At its May meeting, the Baylor University Board of Regents voted to establish a new PhD program in entrepreneurship in the Hankamer School of Business and approved $1.1 million for the design and construction of the Simpson Strength and Performance Center in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center.
Already a nationally recognized leader in undergraduate entrepreneurship education, Baylor's multifaceted entrepreneurship program--led by an outstanding core of faculty--encourages world-class research, cross-disciplinary collaboration and experiential learning. By offering a PhD in entrepreneurship, Baylor will become only the seventh U.S. university accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) to offer a doctoral program specific to entrepreneurship.
"Entrepreneurship is increasingly seen as a dominant force shaping the landscape of communities, regions and nations and is seen by many as a beacon of hope for job creation and poverty reduction," said Dr. Terry S. Maness, dean of the Hankamer School of Business. "The Baylor name has long been associated with research and teaching excellence in the field of entrepreneurship, which is uniquely positioned to apply theoretical knowledge to practical problems of business creation, business growth and economic development."
Baylor's undergraduate entrepreneurship program was ranked No. 3 in the country by Entrepreneur Magazine and The Princeton Review in their 2015 survey. In its 2015 Best Colleges report, U.S. News & World Report ranked Baylor’s entrepreneurship program No. 12 among the nation’s best entrepreneurship programs. In fall 2015, the Hankamer School of Business will move into the new 275,000-square-foot Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. The PhD in entrepreneurship will begin in fall 2016.
As approved by Regents, the Simpson strength and performance center will be located in the renovated and expanded weight room in the Simpson Athletics and Academics Center. The project will include new space dedicated to sports nutrition and applied performance along with equipment and technology upgrades. The Simpson Center weight room is the training home of the majority of Baylor's championship athletic teams, including the two-time defending Big 12 champion football team.
"The renovation of the Simpson strength and performance center is among our highest priorities in order to benefit our student-athletes as they train to perform at the highest level and win championships," said Ian McCaw, vice president and director of athletics. "Moreover, the improvements to this facility will be another desirable recruiting asset for our coaches and programs as we attract the nation’s best prospective student-athletes to Baylor."
In other board action, Baylor Regents approved a 2015-2016 budget of $560.7 million that reflects an increase of 2.4 percent over the current year budget. It includes an additional $17.7 million to support scholarships for undergraduates, graduates and professional students and graduate assistantships. Personnel costs will increase by 4.6 percent, which will support 17 new full-time faculty positions, 53 replacement faculty positions and 44 new staff positions. The budget also supports merit raises for faculty and staff, more competitive stipends for graduate assistants and increased funding for student workers. The budget took effect June 1.
The Board also elected two new Regents, re-elected six current members to new terms and confirmed three Regents appointed last fall by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The new Board members who began their terms June 1 are: William (Bill) S. Simon, of Rogers, Ark., former president and CEO of Wal-Mart U.S.; and Kim Wilson Stevens, BSEd ’93, of Waco, CEO of Blue Scout Media.
"Baylor continues to be blessed by the remarkably talented and dedicated individuals who unselfishly commit their time, wisdom and resources to help Baylor University flourish in its mission of academic excellence with Christian commitment," said Richard Willis, BBA '81, MBA '82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents.
In addition, Willis was re-elected to serve another one-year term as chair, while Ronald D. Murff of Dallas was elected vice chair. Six current Regents were re-elected to three-year terms: Robert E. Beauchamp of Houston; J. Cary Gray, BA '79, BAcc '80, JD '83, of Houston; David H. Harper, BBA '88, of Dallas; Dan Hord III, BBA '89, of Midland, Texas; Christopher B. Howard of Hampden-Sydney, Va.; and Murff.
Linda Brian, BA '69, Joel T. