WBU trustees approve Amarillo property, annual audit

SAN ANTONIO - At their last meeting of the year, trustees for Wayland Baptist University gave formal approval for financing of new property in Amarillo and approved the annual audit report. The board also heard reports of positive trends across the university system.

The meeting was held in San Antonio, where trustees toured the San Antonio campus facility dedicated just three years ago. An update on the campus was also a highlight of the meeting.

Remodeling work is now underway for the new Amarillo campus, which will be relocated to the property on Canyon Drive, off Interstate 27, formerly a Luby's Cafeteria. The signage is already completed on the property and officials said the campus hopes to be completely moved into the facility in the spring. The 12,153-square-foot property will bring added visibility to Wayland's campus in Amarillo and provide needed classroom and parking space.

The board also approved the university's annual audit, brought in a report by Becky Robert of Davis, Kinard and Co. of Abilene. The audit reported increased investments and net assets and a clean report of financial statements.

A report from the enrollment management committee pointed out several positive figures for the university, including an increase in system enrollment and credit hours, and in Plainview, a 13 percent increase in the freshman class, a high 70 percent retention rate and increases in transfer students, incoming students and Pioneer Scholars, students receiving scholarships based on their scores on college entrance exams.

Highlights from the last academic year from the athletics department were also spotlighted, including the university receiving recognition from the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for being ranked 30 th nationwide due to achievements of its sporting teams.    

Dr. Jim Antenen, dean of the San Antonio campus, gave a brief update on the campus, which continues to grow in enrollment and programs offered. The campus enjoyed a 4.8 percent enrollment hike this fall over 2002 and is offering classes at three military installations in the city. Educational partnerships are currently in the works with several other entities.

The campus will soon be embarking on several new programs aimed at meeting educational and skills needs in the San Antonio area and career placement for its graduates. Recruiting, awareness and fundraising efforts continue for the campus as it anticipates continued growth.

In his president's report, Dr. Paul Armes related excitement at seeing the great successes at all of Wayland's campuses, especially in terms of reaching those communities for Christ.

"Everywhere I go in the Wayland system, I meet people who have met Jesus in the Wayland campuses," Armes said. "I have not been to a graduation ceremony that I have not been told by someone, 'I found a new life in Christ at Wayland.' I think we are one of the strongest mission outreach endeavors."

In final business, the board elected new officers with terms beginning immediately. Bruce Julian of Perryton was elected chairman of the board, with Dr. Vernon Stokes of Midland elected vice chairman. Sally Shaw of Lockney and Connie McMillian of Lubbock were elected to additional terms as secretary and assistant secretary, respectively.

Julian has served on the board since 1998 and has been vice chairman of the board and a member of the program committee. Stokes has served since 1997 and serves on the finance and program committees.

Armes expressed thanks to outgoing board members, presenting plaques for their service. Those honored included Delbert McDougal of Lubbock, outgoing board chairman who served for the past two years; Thelma Evans of Dallas; and Jack Hathaway of Wichita Falls. McDougal and Hathaway have served since 1994; Evans began serving in 1997.

The board will meet again in Plainview in March 2004.