Wayland tightens its belt after enrollment declines

October 24, 2013

The Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees gathered for its regular fall meeting on Thursday, discussing issues facing the university.

One issue of discussion concerned the drop in enrollment and its effect on budget issues. WBU President Dr. Paul Armes and Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Bobby Hall assured the trustees that the university was prepared for the decrease in revenue and will be able to function through the downturn. The Wayland administrators said that university officials were watching trends in education recognizing that enrollment numbers could drop. As a result, university officials prepared two budget scenarios for the 2013-14 budget year. Along with the regular budget, all departments were asked to prepare a secondary budget reflecting a 10 percent decrease in spending. With the downturn in enrollment, departments have been asked to adhere to their second budget. Additional expenditure reductions will be taken if circumstances dictate. The university continues to function smoothly with a strong cash flow.

In other action, the board confirmed the sale of the university’s cabin in Glorieta to Glorieta 2.0, the new ownership group of the encampment. The university, along with all other property owners, was given the option to sell the cabin, donate it to the ownership group, or renew a 12-year lease at the end of which the property would be turned over the group. Wayland chose to sell its property.

The Board of Trustees also approved the purchase of a building located at 1812 W. Fifth St. The building currently houses a barber shop with office space located in the rear section. The barber shop will remain and Wayland will use the office space to house its Business Incubator Program, a program operated by the School of Business to help small business get started. The space will also be used for additional offices for faculty members.

The trustees received reports on the upcoming Jimmy Dean Museum project. Lavin and Associates in Amarillo will serve as architects for the project and have presented a preliminary set of plans for the addition to the existing Museum of the Llano Estacado. The plans call for a section of museum chronicling the life of the late Jimmy Dean, as well as a banquet room with catering facility. This room will be available to the community for appropriate events. Still in the preliminary planning stages, university administrators and Lavin and Associates are working through the cost estimates before proceeding with the project.

Dr. Michael Tschoepe, chair of the Institutional Advancement Committee, reported to the board that Lavin and Associates will be used for the Flores Bible Building project. Wayland is preparing to re-energize its efforts to complete the fundraising for the new religion building. A committee is meeting to re-craft plans and designs for the building.

The board confirmed the election of new board members. Pat Crawford, Bobby J. Moody, and Ella Prichard were re-elected to the board by its existing members. The trustees also elected Rick Breeden to a term, replacing the outgoing Delbert McDougal.

Dr. Gary Abercrombie, Tommy Lyons, Dr. Ted Sanders and Randy Stark were re-elected to the board by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Abercrombie has served as chair of the board for the last two years. He was recognized as the outgoing chair at Thursday’s meeting. Sally Walker was named chair of the Board of Trustees for 2014. The BGCT also elected Mr. Mark Murdock, Mrs. Cheryl Naumann and Mr. Keith Skaar.

The Board of Trustees will meet again Jan. 16, 2014.