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How does Baylor as a research institution serve as an engine of economic development and enhance the economic vitality of Waco and central Texas?

June 17, 2009

Hyde: Research universities have long been recognized as drivers for local and regional economic development. Although university research and development play primary roles, often overlooked are the other things a research university brings to the table - such as the role the arts and humanities play through enhancement of the region's overall quality of life. When the local chamber of commerce is recruiting a new business, it is true that two of the first things a CEO wants to know are where their companies can become involved with research and development, and where they can hire a workforce. Immediately afterwards, they ask about where their children will go to school, take piano, or become involved in a summer enrichment camp, or where they and their family can attend the theater or visit a museum or art exhibit. All of these are direct outgrowths of the scholarship produced on a daily basis within the arts and humanities departments at universities like Baylor.

DuPuy: An educated workforce is an essential component of any community's economic vitality. The country's future depends on the quality and relevance of the education provided to our emerging workforce. The influence of Baylor on the education of the Waco community is both subtle and powerful. The presence of a full range of university offerings, academic and cultural, on- and off-campus, enriches the community's educational development in ways too intermingled to measure.

Baylor is also uniquely positioned to provide special research for industry and, where feasible, to bring industry into the classroom. Baylor offers unique opportunities for incoming industries and provides support for area business growth. With specific industry projects, student internships often lead to full-time employment after graduation. Baylor has long engaged area business leaders in giving feedback to students' entrepreneurial business proposals. Additionally, in other educational settings graduate students have provided guidance to area businesses, some of which blossomed into successful expanded business ventures. Baylor also offers financial business analysis and is positioned to assist faculty in taking their research to market. The relationships that Baylor enjoys within the community continue to nurture and enhance economic development. Baylor's engagement in the Waco economic development scene bodes well for both the community and Baylor.