One of the qualities I have long admired about Baylor is the institution’s unwavering commitment to improve every day for the sake of our students. From the boardroom to daily life on campus, the people who “are” Baylor devote their time, energy, talents, treasure, and lives to our students.
The commitment is awe-inspiring. Despite our very human failings, the love and devotion to Baylor by so many good people from so many walks of life make us who we are. That fact and the gratitude for it are clear in the feedback we received in a recent stakeholder survey conducted for the school by Ian Symmonds and Associates, and I will return to that theme in closing. Still, the point of constituency satisfaction surveys is to discover how Baylor is fulfilling its mission in the hearts and minds of our patrons and to incorporate constructive feedback on our work when it aligns with the school’s mission. We had conducted a similar survey (with some modifications) in 2012, so we have the benefit of noting trends. Here are the major “take-aways” from the more than 2,300 respondents, which included alumni, parents, past parents, faculty, trustees, and Upper School students:
A powerful majority (97.4%) of stakeholders believes that Baylor is accomplishing its mission to foster in students the abilty and desire to make a positive difference in the world.
An equally powerful majority (96.6%) of stakeholders believes that Baylor’s mission remains relevant and meaningful in today’s world.
A powerful majority of stakeholders (89.6%) is “very satisfied” or “satisfied” with Baylor’s academic program.
Satisfaction with the affordability of attending Baylor has increased from 2012 to 2019. Perception of the value of a Baylor education compared to the cost of attendance remains very high when related to industry standards at 70%.
A majority of respondents is “very satisfied” with the development of collaboration, communication, creativity, problem solving and technology fluency skills at Baylor.
On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the highest), Baylor’s program performance was widely endorsed with the following programs receiving very high/high marks (above 4.0 average):
Leading Programs (Science & Engineering; Civic Scholars; Global Scholars)
Residential Life Program
Reflecting the divided nature of our country, some Baylor stakeholders find us too conservative (19.3%), while others find us too liberal (18.7%).
The top five strategic priorities for our stakeholders are:
1. Commitment to Diversity/Inclusion
2. Campus Safety/Security
3. Academic Excellence
5. Leadership Development
As we note trends and common threads in the responses and suggestions, we will incorporate those that are consistent with our mission and that follow the guidance of the Board of Trustees. Ultimately, what is most gratifying to me is the resounding confidence in the work that our faculty does each day and has done for multiple generations. That work is summarized beautifully in this comment by a survey participant: “Baylor provides you not just with an education but an experience that makes you a better person, makes you want to learn, makes you want to be a part of something bigger than yourself, makes you passionate about things you didn’t think you would be. It lives with you forever. Baylor made me who I am today.”