Trustees approve new men's dormitory, tuition rise
March 26, 2010
PLAINVIEW – In their regularly scheduled spring meeting, the Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees approved the construction of a new men’s dormitory and a budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year that includes an increase in tuition.
The university will build a 350-bed men’s dorm to replace the aging McDonald Hall, currently the oldest residence hall on campus. In their presentation to trustees, university officials noted that a feasibility study by an outside firm revealed that a remodel of the structure would cost more than 68 percent of what a new structure would cost. In addition, McDonald Hall does not provide for growth in the future and men’s dorms are nearly at full capacity now.
The new structure is estimated to cost around $15 million and provide the needed additional beds to accommodate new athletic programs such as wrestling and cheer/dance – all being added in the fall – growing baseball and track programs and general growth in the traditional, residential student population. University officials plan to begin construction on the new dorm by May 2011 and have it ready for student use in the fall of 2012.
Trustees also approved a new $55.4 million budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which begins in July. That budget, which represents a 6.14 percent increase over the current budget, includes a modest raise for employees and accounts for additional faculty and staff positions across the WBU system. Among those are a wrestling coach, assistant coach and graduate assistant, a cheer/dance coach and graduate assistant, a women’s golf assistant, and an additional athletic trainer to handle the increase in student athletes. Other new positions include additional faculty in art, nursing and at the San Antonio campus and a vice president for Institutional Advancement, a position that has been vacant for the past few years.
Tuition for 2010-11 will increase $20 to $415 per credit hour for undergraduate courses in Plainview and $345 for graduate Plainview courses. External campus tuition will be raised to $212 per hour for undergraduate and $249 for graduate. Students in the Virtual Campus – currently Wayland’s largest campus by enrollment – will pay tuition rates of $285 (undergraduate) and $335 (graduate) in the new fiscal year. Nursing students will pay a $300 per hour rate.
Even with the increases, Wayland officials point out that the university remains the least expensive among its sister Texas Baptist universities and is among the most affordable of Southern Baptist schools nationwide. WBU also remains competitive with area state schools when including room, board and fees for a total cost.
In other business, trustees approved emeritus status for a retired professor, faculty promotions for several WBU employees and an extended sabbatical for summer and fall 2010 for Dr. Niler Pyeatt, professor of history, in order to complete two journal articles and a manuscript for a book on Odo Russell, a distinguished Victorian diplomat serving the United Kingdom in the 19th century. Dr. Patricia Herman, who retired in May 2009 as professor of education, will be honored as professor emeritus after 16 years of service in teaching and in leadership of future teachers through sponsorship of Kappa Delta Pi honor society.
Promotions take effect July 1 for the following individuals: Dr. Gary Belshaw; Dr. Richard Boyer; Dr. Sue Bradley; Dr. Barbara Carr; Dr. Perry Collins; Dr. Jay Givens; Dr. David Howle; Dr. Donald Knox; Dr. Joshua Mora; Dr. Carolyn Ratcliffe; Dr. Ann Stutes; Dr. Peggy Wilson; Dr. Thomas Fisher; Mrs. Debra Flournoy-Buford; Dr. Scott Franklin; Dr. Gary Mitchell; Dr. Kelly Warren; Dr. Gilbert Werema; and Mrs. Jessica Faucett.
Trustees also authorized a contract with Scandia Wind Southwest, LLC, to host turbines on its properties in Sherman and Dallam counties as part of what will be the world’s largest wind farm project at 10,000 megawatts. The university has already had several turbines in place on the Flores estate property in the panhandle, which has provided additional income from the energy sale.