The Institutional and Environmental Context Leading up to the Commencement of Pro Futuris
Throughout history, leaders of Baylor University have courageously forged new paths for future generations.
It was the courage to step out in faith that galvanized the dreams of three men who dedicated a university before others established our state.
Courage to challenge convention led the upstart university to enroll both male and female students long before co-education was commonly accepted.
Courage to pursue academic excellence helped establish a law school, a medical school, and a seminary ... and led to the region's earliest university courses in journalism, health, and sociology.
Courage to embrace uncertainty empowered leaders to make the decision to move the university to Waco and then to remain in Waco to fulfill its mission.
And 10 years ago, courage emboldened the Baylor family to establish a bold vision which set in motion a remarkable decade of progress ... progress in scholarship and research innovation, student life, athletics, the construction of university facilities, and the engagement of the entire Baylor community.
Courage for the future leads us into this new day — still unyielding in our Christian faith, in our commitment to academic excellence, and in our service to others.
Pro Futuris was developed from broad-based input characterized by a clear understanding and celebration of Baylor's distinctive role in higher education. It is, therefore, for all of us, and it will take each of us to move forward in the years ahead. With these Aspirational Statements and related Areas of Specification as the backbone of Pro Futuris, we can be confident in our actions as we chart a path that honors our heritage, raises our sights, and spreads light to a world that needs what God has called and equipped us to offer.
Pro Futuris is the result of a deliberately open and participatory planning process spanning 18 months. Guided by a renewed commitment to the university's foundational assumptions, core convictions, unifying academic themes, and mission statement, the process actively engaged constituents across all ages and interests.
As we begin this new period in Baylor's history, we must consider the state of the economy and the state of higher education as we chart our course. In spite of the myriad critiques of American higher education - concerns about access, affordability, accountability, and student learning - overall enrollment continues to grow.
The decade in which Baylor 2012 guided University operations saw the institution make significant progress toward fulfilling its aim to be a preeminent research university with a vigorous Christian commitment.
The selection of Kenneth Winston Starr as Baylor's 14th president coincided with the latter days of Baylor 2012. Shortly after he took office in July 2010, the regents and senior administration reviewed the University's foundational assumptions, core convictions, unifying academic themes, and mission statement and determined that these commitments should continue to guide the institution through its next strategic vision.
Adopted by the Board of Regents in September 2001, Baylor 2012 called for the institution to embark on a purposeful refocusing of institutional efforts and resources. It directed a period of significant growth and impact on all aspects of University life.