The OBU Board of Trustees approved a $76.9 million operating budget and the tuition and fee structure for the 2017-18 academic year, dedicated a new campus art project, and celebrated a record freshman class during their fall semester meeting on the OBU campus in Shawnee Oct. 7.
During his report to the board of trustees, OBU President Dr. David Whitlock announced another enrollment record with 566 new freshman students and 74 transfer students for a total enrollment of 2,073 this fall. This is the second largest freshman class in university history.
“We are thankful for these new students, not because of the sheer numbers,” Whitlock said, “but because we know they will receive a transformational, Christ-centered education that will not only prepare them well for a career, but more importantly, will prepare them for life.”
Between meeting sessions, trustees participated in the dedication of a new art project on the corner of Kickapoo and MacArthur. The project includes three life-sized metal Bison sculptures, a new OBU sign, a new brick structure housing the sign and Bison, and new landscaping.
Trustees approved a recommendation to offer marriage and family therapy classes at First Baptist Church, Broken Arrow, to expand opportunities to potential students in other parts of the state. OBU currently offers a Master of Science in marriage and family therapy program on the Shawnee campus.
The new operating budget will include a projected distribution of $26.3 million in scholarships for the 2017-18 academic year, which is 34 percent of the overall budget, and a 16.35 percent increase from the current year, according to Randy Smith, OBU executive vice president for business and administrative services.
Tuition and fees were approved for the 2017-18 academic year. OBU’s tuition for full-time students will increase $615 per semester from $22,710 for the current academic year to $23,940 for the 2017-18 academic year. The overall costs, which include tuition, fees, room and board, will increase by five percent, from $32,320 for 2016-17 to $33,990 for 2017-18.
In other action, trustees approved the 2017-18 university objectives to support the long-range strategic plan, OBU 2020.
Skip Robinson, chair of OBU's 31-member Board of Trustees, moderated the board's plenary session.
Board officers for the 2016-17 year were elected. They are Steve Allen, chair; Danna Humphreys, vice chair; Skip Robinson, secretary; and Scott Neighbors, treasurer.