Wayland trustees discuss trends, tuition, what comes next

January 26, 2017

The Wayland Baptist University Board of Trustees gathered for its regularly scheduled January meeting on Thursday, discussing a number of topics from tuition prices to the sale of the president’s home.

The board approved a 5 percent tuition increase for undergraduate students on the Plainview campus. Undergraduate students taking 12 hours will see their tuition bill increase by less than $300 per semester. Undergraduates at the external campuses will also see an increase of 3.8 percent per credit hour. The new rates will go into effect for the 2017-18 academic year. Plainview tuition will be set at $605 per credit hour with the external tuition at $272 an hour.

Graduate tuition at the Plainview campus will increase from $590 to $625 per hour while the external campus tuition will go up to $350 an hour. Online courses will be priced at $380 per hour for undergraduates, up from $365, and $450 for graduate-level courses, up from $445. The tuition for doctoral courses will increase to $742 per hour.

In other business the board approved the sale of the existing president’s home to Dr. Bobby Hall and his wife Laurie. The board had approved selling the structure in a prior meeting to avoid the expense of renovation, repair and upkeep. The existing structure is not conducive to entertaining university constituencies.

After an exhaustive search, Dr. Hall mentioned to Board Chair Vernon Stokes that he would be interested in purchasing the structure and overseeing extensive renovations to the property.

“We expressed an interest in preserving an historic Wayland property and this was the only way we could do it,” Hall explained.

Hall did not make an official offer on the house. Based on assessments conducted by the Board of Trustees the past few years after deciding to sell the property, and personal assessments conducted by Stokes and two other individuals the board set a price point. Hall will pay the asking price and be responsible for the renovations.

The money from the sale will be placed into endowed scholarships in the name of the Ramsower family which initially donated the property to Wayland.

In other business the Institutional Advancement Committee shared an advancement plan with the board that demonstrates an increased commitment to development and fund-raising initiatives. Much of the plan involves adding additional staff to help increase the university’s donor base and to focus on grant writing.

The Governance Committee set forth guidelines for the presidential spouse, some of which include provisions and expectations for the president to entertain students, faculty, staff, trustees, alums, donors, community partners and church leaders in their home.

Before entering into executive session, Dr. Hall gave his six-month report on items that were set forth by the board for his first six months in office, dating back to July 2016. Hall reported the completion of a long list of items that included visiting every campus in the Wayland system, completing an advancement audit and presenting the draft of a new advancement plan, and the planning and implementation of the Presidential Inauguration which was celebrated the day before.