Wayland board approves budget over $50 million mark

Release Date: March 26, 2009    

PLAINVIEW – During its regular spring meeting, the Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees approved a 2009-2010 budget that exceeds $50 million and includes a rise in tuition rates. The final budget of $52,228,509 represents a 5.02 percent increase over the current year, or $2.49 million.

Citing continued rising costs for operation and the need for additional personnel to serve a steadily growing systemwide enrollment, the university set tuition for the coming school year at $395 per credit hour for undergraduate classes on the Plainview campus, representing a $15 per hour hike, and $322 per hour for graduate classes in Plainview, a rise of $12 per hour.

For the external campuses, tuition will be $192 per hour for undergraduates and $229 per hour for graduate students. Tuition for the nursing program courses are $280 per hour, representing a $7, $9 and $10 increase, respectively. Tuition for the Virtual Campus, which coordinates online courses, will be up $11 to $276 for undergraduate and up $12 to $312 for graduate courses.

“We never propose a tuition increase lightly, and we are aware that this is a particularly difficult time for many families from a financial standpoint. Because of careful and controlled budgeting, Wayland has actually increased its tuition at a far lower rate than most of our sister institutions throughout the years,” said Dr. Paul Armes, Wayland president. “The current increase will help us maintain the excellent educational environment Wayland enjoys in all of its locations. Wayland continues to offer exceptional value to all of her students.”

Dr. Bobby Hall, provost, pointed out that for the average student on the Plainview campus who is taking 13 hours in a semester, the increase will only amount to an additional $195 for a semester.

The larger budget will provide for a flat rate raise increase per employee and for four new faculty positions and six staff positions, including an additional officer for the Wayland Police Department. Expenses also are projected to rise in many areas, including insurance, university-funded scholarships for student assistance and utilities.

In other business, trustees approved the promotion of 13 faculty members effective July 1. They also gave the nod for retiring biology professor Dr. Vaughn Ross to be named Emeritus Professor, and for longtime director of several WBU external campuses Dr. Dillard Whitis to be named Emeritus Dean of the San Antonio Campus. Whitis first served at the Amarillo campus from 1983-87, when he was asked to take over the fledgling San Antonio campus. That campus flourished and moved several times, and Whitis retired in 2002. He agreed to come out of retirement in 2003 to serve as interim dean in Albuquerque for three months while the search ensued for a new dean.

After approving the graduation of approximately 775 students for upcoming ceremonies systemwide, trustees also approved a sabbatical for spring and summer of 2010 for Dr. Kevin Sweeney, associate professor of geography and history, in order to produce a scholarly book about nineteenth-century drought and the Southern Plains.

At a special luncheon held for trustees during the day-long meeting, commemorative centennial medallions were presented to all living emeritus faculty and staff of Wayland, most of whom were present at the lunch. Members coming on the board for new three-year terms were also introduced, including Rev. Gene Hawkins of Lubbock, Bruce Julian of Perryton and Dr. Vernon Stokes of Midland. All three have served on the board for several terms previously, but were required by Baptist General Convention of Texas policy to sit off the board for a year before returning to service.

Trustee Dr. L.S. Foreman and his wife Barbara of Tulia shared the dedication of a scholarship in memory of their daughter at the luncheon as well.