The Oklahoma Baptist University Board of Trustees joined in the dedication of the Dick and Sue Rader Office of Student Life, approved a recommendation to increase endowed faculty position funding, celebrated 10 years of service by Dr. David W. Whitlock as president of OBU, and adopted the tuition and fee structure for the 2019-20 academic year during their fall semester meeting Oct. 5 on the OBU campus in Shawnee.
Trustees joined employees and guests for the dedication of the Dick and Sue Rader Office of Student Life. The Rader family provided the lead gift for the remodeling of a portion of the first floor in the university’s Geiger Center to provide space for student life and spiritual life to office in one location.
Dick and Sue Rader are OBU alumni and lifetime supporters of the mission of Oklahoma Baptist University. Dick was a longtime Oklahoma Baptist University administrator and faculty member. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from OBU in 1963, while Sue earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from OBU in 1961. The Raders were appointed as missionaries by the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1967 and served for 12 years in Zambia and South Africa.
Dick joined the OBU faculty as an adjunct professor of religion in 1979. Over the next 23 years, he served in several academic and administrative posts. He was named associate professor of religion in 1984; served as dean of the Joe L. Ingram School of Christian Service (now the Herschel H. Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry) from 1985-2002; was named WMU professor of missions in 1989; and served as vice president of religious life from 1994-2002.
“We are extremely grateful to the family of Dick and Sue Rader for this donation that enabled us to bring these two offices together in the heart of the OBU campus,” President Whitlock said. “This move provides improved access and increased interaction between students and staff members.”
An earlier gift from the university’s Women of Vision giving circle was the catalyst for the remodeling project which resulted in nearly doubling the meeting space available for spiritual life activities and events.
In his report to the board of trustees, Whitlock announced the addition of 527 new freshman students and 76 new transfer students for a total enrollment of 2,011 this fall. He also reported the hiring of eight new faculty members.
“We are thankful for the continued opportunity to provide a transformational education for our students,” Whitlock said.
Recognizing that endowed faculty positions allow OBU to attract and retain a world-class faculty, trustees approved a recommendation to increase the endowment funds needed to establish professorships from $250,000 to $500,000, endowed chairs from $500,000 to $1 million, and deanships at $2 million.
In other faculty-related action, trustees approved a new faculty contract for Abigail Mace as assistant professor of music and director of the preparatory department.
Tuition and fees were approved for the 2019-20 academic year. OBU’s tuition for full-time students will increase $1,446 per year from $25,138 for the current academic year to $26,584 for the 2019-20 academic year. The overall costs, which include tuition, fees, room and board, will increase by 4.9 percent, from $35,608 for 2018-19 to $37,354 for 2019-20.
Board officers for the 2018-19 year were approved. They include Steve Allen, chair; Danna Humphries, vice chair; James Wilder, secretary; and Scott Neighbors, treasurer.
Steve Allen, chair of OBU's Board of Trustees, moderated the board's plenary session.