In the summer of 2006 President Lilley issued a call for Departments, Centers, Colleges and other instructional and research units on the Baylor University campus to submit "Major Strategic Proposals", which were due by December 15, 2006. The goal of this process was to generate innovative ideas across the campus that could propel Baylor University to the desired higher level of national recognition stated in Vision 2012. Support for these initiatives would be above the standard 3% annual incremental growth built into Baylor's budget model. A total of 60 proposals were submitted after the call, and they are being reviewed by a University Strategic Planning Council, which will make recommendations to President Lilley. In September of 2007 the funded proposals selected for implementation were announced, to be provided enhanced additional funding. As Chair I submitted a Major Strategic Proposal entitled: "Research Initiative in Terrestrial Paleoclimatology at Baylor University", which takes advantage of the existence of a core group of five faculty in Geology currently engaged in studies of the geologic record of climate change and proposes purposeful growth in this niche area, which no other Geology Department in North America can lay claim to at this time. Additional proposals affecting the Geology Department and selected for implementation were the CRASR proposal submitted by the Biology Department and the TIEES proposal submitted jointly by Biology, Geology, and Environmental Studies.
1) Research Initiative in Terrestrial Paleoclimatology (hires staged over five years)
(A) 3 new faculty hires (one senior): NOTE: includes Nordt "replacement": possibilities include paleobotanist or palynologist; paleomagnetist; organic geochemist; geomicrobiologist; paleoclimate modeler. 8 total faculty participants
(B) 1 new instrument technical support staff (XRF/XRD, computer, microscopes)
(C) 3 new Ph.D. graduate stipends
(D) Office space, laboratory and startup money for all three hires
2) Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research
(A) Three new faculty hires (Geology, Biology, Environmental Studies), and one replacement hire in Biology; one hire allocated to Geology
(B) Office space, laboratory and startup money for Geology hire
(C) Develop new laboratory space for Dr. Peter Allen in 4th floor C-wing of BSB
3) TIEES (Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Ecological, Earth and Environmental Sciences)
(A) Establishes new graduate program and will especially help interdisciplinary research efforts in Environmental Sciences
(B) The possible impact on Geology is harder to estimate, but it should help water group with student recruitment.