OBU 2020

OBU's campus master plan incorporates the most advanced technologies and instructional tools available. This master plan includes a renovated library and learning center with an expanded student success center, study areas, and learning resources. The master plan incorporates new avenues of apartment-style student housing; and addresses environmental stewardship and sustainability with new and improved facilities for student housing, nursing, theology and ministry programs, and music and performing arts.

The University's redesigned Welcome Center is inviting, exciting, and immediately attracts prospects to be a part of the OBU Story. Marketing efforts, a highly interactive Web site and innovative outreach to prospective students have resulted in an enrollment of more than 3,000 students.

OBU has a newly designed area housing all academic services including a welcome center, enrollment management, retention, registrar services, and financial aid services. The University will have another student services area including the dean of student life offices, a health and counseling center, and a center for career placement and counseling.

Student housing at OBU is ranked very high by prospective students in their decision to attend. Residential housing will include additional apartment-style facilities, a planned renovation schedule for all facilities, and a remodeled and redesigned Agee Residence Center that accommodates dormitory-style, quad-style, and private room and bath options. International student enrollment and increased racial and ethnic diversity will add to the richness of university life and reflect the diversity of the state and region.

OBU has established a formal program of faculty development that offers competitive funding for research, grant applications, and other scholarly activities. OBU will increase the number of endowed professorships by ten. A robust and competitive sabbatical program will be implemented that funds three to five sabbaticals per year.

OBU employs faculty and staff who are among the best compensated among member institutions of the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities (IABCU) and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Faculty salaries are in the upper quartile of IABCU and CCCU member schools. OBU will have implemented a formal system for faculty compensation based on criteria that includes educational preparation, rank, experience, market factors, professional development and commitment to mission. Benefits and employee services will be among the best of OBU's sister institutions.

Faculty development and scholarly activities at OBU directly contribute to the high value placed on classroom teaching. Faculty scholarship engages students in research projects and creative arts. Students benefit greatly as they engage one-on-one with a faculty member toward a common scholastic or artistic goal, and as they have opportunities to share their research and creative works at annual conferences and art festivals.

A University Press that has gained a national reputation for relevant mission-appropriate publications will be publishing three to seven books per year and will publish at least two academic journals online. This self-supporting enterprise would establish a mission statement focused on publishing works that advance scholarship and bring recognition to authors and to the University. A particular publishing focus will be for textbooks and other works that promote faith integration as well as books of general interest to Christian audiences.

OBU is identified as a leader in community outreach and involvement with specific targeted programs that reach area school systems, home school families, and the general public. OBU programs in service and learning that reach underserved and impoverished individuals will be a model for other institutions. Environmental stewardship and creation care initiatives will be cited regionally and nationally including new facility construction and remodeling with specific goals to include conservation and green efforts. By 2020 the OBU campus will be regionally recognized as one of the top arboretums in the state.