Here’s an interesting story I came across this news story at my hometown paper about Baylor. Ken Starr is the new president (yes, the Ken Starr from the Clinton days), but a key part of the discussion is the vision of the school to be both Christian and academically excellent. During my time at Ouachita Baptist University, the Pew Scholars Program was just rolling out and I was definitely infected by the mindset that evangelicals need to leave behind their anti-intellectual heritage. In fact, I just remembered that my first time to lead an academic discussion group (as a part of Pew) was kick started by an article in the Wall Street Journal I came across detailing Sloan’s changes. Baylor seems like a great place to try out this experiment, but I’m sure it’s a difficult process.
But as I was doing some research for my statements about the integration of faith and learning a few months ago, I came across this article: ‘Faith and Learning: Toward a Typology of Faculty Views at Religious Research Universities’ by Todd Ream, Michael Beaty, and Larry Lion in Christian Higher Education, 3 (2004):349–372. They questioned faculty (apparently in the mid-1990’s) from Baylor University (BU), Boston College (BC), Brigham Young University (BYU), and the University of Notre Dame (ND). There were some quite surprising statements regarding the segregation of faith and learning at Baylor (and the other schools), which probably helped motivate Sloan’s 2012 vision. It would be interesting to see what the responses would be today since more concern is given to this in hiring.
As a side note, if you check out Houston Baptist’s 10 Pillar’s vision statement, it seems that they have also embraced this vision from Sloan (who is now the president there). I hope it succeeds there as well.