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Trustees Set Tuition, Approve Graduate Programs

October 11, 2010

OBU trustees approved tuition and fees for the 2011-12 academic year, ratified plans for five new graduate programs, and gave the university approval to explore and implement potential new athletic programs during the board's annual fall meeting on the OBU campus Friday, Oct. 8.

The university's tuition for full-time students will increase by 4.49 percent, from $17,220 this academic year to $17,994 for the upcoming year. The overall costs, which include tuition, fees, room and board, will increase by 5.99 percent, from $24,300 in the 2010-11 year to $25,756 for 2011-12.

Dr. Kevin Clarkson, chair of OBU board of trustees, presides over the board's annual fall meeting on the OBU campus Friday, Oct. 8. Clarkson is senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Moore, Okla.

"We have worked to provide early information on costs for the upcoming year," said Randy L. Smith, OBU executive vice president for business and administrative services. "As prospective students and their families consider college choices, we want them to be able to get a clear picture regarding our university. They can make informed decisions, and we know that those who gather information about OBU's programs, scholarships, and campus life are very likely to choose OBU.

"By setting these amounts early this fall, we can also follow through with financial aid packages for prospective students earlier in the college selection process," Smith said. "Each year, 99 percent of our students receive some form of financial aid, and we want students and their families to have this information as soon as possible."

Smith said the increase will provide resources for enhanced campus technology and will strengthen resources for scholarships and personnel.

"OBU provides an outstanding Christian education which is a great value," said Dr. Kevin Clarkson, board chair.

Trustees also approved creation of five new master's degree programs through the OBU Graduate School. The slate of programs includes the return of a master of science degree in marriage and family therapy. OBU offered the marriage and family therapy graduate degree from 1993-2005.

The other master's degree programs include a master of science in nursing with a global nursing emphasis, a master of education in special education, a master of arts in Christian studies with concentrations in Christian leadership and applied apologetics, and a master of arts in intercultural studies with a concentration in orality.

The graduate degrees were proposed following extensive research by OBU personnel which included study of market needs. OBU officials plan to launch the programs after completing approval processes with the university's accrediting agencies.

Trustees granted approval for both exploration and implementation of potential new varsity sports programs. The action could accelerate the start of new programs. It also allows OBU officials to move forward with discussions about possible additional teams.

"With the board's approval, we can proceed with a series of hearings on the campus with faculty, staff and students to investigate factors related to adding sports programs," said OBU President David W. Whitlock.

The vote did not include a timetable for launching new sports programs and Dr. Whitlock said a calendar for implementation would be established if new sports are adopted.

OBU currently competes in 17 varsity sports within the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. The university's teams won two NAIA national championships last spring, claiming the men's basketball and women's indoor track and field titles in March.

Trustees approved contracts for three new faculty members who joined the university since the board's May 2010 meeting. The faculty include Mollie Moore, instructor of English; Phyllis Tipton, instructor of education; and Dr. Lauren Denney Wright, assistant professor of music and director of bands.

The board ratified a promotion for Radonna Roark, who was named assistant professor of French, promoted from the rank of instructor of French. Roark began teaching at OBU in 2000.

Board officers for the 2010-11 year were elected at the close of the meeting. Dr. Reagan Bradford Sr., a medical research physician from Edmond, Okla., will serve as chair. Dr. Alan Day, pastor of Edmond's First Baptist Church, will be vice chair. Scott Neighbors, pastor of worship and discipleship at the First Baptist Church of Skiatook, Okla., will serve as board secretary.

Clarkson, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Moore, Okla., presided over the meeting in OBU's Geiger Center.