A&Spire to Illuminate

APPENDIX

Vision Statements, Goals and
Action Steps


 

The Five Pillars of the College of Arts & Sciences

PILLAR 1 – The Christian Educational Environment

Vision: The College of Arts & Sciences will provide the leadership to advance Baylor University’s Christian educational and research environment.

Goal 1: Fully implement the Unified Core Curriculum and improve undergraduate curricular opportunities. See Pillar 2, Transformational Undergraduate Education, for the action steps that maintain and advance the University’s Christian mission.

Goal 2: Establish a Center for Ethics. See the Signature Academic Initiatives section, Human Flourishing, Leadership, and Ethics, for the action steps that advance the University’s unique leadership role in Christian Ethics in higher education in America and the world.

Goal 3: Establish a Baptist Studies Center for Research. See the Signature Academic Initiatives section, Human Flourishing, Leadership, and Ethics, for action steps that solidify Baylor’s role as the premier Baptist institution of higher education in the world.

PILLAR 2 – Transformational Undergraduate Education

Unified Core Curriculum

Goal 1: Fully implement the Unified Core Curriculum.

Action Steps

1.1    Assist all other Baylor colleges and schools as they “map on” to the A&S core curriculum.

1.2    Implement and populate the Creative Arts Experience (CAE) opportunities.

1.3    Develop a Core Fellows Program.

1.4    Develop and implement civic engagement opportunities.

Goal 2: Improve undergraduate curricular opportunities.

Action Steps

2.1    Increase A&S faculty participation in University Chapel.

2.2    Work with campus partners, including the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL) and the Institute for Faith and Learning (IFL), to develop opportunities for A&S faculty to design or redesign core courses.

2.3    Establish a Core Curriculum Diversity Advisory Group to increase resources for faculty as they design courses with cultural competency components in mind to celebrate our increasingly diverse student body.

2.4    Assess the Core:

In Year 1 develop and approve an assessment plan and begin the assessment of the core according to the assessment plan (yearly task with report going to Core Curriculum Advisory Committee [CCAC] at the end of each year); and by Year 5, the Office of the Core will conduct a meta assessment of the core curriculum and provide a report to the Dean. The Director of the Core will work with the Provost’s Office, the chairs of the Core Curriculum Diversity Advisory Group, and the chairs of the A&S Diversity Taskforce in assessing the extent to which the diversity requirements of the Core are being implemented.

2.5    Increase visibility and access to interdisciplinary majors and minors through Web presence.

2.6    Work with departments and A&S Curriculum Committee to refine existing interdisciplinary majors and minors (especially Medical Humanities and Area Studies). This work will be done by the Director of the Core and the Director of Interdisciplinary Programs.

2.7    Work with departments and A&S Curriculum Committee to develop and implement new interdisciplinary minors and certificates. This work will be conducted by the Director of the Core and the Director of Interdisciplinary Programs.

2.8    Increase the number of students pursuing double and secondary interdisciplinary majors.

2.9    Increase the number of students pursuing an interdisciplinary minor and certificates.

2.10  Work with departments and A&S Curriculum Committee to develop five interdisciplinary certificates.

2.11  Increase courses with a cross-cultural element to prepare students better for “worldwide leadership and service.”

2.12  Populate the Grand Challenges in the Science Distribution List of the unified core curriculum with four interdisciplinary courses.

2.13  Establish a Humanities Fellows Program.

2.14  Establish a Social Sciences Fellows Program.

Enrollment Plan

Goal 1: Retain 89.8% of freshmen.

Action Steps

1.1    Implement enrollment practices as outlined by the Academic Capacity Committee’s 2020-2022 solutions document for the departments of Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Psychology and Neuroscience for the incoming classes of 2020, 2021, and 2022.

1.2    Study and identify retention patterns by demographic subgroups and establish intervention programs for the identified groups.

1.3    Increase the percentage of A&S freshmen enrolled in a credit-bearing New Student Experience (NSE) course from 75% to 90%.

Goal 2: Achieve 70% four-year and 80.3% six-year graduation rates.

