SBU budget, enrollment swell
BOLIVAR—The Southwest Baptist University (SBU) Board of Trustees on May 8 approved a preliminary budget for the 2007-2008 academic year of $38.2 million, up from a comparable $34.7 million figure for the last academic year. Strong enrollment made it possible.
SBU President C. Pat Taylor said the stated objective of improving salaries by 10 percent this academic year has been reached. Trustees then approved an increase of five percent for this coming year, broken down into two percent in June, one percent in October and two percent in March 2008. SBU hopes to include more raises for at least two more years.
“If we are able to do this, our salaries will be much more competitive,” Taylor said.
He also emphasized the need for SBU to plan. A previous five-year planning period that began in 2003 was ended a year earlier than anticipated, setting up a June 28-29 planning retreat as the first major emphasis of a new five-year plan. Taylor said that the university community must invest the proper amount of time to determine what SBU will be like in 2012.
“There are many threats for our very existence today,” he said. “We live in an increasingly secular world that has very little appreciation for Christian values. Today, we have many challenges, and I must hasten to tell you that if we do not stand guard and if we do not dedicate ourselves to the mission and core values of the university, and if we do not successfully plan and record our goals and objectives, we can fail at any time.”
The Jim Mellers Center is essentially complete, and trustees were given a tour of the renovated facility. Cost is anticipated to be a little less than the fundraising goal of $1.45 million, Taylor said. Rodney Reeves, dean and professor of biblical studies at The Courts Redford College of Theology and Ministry, said faculty members should begin the process of settling into their new offices in June, with the official opening likely in September.
“This is the fruition of a dream that has been in the minds of many people in Redford before I even came,” Reeves said. “We were talking about renovating this building when I came in 2000.
“It is revolutionizing the building, not only for faculty but for students. This building is going to be so much more student-friendly.”
In other news presented to the trustees, David Whitlock, associate provost, dean of the College of Business and Computer Science, and professor of business at SBU, recently had a textbook published titled “Opportunity: Introducing Free Enterprise and Business.” The textbook introduces free enterprise and business principles in story form, complete with the suspense and intrigue of a novel.
The next meeting of SBU trustees is scheduled for Oct. 15-16.