Livingstone announces next steps as Illuminate campaign reaches end

President Livingstone shared her plan for the next chapter of Baylor as the Illuminate program comes to an end. Photo courtesy of Baylor University

By Caitlyn Meisner | Copy Editor

As the Illuminate campaign comes to an end — as announced by President Linda Livingstone on April 5 — a new plan and strategy is in the works.

Livingstone sent an email to faculty, staff and students to share the initiative to consider the next chapter of Baylor. This effort, known as the Strategic Planning Group, is being co-chaired by Provost Nancy Brickhouse and Livingstone’s Chief of Staff Tiffany Hogue.

According to Livingstone’s email, Brickhouse and Hogue will lead discussions and guide the Baylor community through the next year as the plan is crafted.

The Illuminate program was announced in 2018 and directed the university in its initial five-year campaign, but has been extended to include Illuminate Forward through 2027.

Some of the initiatives and commitments the Illuminate Forward campaign has set out, include hiring new faculty, improving residential experiences through renovations and completing athletic projects.

Brickhouse said the Illuminate campaign was remarkable and aspirational in how it has impacted Baylor.

“It was a very actionable document,” Brickhouse said. “The thing that I think is so remarkable about where we are as an institution is that people have really contributed to that strategic plan through real action and real accomplishments that really positions us well for the next phase of strategic planning.”

Brickhouse said she didn’t see this transition out of Illuminate as an end of a chapter, but rather a continuation of a foundational aspect of today’s Baylor.

“This next phase of strategic planning is … going to be building on the prior one,” Brickhouse said. “You’re not going to see a major shift in direction. I think what you’re going to see is much more of an articulation of the vision that’s already been laid out.”

Hogue echoed Brickhouse and said this continuation is the next chapter in a “beautiful long book.”

“Illuminate really built on the strategic plans that came before that known as Pro Futuris and Baylor 2012,” Hogue said. “All of those plans have been quite consistent about Baylor’s core mission and priorities.”

Members of the Baylor community are serving in the Strategic Planning Group with Brickhouse and Hogue, including Dr. Coretta Pittman, associate professor of English; Whitney Jones, senior director of student success initiatives; Dr. Kevin Chambliss, vice provost for research; Dr. Sharra Hynes, associate vice president for student life and dean of students; and the presidents of both the Graduate and Student Government Associations.

Hogue said the group is made up of students, faculty and administrators because they need representation from “the people we are educating.”

“If you look at Baylor’s mission, it’s to educate men and women for worldwide leadership and service,” Hogue said. “The student experience will be a central part of all of our conversations and our decisions.”

Brickhouse said the university’s commitment is to undergraduate education specifically, so it’s “incredibly important” to have that group represented in the discussions.

The Strategic Planning Group’s first meeting will be held May 3, and listening sessions for the Baylor community will occur during the 2023-2024 academic year as the plan is formulated.

Brickhouse and Hogue said the group plans on delivering a new strategic plan on Livingstone’s desk by late April or early May 2024, which will then be passed onto the Board of Regents for final approval.

“We’re really excited about working together and working with this group,” Hogue said. “We are committed to making it a process where all of our constituents have various opportunities to contribute their good ideas and weigh in.”