A&SPIRE: OVERVIEW OF YEAR ONE (2014-2015)

Message from the Dean

In the fall of 2014 the College of Arts & Sciences introduced its strategic plan A&Spire. Thirty-three faculty and staff members from across all of Arts & Sciences participated in creating the document. A&Spire provides a bold vision for our future as a response to the key tenets of the University plan, Pro Futuris. The authors of A&Spire framed the encapsulating aspirational statement for our future:

The College of Arts & Sciences, the oldest and largest academic unit at Baylor University, will provide the leadership for Baylor to build its distinctive identity: a major research institution with a commitment to transformative education within a Christian community of scholars.

A&Spire contains 110 pages with 23 task forces to address 43 Acts of Determination and 97 Action Steps across five Themes during the coming decade. I invite you to take another look at this important document.

In this first year of implementing A&Spire, 81 faculty and staff members from the College of Arts & Sciences, the Provost's Office and affiliated academic units served on 16 task forces addressing the action steps in 23 Acts of Determination. The incredible work performed by these task forces is summarized in the A&Spire Year One Report. I am pleased to present an overview of their work -- both the accomplishments and the future action steps for the coming year:

  • In Theme 1 you will see that task forces are working on the core curriculum, teaching pedagogy and technology, and merit scholarships and fellowship programs.
  • In Theme 2 the task forces are discussing ways in which Arts & Sciences can better position itself to help the University achieve its lofty research and graduate program aspirations.
  • Community outreach is a central focus of Theme 3, as well as improving communication as an academic unit regarding our initiatives on campus and beyond.
  • Theme 4 overlaps with Theme 1 on undergraduate education and with Theme 2 on research and graduate education, but with an emphasis on health science programs and how to more effectively connect those programs with external constituencies.
  • Theme 5 provides the financial model for implementating A&Spire combining revenues from fundraising activities, judicious stewardship, and contributions from the University.

I invite you to review all of the first-year accomplishments of these task forces, as well as the trajectory for their work in the coming year, by clicking on each theme on the sidebar to this message.

Together the faculty and staff of the College of Arts & Sciences will provide leadership that not only fulfills our proposed aspirations but also contributes dynamically to the larger vision of our great university. As we move forward, I welcome your feedback.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lee C. Nordt

Dean, Baylor University College of Arts & Sciences