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10-year vision focus of regents' spring meeting

Feb. 27, 2001

Member: Diversity is key to Baylor future

By BLAIR MARTIN

Staff writer

The focus of the Baylor Board of Regents' spring meeting held at the end of last week was to discuss and closely evaluate the survey data collected for President Robert B. Sloan Jr.'s 10-year vision.

In creating the 10-year vision, last year Sloan began asking both faculty and students how they would like to see Baylor University in 2012.

Although the actual plan will not be launched until 2002, Sloan presented the regents with several presentations outlining collected data from both faculty and student responses concerning the vision.

Regent Hal Wingo said he and his colleagues discussed the importance of Baylor maintaining its unique academic and Christian identity amidst growing societal changes.

'Baylor has no choice but to face the changing industry in society over the next several years,' Wingo said. 'Therefore, it is important to look at these changes and ask ourselves how that will impact Baylor and what should we do about it.'

Wingo said he thinks the first couple of decades in the 21st century will be 'a real shake-out' time for a lot of institutions in the United States.

'There will be universities and schools that don't make it because the competition becomes too terrific and the costs become overbearing,' he said. 'Therefore, the survivors will be the ones that have best understood how the world is changing and how they should relate to it. That is the whole purpose of the vision.'

Wingo said that one way Baylor could keep in-line with growing societal changes is not to become an 'elitist or separate university' but rather become more diversified.

One way is to increase the minority population on campus, he said.

'A more diversified population at this university will reflect the diversity in the general population,' Wingo said. 'This also calls for recruiting more minority students and looking for more qualified minority faculty members.'

Another issue Wingo said the regents anticipate Baylor facing in the future is an increase in education dollars that plan to be distributed via President Bush's education reform.

Wingo said that this may cause an even greater competition among Baylor and schools statewide.

'Students with this money in their pockets are going to be going where they want to,' he said. 'If they come to Baylor, they'll come because they see something special here and they will bring those dollars with them. [Baylor] has to be prepared to deal with that and make itself attractive in an increasingly competitive academic field to students.'

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