An Introductory Message from Dean Lee Nordt

After two years of preparation, the faculty and staff of the Baylor College of Arts & Sciences have completed a long-term strategic plan for Arts & Sciences titled A&Spire: Acts of Determination in Support of Pro Futuris. As you can tell from the title, the recent creation of the Baylor University strategic plan Pro Futuris prompted us and the other academic units to formulate our own plans to help Baylor achieve its institutional goals. To do this, we appointed committees of faculty and staff to explore five themes in Arts & Sciences and then propose initiatives related to those themes.

Theme 1 looks at ways to advance liberal education. It recognizes the importance of undergraduate students at Baylor and the critically important role Arts & Sciences plays in providing a mission-centered and core-driven education through cutting-edge approaches.

Theme 2 examines our part in furthering Baylor’s goal of becoming a nationally recognized research institution. It emphasizes the need to accelerate first-rate faculty scholarship, which results in important discoveries made with the help of both graduate and undergraduate students -- discoveries that greatly benefit society. This theme also acknowledges that Arts & Sciences will continue to forge cross-disciplinary collaborations between the sciences and the humanities and will demonstrate to our students the value of this approach.

Theme 3 investigates ways Arts & Sciences can strengthen our engagement with the community. It recognizes the need to improve our communications -- both internally among faculty, staff, and students, as well as externally to our alumni and others. We want to do more to inform our extended communities about the valuable clinical services we provide and the plethora of culturally relevant activities available, including theatre productions, lectures, exhibits, publications and online resources.

Theme 4 surveys the timely topic of investing in the health sciences. It recognizes the importance of healthcare to the Baylor brand and the central role that Arts & Sciences plays in maintaining that reputation for excellence, since we house the prehealth program, serve most of Baylor’s prehealth majors and conduct much of the University’s research at the graduate level in health and health-related disciplines.

Theme 5, titled "Building the Financial Foundation," proposes strategies to fund our initiatives and addresses methods to diversify the ways we procure resources.

Our completed strategic plan includes 43 acts of determination that will be accomplished with 91 action steps, as represented by 49 reports from 10 task forces. We are excited about this plan, as it will shape both our day-to-day activities and long-range goals. These goals are all the more important given that the College of Arts & Sciences constitutes over one-half of Baylor's academic enterprise.

This website is designed to make it easy for you to learn more about this valuable new resource that will guide the direction of the College of Arts & Sciences in the immediate future.

Dr. Lee C. Nordt
Dean, Baylor College of Arts & Sciences