Aspirational Statement Three: Informed Engagement
Aspirational Statement Three: Baylor will be a community recognized for Informed Engagement … where our Christian faith, in conjunction with our expertise and resources, inspires a desire to address systemic problems facing our community, both local and global, and renews our dedication to improvement of self and service to others.
Baylor’s calling dictates that we teach, pursue research, innovate, and serve with full awareness of the needs of others. These might be residents of nearby neighborhoods with deep economic needs or members of a marginalized class in another hemisphere. Baylor intentionally addresses challenges of society through evidence-based, solutions-focused, capacity-building partnerships to ease burdens and resolve fundamental inequities. Through both episodic and sustained engagement, we leverage and develop our capabilities and research expertise for the mutual benefit of Baylor and these communities with which we are inextricably linked.
In the last decade, we have increased our engagement in the local community through various activities, including our Family Practice Center Partnership, the Texas Hunger Initiative, Campus Kitchen, the Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative, Steppin’ Out, and participation in local schools through placement of student teacher interns and volunteers in school-sponsored programs. Through our libraries and digitization center, national collaborations such as the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project have provided access and preservation for rare materials that enhance our understanding of culture and history. Globally we have met needs through an increased number of mission trips, especially those that are discipline-specific, allowing students to use their intellectual and spiritual gifts to serve others while at the same time broadening their understanding of the rich cultural diversity found throughout the world. Looking forward, our efforts need to be more coordinated and focused. Therefore, we will:
- Lead initiatives in which we offer our distinctive knowledge, resources, and capabilities to address systemic problems in our community and throughout the world;
- Pursue academic partnerships with local, national, and global constituents that are focused on meeting human needs;
- Form stronger, more strategic community partnerships that improve the quality of life for Central Texans;
- Support local research that provides a foundation for effective solutions to community concerns;
- Integrate service into the fabric of campus life, grounded in a Christian understanding of hospitality that motivates humble service to all even as we remain faithful to our distinctive commitments; and
- Create educational opportunities that benefit the community and Baylor alumni.