Trustees approve new budget, tuition increases

PLAINVIEW – Trustees at Wayland Baptist University approved the 2005-06 budget and increased tuition rates during their regular spring meeting held Thursday, March 24, on the Plainview campus.

The new budget, which will take effect on July 1 with the university’s new fiscal year, totals $38,902,937, reflecting a 6.62 percent increase over the current year’s budget. The increase covers salary raises across the Wayland system and the addition of several faculty and staff at the external campuses, as well as typical cost increases in equipment, utilities and insurance.

The tuition rates on the Plainview campus will increase by 7 percent for the fall term, with both undergraduate and graduate tuition rising from $295 to $315 per semester hour. In addition, the general student fee which funds student services for students enrolled in seven or more hours will be increased from $200 to $225 per semester for Plainview students.

On the external campuses, tuition will rise nearly 11 percent, with undergraduate tuition going from $140 to $155 per semester hour. Graduate tuition rates are slated to rise from $165 to $180, reflecting a nine percent increase.

Tuition for the Virtual Campus will increase as well, from $165 to $190 per semester hour on the undergraduate level (15 percent increase) and from $190 to $215 for the graduate level (13 percent increase).

In other business, the board approved spending of $300,000 for renovations on the Plainview campus, including work in the Alumni House to create additional dormitory space; repair work on the rigging and stage curtains in Harral Auditorium; maintenance and overhaul of the Harral Pipe Organ; and repair of the lighting system for the Kaltwasser Flame that adorns the Mabee Learning Resources Center. The board also approved the purchase of a facility in Anchorage, Alaska, to house the campus there, pending the resolution of issues including zoning and clear title. The facility formally housed a church and would require little remodeling, with a total cost of $3 million.

Related to the university faculty, the board approved rank promotions for several faculty members and sabbaticals for two individuals. Dr. Estelle Owens, chair of the Division of Social Sciences, will spend the spring and summer of 2006 on sabbatical leave to complete the university’s history in preparation for the centennial celebration in 2008. Brad Bass, head coach of the Pioneer baseball team, will spend the summer of 2005 leading the Athletes in Action baseball team in Alaska.

The university has also been approved to offer the Bachelor of Christian Ministry and the Master of Christian Ministry degrees on all Wayland campuses. The degree has already drawn great interest on many campuses. A new degree, the Master of Arts in Counseling, will be offered in Plainview, beginning in Fall 2005. Another new degree, the Master of Public Administration, was approved by the board for all WBU campuses, pending approval from Wayland’s accrediting agency.

The board was presented with a revised strategic plan for the San Antonio campus, a growing campus with more than 1,500 students currently. Though the campus moved into a new 30,000-foot facility in October 2000, space is already filled and the need for further facilities and programs is looming.

The San Antonio Advisory Council spent time reviewing the current resources and challenges in order to meet the needs of the community with regard to higher education. Part of that plan includes offering the Bachelor of Science in Nursing in conjunction with Baptist Health Systems, which is slated to begin in the fall pending accreditation approval.

The board welcomed several new members to its group, including retired Lubbock school administrator Rose Mediano; Danny Campbell, a banking executive with specialization in oil and gas exploration from Midland; and Dr. Tim Powers, an assistant superintendent in Wichita Falls.