Oklahoma Baptist University

Trustees Approve Campus Master Plan Report

Approval of a long-range campus master plan highlighted the spring meeting of Oklahoma Baptist University's board of trustees during their spring meeting on the OBU campus in Shawnee Friday.

OBU President David Whitlock presented the campus master plan during his report to the trustees Friday morning. The plan, prepared by Coleman Johnston Clyma Architects of Tulsa, will serve as a "blueprint for our physical plant," Dr. Whitlock said.

Dr. Whitlock presents the campus master plan to board members.The overall plan for the 100-year-old university includes several new academic, administrative, housing and student life facilities. Whitlock said priority projects will be a building for OBU's growing School of Nursing, a new housing center for male students, and a two-story administration/visitors' center.

"The center will serve as a one-stop shop for any enrollment and business matters for students," Whitlock said. "It will include admissions, student financial services, the academic center, alumni and other campus offices."

Trustees unanimously accepted the plan, noting it "be acknowledged and used as a general guideline for the immediate and long range development of the OBU campus" in coordination with a capital campaign to facilitate university objectives for OBU's second century of existence.

At their October 2009 meeting, board members approved the university's strategic planning document, OBU 2020: Vision, Mission, Values. The plan includes strategic initiatives for the next decade.

"The campus master plan is a key element in fulfilling the OBU 2020 vision," he said. "This plan incorporates priorities raised by our needs analysis team, and the initiatives which grew from our strategic planning work."

In other action, trustees ratified a policy for the OBU campus which bans use of tobacco in any form. The policy states, "In keeping with the mission and purpose of the University, and in order to encourage a clean and healthy environment, the use of tobacco by anyone in any form, including simulated tobacco products, is expressly forbidden ... on all OBU campuses, in/on University buildings, grounds, vehicles, and at University-sponsored events on or off campus."

The board approved promotions for three OBU faculty members. Dr. James Vernon, who joined the faculty in 1990, was promoted from associate professor of music to professor of music. Dr. Sidney Watson, who joined the faculty in 1999, was promoted from associate professor of English to professor of English. Dr. Jasmin Johnson, who joined the faculty in 1998, was promoted from assistant professor of nursing to associate professor of nursing.

Trustees also granted emeriti status to five retired faculty members. The honor is bestowed "in recognition of meritorious service" to professors who retired after serving on the university faculty for at least 10 years. The honored faculty include Dr. Ronald Duncan, professor emeritus of anthropology, who taught at OBU from 1990-2007; Dr. Doug Watson, professor emeritus of English, who taught from 1980-2007; Rhetta Hudson, professor emerita of music, who taught from 1971-2008; Norma Partridge, professor emerita of music, who taught from 1971-2008; and Dr. Thomas Wilks, professor emeritus of religion, who taught from 1984-2007.

The board approved contracts for five new faculty members who will join the university in the 2010-11 academic year. New faculty include Dr. Krista Hands, assistant professor of mathematics; Dr. D. Brent Ballweg, professor of music and director of choral activities; W. Michael Clark, Ministry Training Institute director; Dr. Peter Purin, assistant professor of music; and Dawn Westbrook, assistant professor of nursing.

Dr. Reagan Bradford Sr., vice chair of the 33-member board, moderated the meeting. Bradford, who resides in Edmond, is a medical research physician.

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