Oklahoma Baptist University trustees approved recommendations for sabbatical leave, senior faculty status for three faculty members, and a recommendation to extend the Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign during their spring semester meeting Friday, Feb. 6.
OBU President David W. Whitlock told board members OBU's Vision for a New Century Capital Campaign has surpassed the $42 million goal.
"During the past three years, our Vision for a New Century Campaign has generated $18.1 million in endowment and has established more than 150 new scholarships," Whitlock said. "These scholarships are essential to our ability to continue to provide an affordable Christian education to OBU students."
"These donations have fully funded several of our campaign projects, including scholarship endowments, the construction of Stavros Hall, the renovation of the Cargill Center and the construction of Mathena Athletic Training Facility," he said. "But, there are a few that remain unfunded. We will refocus our efforts on raising the rest of the funds needed for the remaining projects."
Trustees approved a recommendation to seek approval from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma Board of Directors to extend the Vision Campaign. The extension will provide the opportunity to raise an additional $18 million by December 2018 to complete the original campaign projects including the rebuild of the W.P. Wood Science Building, the construction of a student services center, the renovation of Ford Music Hall, and the renovation of the center section of Agee Residence Center.
The $8.5 million W.P. Wood Science Building expansion will include an additional 4,500 square feet of space for much-needed laboratories and storage areas, offering opportunities to reconfigure and enhance existing classrooms, labs, faculty offices, and student study areas.
A new $6.5 million Student Services Center will bring key student services to one 28,000 square foot building, combining admissions, registrar, student financial services, enrollment management, and the executive offices in one convenient location. Located just north of Raley Chapel, the structure will also serve as a welcome center for guests, prospective students and their families.
The Ford Music Hall renovation will include a new heating/cooling system, new roof, keyless card-access entry system, new furniture and other needed renovations at an investment of $1.4 million.
Agee Residence Center will receive a $1.1 million renovation to the center section to provide updated accommodations and common areas for future freshman male students.
In other action, trustees granted sabbatical leave for Dr. Vickie Shamp Ellis, professor of communication studies, for the fall 2015 semester; Dr. Benjamin Myers, Crouch-Mathis associate professor of literature, for the spring 2016 semester; and Dr. Jim Vernon, professor of music, for a half-teaching load for the 15-16 academic year. Ellis will research marketing strategies for the recruitment of homeschool students. Myers plans to write a book of poems exploring rural life in Oklahoma. This would be his third collection. Vernon will plan and compose a full stage opera, to be performed by OBU students in the 2017 spring semester.
The Board of Trustees approved senior faculty status for Dr. Alan Bandy, Rowena R. Strickland assistant professor of New Testament; Corey Fuller, assistant professor of graphic arts; and Dr. R. Scott Pace, Reverend A.E. and Dora Johnson Hughes chair of Christian ministry and assistant professor of applied ministry.
Jarrod Frie, chair of OBU's 31-member board of trustees, moderated the board's plenary session. Frie is President/Partner at Biomaterials of Oklahoma.