PLAINVIEW - Wayland Baptist University's governing Board of Trustees approved a $36 million budget, tuition increases and campus improvements for the 2004-05 year during its regular spring meeting held Thursday, March 25 in Plainview.
At $36,243,315, the new budget reflects a 4.73 percent increase over the 2003-04 budget and covers salary increases for employees and new faculty and staff positions in Plainview and several of the external campuses.
Trustees also approved raising tuition on the Plainview campus by $25 per hour at the undergraduate level and $20 per hour at the graduate level, resulting in a flat $295 per semester hour tuition rate. The tuition increase is the first in two years, with trustees and administrators opting last year to freeze the tuition at $270 and $275 for the 2003-04 academic year.
In a letter sent to students, WBU President Dr. Paul Armes shared some reasons for the increase.
" What are the factors contributing to the growth of college costs? That question was answered recently by Dr. David Warren, President of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities," wrote Armes. "He described our challenge in terms of four 'L's': 1) Laboratories (learning in science and language), 2) Libraries (keeping our media resources current and relevant), 3) Laptops (the ever increasing cost of technology and computer tools) and 4) Labor (personnel costs, especially in the area of health care benefits)."
Armes also noted in conversation to trustees that Wayland is the fourth least expensive Southern Baptist institution in tuition costs, according to 2003-04 data released by the Association of Southern Baptist Colleges and Schools. The ASBCS national average was listed at $12,079 per year, with Wayland at $6,880. He also noted that Wayland is the fourth largest according to headcount among ASBCS schools as well.
In other business, the Board authorized the university to use up to $300,000 for capital improvements to two men's dormitories - Caprock Hall and Brotherhood Hall - and to the recently purchased Trinity Methodist Church property.
Planned improvements to Caprock Hall, a men's suite-format dorm built in 1967, include painting; replacing doors, drawer fronts, exhaust fans, door vents, and lobby furniture; repairing plumbing as needed and stairwell handrails; installing drop ceilings, lighting fixtures and blinds; renovating outdoor awning; and checking window seals and duct work. The dorm will be closed during the coming summer to allow for the renovations.
Brotherhood Hall, built in 1957, will receive remodeling to its basement area, providing additional space for 10 to 13 male students. Remodeling would include new flooring, ceiling treatments and lighting, bathroom and plumbing repair and basic cabinet work in rooms.
The Trinity Church property, located very near the university at Ninth and Utica Streets, will be renovated to provide a new home for the Baptist Student Ministries program and other university needs. Work will include floor coverings, new ceiling and lighting fixtures, paint and carpentry for the stage area, pew installation, sound system re-installation, telephone/Internet service and other needs.
In other business, trustees approved promotions for several faculty members and sabbaticals for two Plainview faculty members. Trustees were also introduced to Betty Donaldson, who recently was hired as the new Vice President for Institutional Advancement to begin April 15.