Theme 2

Becoming a Nationally Recognized Research Institution

Act of Determination 2 -- Increasing Research and Creative Activities in the Humanities and Social Sciences

Many departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences attained strategic success during the decade of Vision 2012. Our successful pursuit of Carnegie research aspirations requires continued, and increased, contributions across all programs in Arts & Sciences. We recognize that the potential for external funding tends to be greater in STEM fields than in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Even so, the Humanities and Social Sciences should make every effort to attract external funding to support doctoral students. Consequently, we will strive to support disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences to enable them to contribute to the University’s Carnegie rankings.

In the next decade, the Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as STEM, should continue to broaden and strengthen Baylor’s research and teaching contributions in areas related to health sciences and other inquiry directed toward improving the human condition in the context of Baylor’s Christian commitments (refer to Theme 4). Arts & Sciences acknowledges that Humanities and Social Science departments will require some strategic hires and routine replacement of existing faculty and associated space needs to continue expanding research productivity. Departments will explore ways to engage in interdisciplinary research to increase productivity and to leverage resources across departments for greater efficiency.

Action Steps:
  • By Fall 2014 the Dean will appoint a committee of representative department chairs from the Humanities and Social Sciences to encourage those departments with graduate programs to submit plans for increasing research activities, including in such plans hiring practices and the number of graduate students successfully completing the program in a timely fashion. These discussions will be based on best practices regarding start-up needs, space needs, infrastructural support, and release time for faculty to conduct research at Carnegie RU/VH levels.
  • By Spring 2015 the Dean, with guidance from the Humanities and Social Sciences committee, will develop a master space plan.
  • By Spring 2015 departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences will assess the possibility of establishing a Center for Baptist Studies.