Charting the Course

November 30, 2010
In November, President Ken Starr and Provost Elizabeth Davis offered an invitation to the Baylor community to join in a strategic planning process that will shape the future of Baylor University. The process outlines a step-by-step approach to information gathering, plan development and implementation. The process began with a period of reflection on Baylor's mission and core beliefs and will end with the implementation of a forward-looking 10-year plan for the future.

"In designing our strategic planning process, every effort is being made to ensure that all voices can be heard," Davis said. "We have asked faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends to take considerable time in reflecting on Baylor's character and purpose, on the progress that we have made in our storied 165-year history, and then to be creative in charting the many ways Baylor University can, and should, in the future, serve pro ecclesia, pro texana, the church and the world."

To help guide the process, the University has launched the Strategic Planning website at It includes a timeline of the planning process, links to helpful resources such as Baylor's mission statement, foundational assumptions, core convictions and unifying academic themes, and guidelines for groups and individuals to provide input as the process moves forward.

President Starr is encouraging all members of the Baylor family to participate in this important process and to reflect on "the great truths that define who we are" as the University begins the input phase of the strategic planning process.

"We ask you to reflect on the progress we've made as an institution, the important role that Baylor currently occupies in higher education nationally, the emerging trends that will impact our university in the future, and the significant topics that should inform our conversation as we develop the plan that will, guide our steps in the years to come," Starr said. "We reach boldly to frame and articulate the possibilities that will enliven our imaginations and help our community craft a vision of Baylor's future."


Community input
December 2010-April 2011

During the community input phase, discussions will take place on the Baylor campus within existing organizational structures (departments, schools, administrative units and student organizations) as well as in multi-disciplinary groups. Faculty, staff and current students are encouraged to share input during these meetings, some of which will take the shape of town hall meetings similar to those held during the recent presidential search. Off-campus constituents will also have the opportunity to share insight and ideas through the strategic planning website and through meetings in select cities.

President Starr and Provost Davis are hoping for broad and active participation by the Baylor community during the input stage.

Synthesis and analysis
April-June 2011

Summaries of all the thoughts, ideas, insights and aspirations received during the input phase will be prepared for review by the Strategic Themes Committee, made up of a cross section of the Baylor community. The input also will be made available to the entire Baylor community via an area of the strategic planning website.

During this phase the committee will synthesize and analyze all of the community input and write a report that identifies recurring themes and priorities. The report will be delivered to President Starr, Provost Davis and the rest of the members of the Executive Council.

Draft plan
November 2011

President Starr and the Executive Council will write a draft plan that incorporates the vision, mission and community input on the strategic topics. This draft will be submitted to the Board of Regents at the Homecoming 2011 meeting.

Community feedback
December 2011-March 2012

After the draft plan has been reviewed and considered by the Board of Regents, it will be distributed to the Baylor community for their feedback.

Final plan
May 2012

After incorporating relevant feedback, President Starr and the Executive Council will create the final strategic plan and present it to the Board of Regents for approval at their May 2012 meeting.

June 2012

After the Board approves the final plan, implementation will begin for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

Alignment of unit plans
July 2012

In the final phase, Baylor departments, schools, colleges and administrative units will begin aligning their own strategic plans with the University's new strategic plan.
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