Action Steps

2.1    Identify and assist at-risk populations by student classification.

2.2    Seek opportunities to reduce financial barriers to success, such as lowering the cost of textbooks.

2.3    Initiate a campaign to increase the number of students who have earned 30 hours at the beginning of their sophomore year.

2.4    Increase A&S offerings for summer online instruction, offering a limited number of online opportunities in fall and spring semesters for high-demand prehealth courses.

2.5    Explore opportunities for alumni to assist in A&S student-success efforts.

2.6    Collaborate with University Advisement (UA) to help A&S undecided majors select an appropriate major.

2.7    Offer an online Wintermester pilot program for 2020-21 and 2021-22 and provide an analysis of the pilot for the Dean and COC.

2.8    Offer a Maymester Baylor in Taos pilot program in May 2022.

Goal 3: Create an A&S Enrollment Advisory Group to develop a draft of a 2022-2027 A&S Undergraduate Enrollment Plan (EP).

Action Steps

3.1    Draft and submit for Council of Chairs’ approval a 2022-2027 A&S Undergraduate Enrollment Plan (EP) targeting recruitment, retention and graduation goals stated in this section.

3.2    Research enrollment management plans at peer and aspirant institutions to guide the development of the EP.

3.3    Explore new markets for recruiting students, paying particular attention to enrolling a student population that better mirrors state and national demographics.

Prehealth Programs

Vision:  Prepare and support students aspiring to careers in healthcare through collaborations with the Baylor academic community and professional healthcare partners so these students may live out Baylor's mission of worldwide leadership and service.

Goal 1:  Increase first-year freshman retention rate for A&S prehealth students overall (as of Fall 2019, 88.4%) and for each of the under-represented subpopulations (e.g., as of Fall 2019, 86.6% for minority students) to the A&S target of 89.8% by Year 5.

Action Steps

1.1    Determine the first-year freshman retention rate, through a collaboration between the A&S Director of Information Analysis and the Office of Institutional Research (IR), of under-represented populations, according to gender, ethnicity, first-generation college students, and other appropriate demographics for prehealth students in A&S.

1.2    With the leadership of OPHS, form the Prehealth Freshman Retention and Intervention Committee (PFRIC) with representation from the College of Arts and Sciences Advisement (CASA), UA and Enrollment Management. The committee charge is to (a) identify prior to orientation potentially at-risk prehealth students and (b) design a program of intervention offering study-skills and advising.

1.3    Design, through the PFRIC, interventions (such as parallel plans of advisement) for students who (a) have received two or more academic warnings or who have been identified through poor academic performance, or (b) whose GPA and credit accumulation subsequently qualify them for the premedical, predentistry and preveterinary medicine (PMDV) designation at the end of their freshman year.

1.4    In collaboration with the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), assess the nature and effectiveness of programming currently provided to PMDV students, to determine acceptance rates into professional programs, and to make recommendations to improve outcomes. This step will ensure that students are aware of allied health options and pathways to admission to these programs. This collaboration will be led by the PFRIC.

1.5    Monitor the progress of intervention and parallel advising plans, as described in Action Step 1.3 above. The PFRIC will conduct this monitoring.

Goal 2:  Increase the six-year graduation rate of all A&S prehealth students (as of Fall 2018, 76.5%) to equal or exceed the graduation rate of all A&S students (as of Fall 2018, 80%) by Year 5.

Action Steps

2.1    Identify, through CASA and the Office of Degree Certification and Curriculum Development, A&S prehealth students who are not progressing at rates to graduate in four years and provide advising to these students for degree completion in four years or with minimal time beyond four years.

2.2    Assess progress annually through collaborative efforts of Directors of OPHS, Enrollment Management, and CASA.

Goal 3: Continue to increase the overall acceptance rate of Baylor A&S students who apply to medical, dental, and veterinary schools.

Action Steps

3.1    Explore and potentially develop 4+1 BS/MS degree and other bridge year programs that allow students to effectively distribute the prehealth curriculum throughout their undergraduate career.

3.2    Provide and promote additional opportunities for students to develop interpersonal skills of ethics, compassion, and empathy through courses that have a cultural competency component to further these skills. Such courses may be electives or required courses in the major and minor fields, as well as in certificate programs.

