Baylor Regents Hear Updates on State of the University, Strategic Planning Process

Oct. 22, 2010

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Board also honors Baylor Meritorious Achievement Award recipients

The Baylor University Board of Regents today heard updates from the President and the Provost on the State of the University and the university's upcoming strategic planning process during the board's Homecoming meeting Oct. 21-22. In addition, Baylor Regents honored eight members of the Baylor family with the inaugural 2010-11 Baylor Meritorious Achievement Awards and also recognized Founders Medal recipients.

President Ken Starr presented a State of the University Report to the board, which highlighted Baylor's progress in developing its identity as a faith-based institution of higher education, increasing the size and scope of the university's research programs and building support for Baylor's successful athletic programs. Starr also took the opportunity to look ahead as the university enters a new period of strategic planning. He indicated that while all institutions of higher education face challenges, Baylor has great reason for optimism. The President's Scholarship Initiative, with the goal of raising $100 million for student scholarships by 2013, is an important step forward in helping qualified students to better afford a Baylor education in the future, Starr said. The president announced the initiative on Sept. 15.

Starr also informed Regents today of the departure of Dr. Dennis Prescott, vice president and special adviser to the president for advancement. Prescott, who joined Baylor as vice president for development in 2007, has accepted a position as vice president for university advancement at New Mexico State University, where he also will serve as president of the NMSU Foundation. Prescott will begin his new position in January.

Dr. Elizabeth Davis, executive vice president and provost, presented a Strategic Planning Report to Regents, as Baylor prepares to embark upon the process that will yield the university's next 10-year plan. Davis reported that the university will launch a strategic planning website in November, while simultaneously initiating meetings with on-campus groups to explain the process and encourage participation. After the first of the year, Davis said the university will seek additional input through a series of town hall meetings, similar to those held for the presidential search process.

"In designing our strategic planning process, every effort is being made to ensure that all voices can be heard," Davis said. "We will be asking for 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."

On Thursday night, Baylor Regents honored the recipients of the Baylor Meritorious Achievement Awards at a dinner in their honor at the Mayborn Museum Complex.

Eight individuals and one couple were selected this year as the recipients of accolades that included the Baylor Legacy Awards, Baylor Alumnus of the Year, Baylor Young Alumna of the Year, the Pro Texana Medal of Service and Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service, and the traditional Baylor University Founders Medal, which will be presented in the spring of 2011.

The recipients of this year's awards are:

    • Sadie Jo Black, 2010 Baylor Legacy Medallion Recipient
    • Sue Holt Getterman, 2010 Baylor Legacy Medallion Recipient
    • Harold Riley, 2010 Baylor Legacy Medallion Recipient
    • Clifton Robinson, 2010 Baylor Legacy Medallion Recipient
    • Cary Gray, 2010 Baylor Alumnus of the Year
    • Katie Kilpatrick, 2010 Baylor Young Alumna of the Year
    • State Sen. Kirk Watson, 2010 Pro Texana Medal for Civic Service
    • Dr. Bill Pinson, 2010 Pro Ecclesia Medal for Christian Service
    • Charles and Mary Alice Wise, 2011 Founders Medal Recipients

"What an honor it is to have the opportunity to recognize these magnificent individuals and their exceptional contributions to the glory of God and to the betterment of Baylor," Starr said. "Each one is a fitting example of how and why Baylor University continues to occupy a critical role in higher education and in society."

Along with receiving their awards at the dinner, the honorees will be recognized on Saturday during the Homecoming Parade and at the Baylor-Kansas State football game.

"These are wonderfully exciting times for Baylor University as we are continuing to chart a course that has us moving forward in multiple areas," said Dary Stone, JD '77, Board of Regents Chair. "The board is deeply appreciative of the inspired leadership of Judge Starr, and we anticipate a period of tremendous progress."

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

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