ST. LOUIS – Missouri Baptist University trustees met on campus Feb. 26 and 27 to deliberate and tend to the school’s business, approving a $54 million budget.
The 2020-2021 budget includes a 4 percent tuition increase – which matches the last two years’ increases – and a 2.25 percent raise for faculty and staff. The budget factors in a $1 million surplus as a potential buffer should enrollment take an unexpected dip, and it also includes a $200,000 gift from the Missouri Baptist Convention scheduled for January, 2021.
The board approved curriculum for the University’s new Master of Social Work, which is slated to begin in the fall. The hybrid program will allow students to complete the program through web-based courses, and courses that students can either attend on the main campus or attend virtually using video conferencing. In addition, the Board approved graduate certificates in both Library Media Specialist and School Psychological Examiner as well as undergraduate majors in Data Analytics and Forensic Psychology.
Three new faculty members were approved:
• Rebecca Duke as Instructor of English
• Dr. Lakesha Davis as Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
• Judy Ellison as Instructor of Social Work
The board applauded Thomas Smith, MBU’s director of athletics, who on Feb. 24 was named the NAIA Athletic Director of the Year.
Four faculty members received promotions during the meeting, while the board voted to hire a pastoral life coach
The board adopted a resolution “affirming” the school’s “financial, academic, theological and denominational soundness” following a report by consultant Rodney Harrison. The resolution reaffirmed MBU as a legal entity of the Missouri Baptist Convention and the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 as its confessional statement, while noting MBU’s “significant growth and progress since the trustees voted to remove the University from MBC control in 2001.”