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OBU Board Approves Senior Faculty and Emeriti Recommendations

November 30, 2001

At their fall meeting, Oklahoma Baptist University's trustees reviewed reports on various university projects, moved to table the launch of a new master's degree program, and approved granting of emeriti status to several individuals who had lengthy careers at the institution. The Friday meeting was in the university's Geiger Center on the campus in Shawnee.

In his state-of-the-university address, OBU President Mark Brister reported on campus facility improvement efforts, and on on-going efforts to secure funds for a new recreation/wellness center. The new structure would replace aging Clark Craig Fieldhouse, and offer a variety of athletic and wellness resources for the campus community.

"This capital project is vital to the continued success of OBU," said Dr. Brister. "It is a project we need to move forward on as we seek to attract and retain outstanding students."

The board received a report on the status of the university's Foundation for the Future Campaign. The capital effort, which began with a victory goal of $25 million, stood at $25,951,427.37 as of Oct. 31, 2001. The campaign is continuing as university officials seek funding for the new recreation/wellness center. The center has a projected cost of approximately $9 million.

On recommendation from the board's academic affairs committee, trustees moved to indefinitely table implementation of a master's degree program in global commerce. The innovative program, approved for implementation at the board's December 2000 meeting, was designed to be offered at an off-campus location. Several factors, including an uncertain economic outlook following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, contributed to the decision to delay implementation of the program.

The board approved senior faculty status for five faculty members, which provides for the faculty member to receive a continuing contract from the university. Those approved were Dr. Garry Bailey, assistant professor of communication arts; Dr. Eugene Hobbs, professor of mathematics; Dr. Bradley Jett, assistant professor of biology; Dr. John Nichols, associate professor of mathematics; and Cindy Rieger, assistant professor of nursing.

Several longtime OBU faculty members who are now retired were granted emeriti status by the board. Those include Max Brattin, professor emeritus of economics; Dr. Montie Campbell, professor emeritus of psychology; Dr. Robert Clarke, professor emeritus of philosophy; Peggy Horton, professor emerita of music; Dr. Shirley Jones, professor emerita of literature; Dr. Rosemarie Lones, professor emerita of German; Robert Scrutchins, professor emeritus of English; Dr. Don Wester, professor emeritus of philosophy; and Dr. Slayden Yarbrough, professor emeritus of religion. One longtime OBU administrator was granted emeriti status. J. Thomas Terry, who was an OBU administrator from 1967-2000, was named vice president emeritus for business affairs.

Trustees approved OBU's 2002-03 academic calendar. Fall semester will begin Aug. 28, 2002, with winter commencement on Dec. 20. The 2003 spring semester will begin Feb. 3, with spring commencement slated for May 24.

Board chairman Hance Dilbeck, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Ponca City, presided at the meeting. The meeting was the first for eight new trustees. Seven board members were elected to four-year terms during the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma annual meeting Nov. 13. New trustees include Rev. John Chennault, El Reno; C.L. Craig, Shawnee; Dr. Alan Day, Edmond; Ken Fergeson, Altus; Rev. Kim Hays, Afton; Ken Rogers, Bartlesville; and Dr. Tim Walker, Tecumseh. Sen. James Howell, of Midwest City, was elected to complete a two-year term on the board.

The 32-member board is comprised of Oklahoma residents.