Trustees freeze tuition for Plainview campus

PLAINVIEW - Despite rising costs of education nationwide, students at Wayland Baptist University's campus in Plainview can look forward to a break.

Wayland's Board of Trustees approved a proposal during its Thursday meeting to freeze the tuition rate on the Plainview campus for the coming 2003-04 academic year. The rate will remain at $270 per semester hour for undergraduate courses and $275 per hour for graduate courses.

Wayland President Dr. Paul Armes said the decision to forego a tuition increase, which traditional has been around $10 per hour, was based on consideration of the economy and the region.

"It really came from the economic and geographic context of this campus," said Armes. "We live in an area that has faced more than its share of economic struggles in recent years, and our recommendation reflected consideration of that."

Estimated costs for a semester at Wayland - Plainview, including books - based on a student being enrolled in 12 semester hours, living in a median-priced, shared dormitory room and carrying a meal plan with 15 meals per week - is $5,542.20. Those costs include a general fee applicable to students enrolled in more than seven credit hours, which covers admission to athletic events and extracurricular activities, health services, library usage, student newspaper and yearbook, access to the Plainview YMCA and parking permits.

Trustees also approved a $10 per credit hour tuition increase at Wayland's external campuses, the first raise for those sites in three years. The approved increase will bring tuition to $140 per hour for undergraduate work and $165 per hour for graduate courses. Wayland has campuses in Lubbock, Amarillo, Wichita Falls and San Antonio, Texas, as well as in New Mexico, Arizona, Alaska, Oklahoma and Hawaii.

In other business, trustees approved a $33.9 million budget for the 2003-04 fiscal year that begins in June. The $33,913,216 budget reflects an 11.7 percent increase ($3.53 million approximately) over last year's budget.

The board also approved promotions for several faculty members, effective June 1. Dr. Kristi Jarman, Scott Franklin and Sherrie King of Plainview will all be promoted to assistant professor status, while Dr. Joan Franklin and Dr. Carol Green - both faculty at the Clovis Campus - will be promoted to associate professor. Dr. Dallas Bivins of Phoenix, Dr. Raymond Blythe of Lubbock and Dr. Candace Keller of Plainview will all be promoted to full professor status. A proposal to provide for faculty sabbaticals, including one long term and one summer session, was also approved by the board.

Finally, trustees elected to accept an amended mission statement for the university, prepared by a special committee appointed by the president. Armes said the revisions come from requirements by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Wayland's accrediting agency, to have "a clearly stated and regularly reviewed mission statement."

"In many ways, this statement also helps form parameters and framework for the energy of strategic planning for the university," Armes explained.

The new mission statement and approach reads as follows:

"Mission: Wayland Baptist University exists to educate students in an academically challenging and distinctively Christian environment for professional success, lifelong learning and service to God and humankind.

"Approach: The university seeks to educate its students by developing them intellectually, physically, spiritually and socially, preparing them to move into a variety of professions or into further study. Wayland offers a strong liberal arts education in a traditional setting and provides degree programs that serve the needs of an older, highly mobile, employed population. Through the main campus in Plainview and multiple campuses both domestic and international, Wayland offers associate, baccalaureate and masters degrees. The university employs faculty, staff and administrators dedicated to its mission and seeks to attract a student body from diverse socioeconomic, cultural, ethnic, religious and geographical backgrounds. Wayland serves its students and other constituencies by providing appropriate academic and technical expertise, spiritual resources, cultural and athletic events and facilities."