Baylor Regents Approve $345 Million Operating Budget for 2007-08

May 11, 2007

- Board Also Elects Officers, Hears Alumni Report, Participates in Groundbreaking Ceremonies During May Meeting -

Media contact: Lori Fogleman, director of media relations, (254) 710-6275

The Baylor University Board of Regents at its spring meeting today approved a $345 million operating budget for 2007-08.

Next year's budget, which takes effect June 1, reflects an increase of $19 million or 5.9 percent over the adjusted 2006-07 budget. The new budget includes an increase of $12.8 million or 16.9 percent in merit and need-based scholarships, and graduate assistantships.

Personnel costs will increase by $19.6 million or 10.6 percent, which includes $6.8 million to support salary increases for faculty and staff. Assuming average starting salaries, the budget also allows for 14 new full-time faculty positions, 38 replacement faculty positions, 25 FTE new part-time lecturer positions and 26 new staff positions.

Regents also approved $2.15 million in capital projects, including fire suppression and detection systems in university academic facilities and residence halls, energy management and conservation projects, and deferred maintenance projects.

In other board action, Regents elected Harold Cunningham of Crawford to serve a one-year term as chair, effective June 1. Howard Batson of Amarillo was elected vice chair.

"Harold Cunningham has faithfully served Baylor University in a variety of capacities," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "He has an abiding affection for Baylor and a profound commitment to the University's prosperous future. I look forward to working with Harold, and I have great confidence that under his dedicated leadership, Baylor will continue to advance the significant goals of our 2012 vision."

"I should also like to express my sincere appreciation to Jim Turner for his devoted service as chair of our Board of Regents during the past year, his strong support of Baylor 2012 and his commitment to his alma mater," Lilley said. "Baylor has made tremendous strides under Jim's leadership, and I am particularly grateful for his help to me personally during my first year as president of this great University. Jim is unwavering in his affection for the University, and I look forward to his continued friendship as we work to fulfill the promise of Baylor University."

The Board of Regents recognized Jim Turner's year of service as chairman with a standing ovation and unanimously endorsed this commendation:

    "We, the Regents of Baylor University, commend board chair Jim Turner for faithful, selfless, fair leadership; for always supporting and affirming Baylor's mission, her vision 2012 and her president; for capably representing the board and Baylor before the public; and for giving himself completely to the task of board chair during his year of service."

Four Regents were re-elected to three-year terms: Joseph B. Armes of Dallas, Albert C. Black Jr. of Dallas, Tommy L. Bowman of Waco, and Neal T. "Buddy" Jones of Austin.

The Board expressed its appreciation to five Regents who have completed their terms on the board: W.H. Brian Jr. of Amarillo, Joe E. Coleman of Houston, Will D. Davis of Austin, Laree Estes Perez of Albuquerque, N.M., and John G. Wilkerson Jr. of Lubbock.

In other business, Baylor Regents discussed a variety of issues associated with clarifying the university's relationship with the Baylor Alumni Association (BAA) and approved the following statement:

    "The Regents recognize the common interest of Baylor and the Baylor Alumni Association in promoting the best interests of Baylor University. Baylor and the BAA should publicly and jointly express their commitment to:
    • achieving the goals of 2012;
    • the independence of the BAA;
    • the maintenance of a harmonious relationship between Baylor and the BAA;
    • the furtherance of the mission and historic Baptist heritage of Baylor University; and
    • championing Baylor's Christian environment with educational excellence."

During their two-day meeting, Regents also attended two groundbreaking ceremonies on the Baylor campus.

On Thursday, the university broke ground on the $34 million Alwin O. and Dorothy Highers Athletics Complex and the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center, which integrates the Baylor athletics department and football program into the campus environment for the first time in the modern era.

Located on University Parks Drive near the Baylor Marina, the Highers Athletics Complex will feature three football practice fields, two with a natural surface and the other with artificial turf. The 96,300-square-foot Simpson Athletics and Academic Center will bring to campus functions previously housed at Floyd Casey Stadium, such as the main athletics training room, equipment room, football team locker room and weight room, as well as administrative offices, the football office, meeting rooms and an academic center for all student-athletes.

The lead gift for the project - the largest single gift in Baylor's history - is from the estate of 1939 Baylor business graduate Alwin O. Highers Jr. of Alexandria, La.

Support from 1970 Baylor graduate Bob Simpson, a co-founder, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of XTO Energy Inc. of Fort Worth, made possible the ambitious expanded plan for the new facility.

On Friday, Baylor broke ground on the McMullen-Connally Faculty Center at the construction site on South Fifth Street between Speight and Bagby avenues.

The 10,900-square-foot McMullen-Connally Faculty Center will provide faculty with a much-needed place to dine, host prospective faculty candidates and visiting speakers, and accommodate faculty events. The two-story facility will offer daily dining services for up to 120 faculty in the main dining room and provide three small banquet rooms on the second floor for dinners or meetings. The facility also will include a faculty lounge area, library and full-service kitchen. The McMullen-Connally Family Collection, featuring works by significant artists from the California School of Watercolor, will further inspire visitors to the facility.

A generous gift from Dr. Faber McMullen and Roxanna Connally McMullen of Bellaire, Texas, made possible the construction of the new center. Faber received his bachelor of science degree in 1953 and his medical doctor degree in 1956 from Baylor, and Roxanna attended Baylor from 1950-52. After enjoying Faber's successful career as a recognized cardiologist, the McMullens, whose lives were particularly touched by Dr. Cornelia Marschall Smith, wanted to honor Baylor's great teaching legacy by supporting current faculty.

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