Oklahoma Baptist University trustees approved strategic objectives, set tuition for the next academic year and approved new energy-efficient technology during their fall semester meeting on the OBU campus in Shawnee Oct. 5.
In his report to the board, OBU President David W. Whitlock announced another year of significant enrollment growth. Student enrollment has increased 5.8 percent, from 1,871 students last fall to 1,979 students this fall.
"We are truly excited to see more students choosing OBU for what will be a life-changing experience they will cherish for years to come," Whitlock said. "It is truly an exciting time to be a part of OBU and to witness God's hand in leading the university forward to accomplish His plans."
Trustees approved the university's strategic objectives for the 2012-13 academic year. The annual objectives correspond to seven major initiatives listed in OBU 2020, the university's long-range strategic plan.
Trustees also approved tuition and fees for the 2013-14 academic year, continuing the practice of announcing costs for the upcoming year to provide advance notice for prospective students and their families.
OBU's tuition for full-time students will increase 4.95 percent, from $18,894 for the current academic year to $19,830 for the 2013-14 academic year. The overall costs, which include tuition, fees, room and board, will increase by 4.47 percent, from $26,996 for 2012-13 to $28,202 for 2013-14.
Trustees accepted a donation of the Ford house located at 1420 N. Broadway, Shawnee, from the Shawnee Milling Co. and the Ford Family.
Board members approved a master lease with Cisco Capital for the lease and purchase of needed computer equipment to create a more robust and reliable network and server infrastructure that will position OBU for future growth and technological advancement. The lease will provide an overall cost savings to the university, provide solutions for disaster recovery and offer better technology services for OBU students. The new technology solution also helps OBU meet the university's green initiative by reducing energy costs and consumption.
In other action, board members approved the contracts of 12 new faculty members: David I. Kenworthy, assistant professor of theatre and design technician; Dr. Christopher Neal, associate professor of music and director of bands; Song Hong Cho, assistant professor of Spanish; Peter McCorkle, instructor of kinesiology and leisure studies and men's and women's tennis coach; Katy Mohr, instructor of kinesiology and leisure studies and lacrosse coach; Phyllis Tipton, assistant professor of teacher education; Janice R. Carr, assistant professor of nursing; Leslie Ann Hobbs, assistant professor of nursing; Joseph Charles Rawdon, assistant professor of nursing; Dr. Contessa E. Edgar, assistant professor of biology; Dr. Yvonne Bongfen Mbote, assistant professor of chemistry; and Erin Kathleen Schrick, stockroom manager and laboratory instructor.
Board officers for the 2012-13 year were elected at the close of the meeting. They are David Lawrence, Weatherford, Okla., chair; Jarrod Frie, Tulsa, Okla., vice chair; Todd Fisher, Shawnee, Okla. secretary, and Nadine McPherson, Oklahoma City, Okla., treasurer.
Dr. Reagan Bradford Sr., chair of OBU's 33-member board of trustees, moderated the board's plenary session. Bradford is a medical research physician from Oklahoma City.