3.3    Continue to develop Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and Dental Admission Test (DAT) programs and workshops to support students’ readiness and preparation for these tests.

3.4    Continue to develop alumni mentoring and shadowing programs.

3.5    Expand the professional internship programs with regional healthcare and dental partners.

3.6    Coordinate with campus partners to expand leadership development programs coordinated by the Division of Student Life, the Prehealth Chapel Alternative coordinated by the Bobo Spiritual Life Center, and medical mission trip opportunities coordinated by the Baylor Missions Office.

Engaged Learning

Vision: A&S will help Baylor students discover pathways to maximize their education through learning beyond the classroom, encouraging them to discover “the life that really is life,” where they maximize their own potential and apply it toward the flourishing of their neighbor and the world.   

Goal 1: Increase the number of students competing for major scholarships and awards to 100 annually and diversify both the applicant pool and the awards sought.

Action Steps

1.1    Develop a tracking database of awards sought annually by Baylor students.

1.2   Overhaul the website, including a searchable database, that better equips students to match their academic and professional interests with compatible fellowships and awards.

1.3   Increase the Ampersand Society cohort sizes in order to identify prospective applicants in their first year.

1.4   Begin to host interest sessions and workshops, both in-person and virtual, to reach wider student audiences.

1.5   Host interest sessions and workshops specifically designed for students from underrepresented backgrounds.

1.6   Pilot a for-credit class for the Ampersand Society that presents national scholarship and other engaged learning opportunities to students.

Goal 2: Assess current undergraduate research activity, potential capacity, and opportunities for growth, while simultaneously increasing the number and diversity of students participating in faculty-led research.

Action Steps

2.1    Collaborate with the Registrar’s Office to create a uniform course number for undergraduate research courses in all departments across the College.

2.2    Design certificates in research for undergraduate students.

2.3    Design and develop a curricular platform that helps students learn basic research literacy and discover research opportunities while connecting faculty to undergraduate research initiatives. 

2.4    Develop survey instruments to measure the campus-wide undergraduate research appetite and interests.

2.5    Apply for grants to establish and fund research opportunities for underrepresented students.

Goal 3: Increase the number of faculty and graduate students who mentor undergraduates in research.

Action Steps:

3.1    Create a certificate program for doctoral students in mentoring undergraduate research.

3.2    Support the development of Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) as part of National Science Foundation (NSF) grants in order to allow undergraduate participation in major NSF-funded research.

3.3    Implement and expand the Elizabeth Vardaman Award for Undergraduate Mentoring.

3.4    Develop a formal research program for the academic year that shares elements of the Baylor Transdisciplinary Research Undergraduate Experience (BTRUE) program.

3.4.1    Establish Career Development Seminars during the academic year.

3.4.2    Increase the number of on-campus opportunities for research presentations throughout the academic year, for example, linking these to high-ability recruitment events and to development/alumni/parent activities.

Goal 4: Implement a Civic Engagement (CE) course requirement in the Unified Core Curriculum for all A&S students.

Action Steps

4.1    Work with the CCAC and the Registrar’s Office to develop a plan to phase-in the Civic Engagement Core requirement, including the establishment of a searchable “CE” designation for civic engagement courses.

4.2    Increase the number of CE courses, both through the Philanthropy & Public Service Program and through CE courses embedded in academic disciplines.

4.3    Identify faculty champions/pioneers in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Sciences to mentor future faculty.

Goal 4 (continued)

4.4    Educate faculty about new opportunities for CE courses.

4.4.1    Work with the ATL to host training opportunities.

4.4.2    Meet with the Undergraduate Program Directors (UPDs) across A&S departments to explore CE courses imbedded in disciplines.

4.5    Work with community partners to establish pathways for student service.

Goal 5: Develop partnerships that empower students and faculty to contribute substantially to the Solid Gold Neighbor initiative in Waco.

Action Steps

5.1    Offer a Philanthropy & the Public Good in partnership with the Office of External Affairs, making grants to support Waco-area nonprofits.

5.2    Explore options to designate Waco as a community host site for the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

Goal 6: Develop strategies to fund and administer 50 national or international internships annually for Baylor students, especially in the areas of research and public service.

