Baylor Regents Approve Construction of Carlile Geology Research Building, New Institute and Doctoral Programs

Feb. 8, 2008

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University's Board of Regents today approved the construction of the $1.3 million Carlile Geology Research Building, which will be built adjacent to the Baylor Sciences Building.

The new 5,400-square-foot building will include six faculty labs, a small teaching classroom for use with lab sections and storage space for soil, sediment and rocks. The building also will provide a location for the department of geology to process samples and stage field activities. Baylor plans to break ground this spring, with construction expected to be completed in fall 2008.

The Carlile Geology Research Building is named in honor of Quinton and Mildred Carlile of Marshall. Funds for Baylor's first geology facility, also named in their honor, were provided by the Carliles' three sons: David Carlile, Kenneth Carlile and Steve Carlile, and other generous supporters of the Baylor geology program.

"Building this state-of-the-art facility adjacent to the Baylor Sciences Building will enhance student and faculty access to a wonderful new academic resource," said Dr. Lee C. Nordt, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of geology. "This is yet another example of our indebtedness to the Carlile family for their many years of dedicated philanthropy to both the university and the department of geology."

Regents today also approved a new research institute and two doctoral degree programs, as the university continues to add to its research infrastructure.

The board voted to establish the multidisciplinary Institute for Ecological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at Baylor. The institute, known as TIE3S, will integrate the research and teaching of a number of academic units, including biology, geology, environmental science, chemistry and biochemistry, and statistics, for the specific study of ecological systems and humanity's role in how they function. The institute also will offer research opportunities for Baylor students who seek to become leaders in environmental stewardship and experts who can provide knowledge and perspective on important environmental issues.

In conjunction with the Institute, Regents approved a new doctoral program in Ecological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, which addresses the need for specialized graduate studies in the natural and applied sciences (biology, geology, environmental science and chemistry).

In addition, the board approved a new doctoral degree program in information systems, the first Ph.D. program to be offered at Baylor's Hankamer School of Business.

Both doctoral degree programs were among the major strategic proposals recommended by the University Strategic Planning Council and selected last September for immediate funding.

"Our faculty, staff and students embraced the idea of strategic planning and put forward many good ideas that will strengthen the university," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "These new Ph.D. programs will build on the research strengths of the faculty in these academic areas. They are examples of our efforts to put interdisciplinary clusters of faculty together to create innovative programs that will allow Baylor to assume a leadership position in some exciting new areas of study."

Baylor Regents today also voted to award honorary degrees to a distinguished theologian and a renowned American playwright. The university will honor Dr. James Leo Garrett Jr., Distinguished Professor of Theology Emeritus at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a 1945 Baylor graduate, and Horton Foote, one of America's leading playwrights and screenwriters and namesake of Baylor's Horton Foote American Playwrights Festival, a semi-annual celebration of American playwrighting.

In other business, Regents adopted a revised religious organization policy, a university-wide code of ethics and a Statement of Public Health to replace an outdated statement.

The modified religious organization policy allows Baylor to charter and grant official recognition to other Christian groups on campus, with Baptist Student Ministries remaining the foundational religious organization of Baylor.

The Baylor University Code of Ethics, which was developed by representatives from all facets of the university and approved by the board, focuses on the expectations of regents, faculty, staff, students and administrators to "conduct themselves and the affairs of the university in an ethical and lawful manner," said Juan Alejandro, director of internal audit and management at Baylor.

Before submitting the Code of Ethics for board approval, the committee presented their draft to the faculty senate, staff council, student government and others for discussion and input. The document contains four sections on community, integrity, stewardship and confidentiality.

"The purpose of the new policy was to develop shared guidelines and principles by which we are to conduct ourselves, so that everyone understands the standards under which we operate, and to support a culture of openness, trust and integrity in management and business practices," said board chair Harold Cunningham.

The statement on creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment recognizes the university's commitment to a policy of preventing the spread of infectious diseases and assisting any person whose life is affected by them.

Goals include actions and polices based on reliable information; a vigorous program of health education across the university; the submission of health forms that include immunization history; educational seminars, conferences and dialogue with local, state and federal health agencies to enhance campus health services and assist in the case of epidemics and pandemics; and additional policies and procedures, consistent with Christian, educational and legal standards, that protect individual rights and address the basic purpose of preserving good health.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?