Message from the Director

Welcome to the BIC.  We are engaged in the exciting project a well-rounded interdisciplinary education with a global emphasis to Baylor students. We are delighted you’ve decided to make the BIC part of your Baylor Experience. In the BIC, you’ll learn about the ancient history of many world civilizations and cultures and you’ll be encouraged to apply what you learn about the ancient world to the contemporary social and political landscape.  Perhaps you’d like to know a bit about the history of this culture you’ve chosen to embrace: The BIC.

Many colleges and universities abandoned required courses in the turbulent 1960s. The pressures of the job market later compelled many students to think that only that part of education that resulted in directly marketable skills made sense. Even where required courses remained (as they did at Baylor), the proliferation of options for fulfilling the requirements meant that students took such a wide assortment of courses that they often could not talk among themselves about a common cultural inheritance or educational experience, much less how that education might serve the larger world.

The BIC began in 1995 as an effort to give students an opportunity for a truly integrated and shared experience in general education. BIC emphasizes active learning and primary texts. By reading the same texts and engaging in the same activities, students have the basis for the kind of exchanges that Socrates long ago thought was the essence of the life of the mind. The genius of the university historically is that not only does it train people for the world of work but that it also gives them access to the greatest inheritance of human beings. That is the inheritance of the culture and intellectual achievements of generations past as well as present. The rapidly changing world of the early 21st century makes the passing of that inheritance more challenging. So we use the latest methods available to us in this digital age as we continue to draw upon the Socratic exhortation to engage in sustained dialogue about the nature of the examined life.

In the BIC, you’ll find yourself surrounded by highly educated professors who care deeply about making a difference in the lives of their students. You’ll find yourself surrounded by students who are as eager to engage ideas and the life of the mind as you are. Welcome to the life long journey of being a BIC-er.

Anne-Marie Schultz, Ph.D.
Director of BIC and Professor of Philosophy