Action Steps

6.1    Recruit high-achieving students to our existing internship programs in prehealth, research, and the Shepherd Higher Education Consortium on Poverty.

6.2    Work with UA and the A&S Board of Advocates to generate new funding for summer internships in traditionally underfunded areas of strategic importance.

Goal 7: Increase the percentage of Arts & Sciences students studying abroad.

Action Steps

7.1    Collaborate with the Center for Global Engagement (CGE) to build support for programming.

7.2    Monitor the number of A&S students studying abroad annually.

7.3    Work with UA to cultivate new funding sources aimed at facilitating study abroad opportunities for A&S students.

Goal 8: Develop new programs that integrate engaged learning opportunities with study abroad.

Action Steps

8.1    Pilot research and internship opportunities through existing study abroad programs.

8.2    Work with CGE and A&S faculty to determine which existing study abroad programs are poised to integrate new engaged learning dimensions.

8.3    Explore new study abroad sites that show promise for integrated engaged learning opportunities.  

8.4    Pursue grant funding for engaged learning activities abroad.

PILLAR 3 – Research

Vision: Elevate the research profile of A&S to align with the research profiles of arts & sciences colleges at R1 institutions.

Goal 1: Double external funding in STEM and more than double external funding in the Humanities and Social Science departments.

Action Steps

1.1    Hire more than 100 new and replacement faculty in A&S.

1.2    Revise departmental tenure and promotion guidelines in STEM departments to reflect funding expectations comparable with the level achieved by faculty in their disciplines at R1 universities without medical schools.

1.3    Revise departmental tenure and promotion guidelines in the Humanities and Social Science departments to increase the number of externally funded fellowships and research grants.

1.4    Develop a Five-Year Core Facilities Plan for the Baylor Sciences Building to ensure that growth among research faculty is supported by our infrastructure.

Goal 2:  Increase the number of external research proposals in the Humanities and Social Science departments by a factor of four.

Action Steps

2.1    Include granting expectations in position advertisements for the Humanities and Social Science departments.

2.2    Increase resources and support for Humanities and Social Science faculty to identify funding opportunities.

Goal 3: Within a decade, double the number of doctorates awarded annually in STEM programs, while increasing the number of Humanities doctorates awarded by one-third and the number of Social Sciences doctorates awarded by one-half.

Action Steps

3.1    Collaborate with the Graduate School to increase the pool of doctoral students in existing doctoral programs targeted in areas that have a positive outlook for employment.

3.2    Design and launch new Ph.D. programs with interested departments in the Humanities and Social Sciences in areas that have a positive outlook for employment.

3.3    Streamline or re-organize graduate offerings to decrease the number of low-enrollment sections and decrease students’ time to degree.

PILLAR 4 – Human Performance in the Arts

Vision: A&S will lead the University in attaining nationally recognized awards in painting, theater, literature, film, dance, and design, while also providing an outstanding arts education to all its students.

Goal 1: Provide a Fine Arts program that is on par with those at aspirant universities.

Action Steps

1.1    Seek funding opportunities for the renovation and expansion of facilities in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center.

1.2    Increase the number of top-tier national and international performances, productions, and juried events.

1.3    Gain approval for an MFA program in Film & Digital Media.

1.4    Explore the possibility of a Baylor in Los Angeles program.

1.5    Increase endowed scholarships for all three Fine Arts programs.

1.6    Increase faculty participation at high-ability recruiting events.

1.7    Provide a comprehensive arts education to all A&S students.

1.8    Provide 200 or more events per year to facilitate the CAE requirement of the A&S Unified Core Curriculum.

PILLAR 5 – Fostering Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity

Vision: Build on previous steps in A&S to foster diversity, inclusion, and equity in A&S.

Goal 1: Become more diverse and inclusive across all aspects of A&S, to include improved hiring practices, curriculum enhancement, addressing the needs of under-represented students, targeted research activities, and promotion of special events.

Action Steps

1.1    Form a committee appointed by the Dean of faculty to study diversity needs unique to A&S and submit recommendations to the A&S Council of Chairs (COC) by their May 2021 meeting.

