We, the Students . . .

“We, the Students . . .” provides a platform for thoughtful reflections arising from the student body of Baylor University, and is addressed to our esteemed faculty, administrators, and regents. This blog conveys the sentiments of numerous current Baylor students and is not affiliated with nor approved by the University or any of its constituent parts.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Texas House of Representatives, BGCT Boards Honor 2012 Visionary

Now here's a story you won't read in the Lariat. In the past three weeks, two boards of the Baptist General Convention of Texas have voted to honor 2012 Visionary (and current Chancellor), Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr. The Christian Education Coordinating Board (on September 15th) and the Executive Board (on September 27th) passed resolutions expressing their appreciation to Dr. Sloan for his decade of leadership as President of Baylor University. The full text of the Executive Board's resolution follows:

Whereas pioneer Texas Baptists voted in 1844 to “found a Baptist university in Texas upon a plan so broad… that it would be susceptible of enlargement and development to meet the demand of all ages to come”; and

Whereas Baylor University was chartered by the Republic of Texas in 1845 and is today the oldest university in continuous operation in the state and the largest Baptist university in the world; and

Whereas since its creation Baylor University has fulfilled its mission in a close and cooperative relationship with Texas Baptists and specifically with what is today the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and

Whereas Baylor University has enjoyed the leadership of many presidents who have served the university and Texas Baptists with great ability and distinction; and

Whereas Robert B. Sloan, Jr. was elected president of Baylor University and began his service as president on June 1, 1995; and

Whereas Dr. Sloan served Baylor with tireless energy, personal passion, and great vision; and

Whereas under his leadership Baylor University has enjoyed significant progress and remarkable accomplishments across the broad spectrum of university life, has maintained a clear and intentional commitment to its Christian heritage and Baptist identity, and has embarked upon an ambitious plan for the future called Vision 2012; and

Whereas having completed ten years of service as president, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr. was named Chancellor of Baylor University, beginning those duties on June 1, 2005;

Therefore, be it resolved that we, the Christian Education Coordinating Board and the Executive Board of the Baptist General Convention of Texas extend to Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr. our sincere gratitude for the leadership he gave to Baylor University during his tenure as president; and

Be it further resolved that we also express to him our great appreciation for the many ways that he has personally participated in and supported the mission and ministry of the Baptist General Convention of Texas; and

Be it finally resolved that we extend to him, his wife Sue, and their entire family our congratulations and best wishes as he assumes the role of Chancellor, and commit to them our continued prayer on their behalf for God’s richest blessings and purposes in their lives.

These BGCT resolutions come after the Texas House of Representatives in May passed an equally impressive resolution (H.R. No. 2100) written to "express[ . . . the chamber's] high regard" for Dr. Sloan and his accomplishments. The House voted to honor him "for his many contributions as president of Baylor University and extend to him sincere best wishes as he continues his faithful service to his Lord, his alma mater, and the people of Texas . . ." The resolution proclaims that "Dr. Sloan can take justifiable pride in the many advances achieved during his term as its president and in the lofty vision that he championed and that is today shaping the university for the 21st century." The full text of this resolution follows:

WHEREAS, Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., takes up a new post as chancellor of Baylor University on June 1, 2005, after shepherding that institution through 10 transformative years in his capacity as university president; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Sloan assumed the presidency of Baylor on June 1, 1995, and during his tenure he has led the school through a period of significant academic, physical, and financial expansion; that growth was epitomized by the regents' adoption in 2001 of a 10-year plan to move the university into the upper echelons of American higher education while strengthening its Christian mission; and

WHEREAS, During Dr. Sloan's tenure as president, Baylor has established three new schools--engineering and computer science, Honors College, and social work--and created five new doctoral programs; the number of full-time faculty has grown from 644 to 780, annual expenditures for research and other sponsored activity have more than tripled, and faculty grant proposals have risen substantially; in 2004, Baylor was the only school, out of 50 institutions across the country studied by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, to receive an "A" rating on its core curriculum; and

WHEREAS, While Dr. Sloan has guided the university, enrollment at Baylor has risen by 14 percent and minority enrollment has risen as well, with minorities constituting nearly one-third of the 2004 freshman class; the average SAT score of entering freshmen has also improved, and for three consecutive years, from 2002 to 2004, a Baylor student has been awarded one of the prestigious Truman Scholarships; moreover, Baylor students have gained new opportunities to expand their horizons through the addition of 19 study-abroad programs and 22 exchange agreements with international institutions; and

WHEREAS, Under Dr. Sloan's administration, the operating budget at Baylor has more than doubled and the endowment has increased nearly twofold; a five-year capital campaign, begun in 1999, was successfully concluded a year ahead of schedule, having exceeded its goal by $27 million; altogether, gifts to the university during Dr. Sloan's presidency total almost $400 million; and

WHEREAS, To accommodate the dramatic increase in academic programs and the attendant growth in the number of students and faculty, Dr. Sloan has overseen the expansion of the Baylor campus from 450 acres to almost 750 acres, together with the construction of approximately $400 million worth of new facilities; and

WHEREAS, Baylor students have enjoyed notable athletic success during Dr. Sloan's presidency, winning a number of conference championships and claiming two NCAA national championships; equally significant, Baylor student-athletes led the Big 12 in 2004 with a 78 percent overall graduation rate; and

WHEREAS, Born in Coleman and raised in Abilene, Robert Sloan received a bachelor's degree from Baylor in 1970; he went on to earn a master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1973 and a doctorate in theology from the University of Basel, in Switzerland, in 1978; and

WHEREAS, After teaching for several years at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, he joined the faculty at Baylor in 1983 and in 1990 became the first holder of the George W. Truett Chair in Evangelism; in 1993, Dr. Sloan was appointed the founding dean of George W. Truett Theological Seminary; and

WHEREAS, A productive, award-winning scholar, he has published extensively, presented many academic papers, and served as president of the Southwest Commission on Religious Studies; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Sloan is involved in numerous organizations related to higher education and has served on the board of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas; moreover, he has given generously of his time and talents to the Waco community and surrounding areas, holding membership on the boards of several area civic foundations and serving as president of the Lorena ISD school board; and

WHEREAS, With his wife, Sue, a fellow Baylor graduate, Dr. Sloan is the parent of seven children, including one who is a student at Baylor and five who are Baylor alumni; and

WHEREAS, Imbued with a great love for the venerable institution he has led for the past decade, Dr. Sloan can take justifiable pride in the many advances achieved during his term as its president and in the lofty vision that he championed and that is today shaping the university for the 21st century; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives of the 79th Texas Legislature hereby honor Dr. Robert B. Sloan, Jr., for his many contributions as president of Baylor University and extend to him sincere best wishes as he continues his faithful service to his Lord, his alma mater, and the people of Texas; and, be it further

RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be prepared for Dr. Sloan as an expression of high regard by the Texas House of Representatives.