The OBU Board of Trustees approved a $72.64 million operating budget and the tuition and fee structure for the 2016-17 academic year, dedicated the newest residential facility, and celebrated the 100th anniversary of Shawnee Hall during their fall semester meeting Oct. 1-2 on the OBU campus in Shawnee.
Between meeting sessions, trustees participated in the dedication of the fourth new building in the residential village and joined community members, faculty, staff and students to celebrate Shawnee Hall’s 100th anniversary.
The new operating budget will include a projected distribution of $22.68 million in scholarships for the 2016-17 academic year, which is 31 percent of the overall budget, according to Randy L. Smith, OBU executive vice president for business and administrative services. Tuition and fees were also approved for the 2016-17 academic year, with tuition for full-time students increasing 4.9%, which is $540 per semester.
Trustee Steve Bagwell presented a recommendation that the Board of Trustees affirm the controller’s office staff, led by Smith, Lauri Fluke, assistant vice president for finance and administration, and Steven Floyd, controller, for their “exemplary work in preparing the university’s financial statements in accordance with applicable principles resulting in unqualified audits for the past twelve years.” The committee also recommended affirming the student financial services staff, led by Jonna Raney, director, for their “exemplary work in administering student financial aid as evidenced by the absence of any findings during student financial aid audits over the last eight years.”
In other action, trustees reviewed and reaffirmed OBU’s Mission Statement and Core Values.
Trustees approved the contracts of five new faculty members: Rebecca Ballinger, assistant professor of music; Skyler Thomas, instructor of video/motion graphics and animation; Brandon Bracket, lacrosse coach and instructor of kinesiology and leisure studies; Dr. Tom Darling, professor of kinesiology and leisure studies; and Dr. Nichole Jackson, assistant professor of nursing, simulation director.
The Board of Trustees also received a report concerning the tremendous progress made in the implementation of the university’s salary improvement plan. The university will continue its commitment to this priority with resources committed to the plan in the 2016-17 budget.
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.
Board officers for the 2015-16 year were elected. They are Skip Robinson, Durant, chair; Steve Allen, Tulsa, vice chair; Danna Humphries, Oklahoma City, secretary; and Robert Troester, Edmond, treasurer.