1.2    Receive recommendations from the COC in response to the committee proposal regarding the implementation of key initiatives and/or continue committee activities into the following year, as needed.

Signature Academic Initiatives

Health

Cancer Collaborative 

Goal 1: Implement the Cancer Collaborative.

Action Steps

1.1    Seek funding opportunities to endow the Cancer Collaborative or to endow components of it through endowed chairs by using the University match program.

1.2    Seek University support to expand the program incrementally through new faculty and staff lines, including startup and facilities costs.

1.3     Depending on the success of the program, consider the formation of a Center that includes an administrative structure.

Global Health Initiative

Goal 1: Implement the Global Health Initiative.

Action Steps

1.1     Seek funding opportunities to endow the initiative or to endow components of it through endowed chairs by using the University match program.

1.2     Seek University support to expand the program incrementally through faculty and staff lines, including startup and facilities costs.

1.3    Depending on the success of the program, consider the formation of a Center that includes an administrative structure.

Brain, Behavioral and Mental Health Initiative

Goal 1: Implement the Brain, Behavioral and Mental Health Initiative.

 Action Steps

1.1     Seek funding opportunities to endow the initiative or to endow components of it through endowed chairs by using the University match program.

1.2     Seek University support to expand the program incrementally through faculty and staff lines, including startup and facilities costs.

1.3    Depending on the success of the program, consider the formation of a Center   that includes an administrative structure.

Materials Science 

Goal 1: Implement the Materials Science Initiative.

Action Steps

1.1    Seek funding opportunities to endow the initiative or to endow components of it through endowed chairs by using the University match program.

1.2    Seek University support to expand the program incrementally through faculty and staff lines, including startup and facilities costs.

1.3    Depending on the success of the program, consider the formation of an Institute that is administered by the Office of the Vice-Provost for Research, Dean of A&S, and Dean of ECS.

Human Flourishing, Leadership and Ethics

Baptist Studies Center for Research

Goal 1: Implement the Baptist Studies Center for Research.

Action Steps

1.1    Seek funding opportunities to endow the initiative or to endow components of it through endowed chairs by using the University match program.

1.2    Seek University support to expand this program incrementally through faculty and staff lines, including startup and facilities costs.

1.3    Depending on the success of the program, consider the formation of a Center that includes an administrative structure.

Center for Ethics

Goal 1: Implement the Center for Ethics.

Action Steps

1.1    Form a committee of faculty and staff to identify strategic areas of academic strength.

 1.2   Seek funding opportunities to endow the collaborative or to endow components of it through endowed chairs by using the University match program.

 1.3   Seek University support to expand the program incrementally through faculty and staff lines, including startup and facilities costs.

 1.4   Depending on the success of the program, consider the formation of a Center that includes an administrative structure.

Baylor in Latin America

Goal 1: Identify one or more areas of emphasis within the 5-year window of this strategic plan.

Action Steps

1.1    The A&S Director of the Office of Interdisciplinary Studies, in consultation with other interested parties, will vet various initiatives from the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures, Office of Global Engagement, and other areas of the University.

1.2    Seek funding opportunities to endow the Center, or various programs within this initiative.

Data Sciences

Goal 1: Collaborate on the design and implementation of a broad Data Sciences Initiative.

Action Steps

1.1   Collaborate with other interested parties within the College and in other academic units to design and refine a broad Data Sciences Initiative with a Digital Humanities component. The Associate Dean for Research and the Associate Dean for the Humanities will lead this collaboration.

1.2   Seek funding opportunities to endow the Initiative and its various programs.

Financial Model

 Goal 1: Create a five-year budget plan to meet the financial needs of the Five-Year Strategic Plan.

Action Steps

1.1     Determine total expenses required to implement the Five-Year Strategic Plan.

1.2     Establish the baseline A&S operational budget.

1.3     Determine potential revenues from professional masters programs.

1.4     Determine potential revenues from certificates.

1.4     Determine potential fundraising revenues through endowments and annual giving.

1.6     Determine potential revenues from salary buyouts.

1.7     Determine potential revenues from the Facilities and Administrative (F&A) rate.

1.8     Explore possible budgetary reallocations.