In its regular March board meeting Friday, Oklahoma Baptist University's board of trustees approved a $28.9 million budget for the 2003-04 academic year, which includes tuition and fee rates for the 2003-04 academic year. The board also approved five faculty members for promotion, and approved contracts for OBU's full-time faculty members for the 2003-04 year.
The $28.9 million operating budget for the upcoming fiscal year will become effective Aug. 1, 2003.
Board members approved a 4.38 percent increase in OBU's overall charges for the 2003-04 year. The amount reflects the smallest percentage increase in tuition, fees, room, and meals over the past decade. Tuition will rise $250 per semester for full-time students. The total annual tuition and fees for a full-time student will be $10,800, up from $10,300 in the 2002-03 academic year. The overall increase for tuition, fees, room and board, will be $320 per semester for a typical student, for a total semester cost of $7,634 for on-campus students.
In presenting the proposed costs to the board, Randy L. Smith, OBU senior vice president for business affairs, said the university's percentage increase is expected to be the second lowest among private colleges in Oklahoma.
"Our charges for tuition and fees are 60.7 percent of the national average for four-year private universities," said Smith, as he compared current year costs to averages from the College Board survey, titled "Trends In College Pricing." Additionally, Smith reported that OBU has awarded $5,484,609 in financial assistance for students during the current academic year.
"We want an OBU education to be as available as possible," said OBU President Mark Brister in his address to the board. "We want this to be as affordable as possible."
Faculty who were approved for promotions included Dr. Jeanne Akin, from assistant professor to associate professor of education; Dr. Robert Dawson, from associate professor to professor of applied ministry; Dr. Marilyn Haller, from associate professor to professor of education; Dr. Bobby Kelly, from assistant professor to associate professor of religion, and Dr. Tony Litherland, from associate professor to professor of political science.
Trustees approved contracts for OBU faculty for the upcoming year. The faculty includes 95 tenure-track members, 13 faculty on professional services contracts, and four academic deans. Of the university's tenure-track faculty and deans, a total of 83 percent hold doctorates or terminal degrees.
Edmond businessman Pat Adams, chairman of the board of trustees, presided at the meeting.