Baylor Board of Regents discuss Academic Strategic Plan, Illuminate

Baylor President Dr. Linda Livingstone spoke at the meeting Friday to address the Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan among other topics. Ryan Barrett | Multimedia Journalist

By Micaela Freeman | Staff Writer

Baylor University Board of Regents, Baylor’s official governing body, held its first meeting of the year at 9:30 a.m. Friday morning at the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. The Board of Regents discussed the implementation of Phase II of Baylor’s Pro Futuris vision, which is the Academic Strategic Plan called Illuminate, as well as Dr. Livingstone’s future goals for the university.

The Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan contains four pillars for success: Academics, Facilities, Finances and Fundraising

The name for the Academic Strategic Plan is relevant to Baylor’s theme of light and the “Where Lights Shine Bright” campaign. The title is cited eight times in the vision plan, which was released in 2012. The campaign’s mission is to let students know Baylor is university that creates opportunity to rise to their full potential.

Dr. Livingstone said the second phase of the Academic Strategic Plan will transcend throughout Baylor not only academically but also strategically for the university’s success.

“Pro Futuris signifies a growing academic enterprise dedicated to the search for new knowledge. Not simply the sake of knowledge, but for the love all truth illuminated by our Christian faith,” Livingstone said in a statement.

President Livingstone and Interim Provost Michael K. McLendon are leading Illuminate Academic Strategic Plan.

Livingstone said that it’s been a several month process.

It includes a University-wide process including Deans, department chairs and Baylor’s 12 colleges and schools. Since the last meeting in September, the Board of Regents has solidified the next phase of the Academic Strategic Plan as well as search for a new Provost.

Joel Allison, Baptist General Convention of Texas regent and chair of the Board of Regents, responded to the Academic Strategic Plan in a positive manner and said he was excited for Baylor’s future as it begins to implement Illuminate.

Allison said he is grateful to be apart of Livingstone’s new Academic Strategic Plan.

“We are very uniquely positioned to make a difference as a Christ centered university committed to academic excellence and Christian commitment within a caring community,” Allison said. “I am excited about it.”

Allison said he was pleased with the past several months and is eager to watch Illuminate grow.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with where we are now,” Allison said. “I think the strategic plan will enhance the mission. I think it will enlighten the mission and it will reaffirm why we are a Christ-centered university and we really had that opportunity, I think, to become a shining light in a world.”

Livingstone also addressed other matters on behalf of Baylor such as the handling of the allegations made against two redshirt football players in November at the press conference that followed the Board of Regents meeting.

Baylor takes any allegations of sexual assault very seriously and strives to be fair and equitable to every party involved in a Title IX case, Livingstone said.

“We work very hard to protect both complainant and respondent in cases without providing names so we ensure the integrity of that process,” Livingstone said. “We do feel very confident in our policy around Title IX in regard to the processes we have in place.”

Along with the discussion of Title IX and the implementation of the Academic Strategic Plan, Livingstone said she is thrilled to be given the opportunity to enhance Baylor’s campus academically and personally.

“We’re excited about it; there’s tremendous energy around it,” Livingstone said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do, but it was a good meeting with great feedback and a really important step in moving the university forward to where we wanted it to move as a preeminent Christian university.”