SBU trustees approve pay raise plan
By Allen Palmeri
February 21, 2006
BOLIVAR–Trustees from Southwest Baptist University approved a plan Feb. 7 that is designed to trigger four pay raises in the next fiscal year, with the first being a 2 percent across-the-board increase that is scheduled to begin in June.
If enrollment increases, faculty and staff will receive another 1 percent pay raise in October under the plan, with an additional 2 percent slated to kick in (assuming enrollment news remains positive) in February 2007. The fourth phase of the plan is to set aside $200,000 for pay adjustments, $100,000 apiece for faculty and staff.
“That’s a total of $700,000,” SBU President Pat Taylor said.
The success of Noel-Levitz, the Des Moines, Iowa, consulting firm hired in May to improve SBU’s enrollment performance, is making this pay raise plan possible, Taylor said. Noel-Levitz has worked to generate 1,081 applications for the fall semester of 2006, SBU officials said.
“The pay raises are much needed,” SBU Trustee David Tolliver said. “Our staff is below average in their pay. They are above average in their stature and their quality. I do believe that enrollment is going to increase significantly. Therefore we will have no trouble getting the staff (pay) increases.”
Tolliver noted that in Feburary of 2005, SBU had 525 applications for the fall semester of 2005.
“We have about twice as many applications as we had this time last year, which to me is a very, very positive thing,” SBU Trustee Gary Longenecker said. “I really believe we’re doing a good job. We’re moving in the right direction. If we just convert half of them, we’re doing great.”
Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) Associate Executive Director Roy Spannagel prayed during the luncheon for trustees and guests at the Jane and Ken Meyer Wellness and Sports Center Sixth Man Club Room for a “fresh wind of revival over all of us, that we might be able to come clean in our relationship with You and our relationship with others.”
The next trustee meeting is scheduled for May 8-9.
In other board action, trustees voted to name two persons to receive honorary doctorates from the university in a Founders Day ceremony March 13. Frank Claiborne, a retired pastor who has started at least 48 Southern Baptist churches, will be awarded a doctor of divinity degree, and Dianna Lowe, an SBU trustee from 1982-1985, will be awarded a doctor of business degree.
Trustees also voted to approve tenure for four faculty members for the fall. Those professors are Martha Baker, Joshua Compton, Dwight Haun and Rodger Minatra.
It was announced that SBU has hired a director of marketing and communications, Sharina Smith, who started work Feb. 13. Smith comes to the university from the administrative staff of Ridgecrest Baptist Church, Springfield.
In another personnel move, Steve Whisler has been promoted to the position of director of estate planning. He replaces Bob Ingold, who retired in December of 2005. Whisler has worked in the SBU development area since 1989.