Oklahoma Baptist University trustees approved recommendations for sabbatical leave, senior faculty status for six faculty members, and a resolution regarding the construction of a new facility to house the College of Nursing during their spring semester meeting Friday, Feb. 7.
OBU President David W. Whitlock told board members spring enrollment numbers have grown to 1,922 since last spring, a 4.2 percent increase over spring 2013 enrollment.
"This is the highest spring enrollment since 1990," Dr. Whitlock said. "I believe it won't be long until we start setting some new all-time records for enrollment. I am very pleased more and more students are choosing to attend OBU."
The Board of Trustees approved construction of the facility to house the College of Nursing at an amount up to $9.4 million. Trustees also authorized the administration to negotiate financing to begin construction of the facility due to expected growth in the nursing program and the need to finalize construction costs to avoid further increases in costs. The financing debt is to be paid as additional pledges are fulfilled.
Trustees approved naming the new facility Jane E. and Nick K. Stavros Hall. Nick Stavros, founder and CEO of Metro Appliances and More, provided the lead gift for the building. Stavros was married to the late Jane Eleanor Stavros, daughter of Victor C. Hurt, a legendary OBU athletic director and football, basketball and track coach.
Trustees granted sabbatical leave for the spring 2015 semester for Dr. Glenn Sanders, professor of history. Sanders will complete a book-length manuscript on "the spirit and vocation of teaching." Through this manuscript, he desires to share techniques he has learned that build strong communities through teaching and learning.
In other action, trustees approved faculty contracts and granted senior faculty status for Dr. Tonia Crane, assistant professor of education; Dr. Vickie Ellis, associate professor of communication studies; Dr. Carolyn Gregory, assistant professor of education; Dr. Louima Lilite, assistant professor of voice; Dr. Jennifer McQuade, assistant professor of voice; and Dr. Tony Yates, assistant professor of science. Senior faculty status is evaluated based on performance in teaching effectiveness, professional development, service to the University and Christian commitment and service.
David Lawrence, chair of OBU's 31-member board of trustees, moderated the board's plenary session. Lawrence is pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Weatherford, Okla.