Baylor Regents Approve New Academic Centers, Doctoral Degree Program

Nov. 2, 2007

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media communications, (254) 710-6275

Baylor University's Board of Regents today approved two new academic centers of national significance and a new joint U.S. Army/Baylor doctoral degree program to help train clinicians who are prepared to conduct advanced scientific research, as well as provide quality emergency care for patients in the Military Health System and on the battlefield.

Baylor regents gave their approval today to the creation of the Academy for Teaching and Learning (ATL), one of nine proposals recently approved by Baylor's Strategic Planning Council made up of faculty, staff and students. With Baylor's historical commitment and ongoing support for excellence in teaching and learning, the ATL will enhance professional development for faculty and promote the scholarship of teaching and learning through new areas of research such as interdisciplinary teaching environments and learning outcomes measurement. The ATL also will create additional avenues to integrate faith and learning.

"With the Academy for Teaching and Learning, Baylor has an opportunity to become a leader in the important national dialogue about the roles of teaching and scholarship," said Baylor President John M. Lilley.

"Baylor 2012 affirms that the university is 'dedicated above all to developing and shaping students,'" said Dr. Douglas W. Rogers, associate dean for student and information services and associate professor of curriculum and instruction in Baylor's School of Education. "The desire to best serve our students coupled with the expectation of greater accountability for educational outputs requires that we support faculty as they strive to meet the challenges of teaching for significant learning."

Regents approved the creation of the Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society, which will function as a subsidiary of the J.M. Dawson Institute of Church-State Studies. During summer 2007, Baylor acquired the complete archive and library of Oxford's Keston Institute, the primary organization involved in monitoring and documenting religious affairs in the communist world during the Soviet period. The Keston Center at Baylor will provide students and faculty, as well as scholars from other institutions, with access to the world's most comprehensive collection of books and research materials related to religious persecution under communism.

"The Keston Center for Religion, Politics and Society will serve as a hub for research on the critically important topic of religious persecution under communism and the issue of church-state relations after communism," said Dr. Christopher Marsh, associate professor and interim director of the Dawson Institute.

Baylor regents also approved the doctor of science physician assistant (DScPA) emergency medicine residency, a new joint U.S. Army/Baylor degree to be completed at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. The new doctoral program will provide Army physician assistants with an opportunity to develop advanced competencies in emergency medicine, while they participate in evidence-based clinical management of critical illnesses and injuries.

In discussion, Baylor Regents acknowledged the positive action taken by the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) this week to review the request of the Regents that the BAA join with them in publicly expressing a commitment to each of the following:

    • achieving the goals of 2012;
    • the independence of the BAA;
    • the maintenance of a harmonious relationship between Baylor and the BAA;
    • the furtherance of the mission and historic Baptist heritage of Baylor University; and
    • championing Baylor's Christian environment with educational excellence.

"The board worked hard on a wide variety of topics over the past couple of days and made a number of decisions important to Baylor's future," said Board of Regents chairman Harold Cunningham. "Baylor is blessed to have access to the remarkable and diverse talents of this board, and I am appreciative of the unwavering dedication and hard work of this outstanding body of volunteers."

The Board of Regents' next meeting will be held Feb. 7-8, 2008.

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