watching/listening to previous Conversation series events, attending upcoming Conversation events, and exploring the Illuminate website.

    Sic ’em, Bears!