ST. LOUIS – Missouri Baptist University (MBU) trustees approved an institutional consultant to examine the school’s mission and approved revised bylaws during their May 23 meeting here.
The Missouri Baptist Convention and has requested its entities bring their governing documents in line with the convention’s. Over the past several years, the various entities have been at different stages of that process. May 23, trustees at MBU worked through the updates for the school’s articles of incorporation and bylaws.
They also made changes to the bylaws to give flexibility on the number and dates of trustee meetings and moved the committee lists and descriptions from the bylaws to a policy handbook. They approved the revised bylaws, and will vote electronically June 24 on the restated articles of incorporation, trustees chairman, Jim Plymale, said.
Trustees voted to contract with Rodney Harrison to evaluate the university’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A long-time fixture at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Harrison provides oversight to that school’s doctoral programs, extensions, online programs and accreditation.
In other business, trustees:
• rejoiced in news that six students accepted Christ as their savior during the spring semester.
• recognized and expressed appreciation for out-going MBU provost, Arlen Dykstra, who is retiring July 1 after 43 years of service.
• noted that the incoming freshman class is slated to be the largest the school has ever seen.
• noted that the school is on track to finish the fiscal year with a $1.5-1.7 million surplus.
• discussed the role trustees should have in hiring faculty.
• heard concerns from Ross about the “Equality Act” passed by the House of Representative May 17. Though it has little to no chance of passing the senate, it would amend the Civil Rights Acts to prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation in employment. As written, it would prohibit schools like MBU from applying a religious standard in employment decisions.
“This reminds me of the importance of the work we’ve been doing to make sure our governing documents reflect the mission of the university and the Missouri Baptist Convention,” Ross said.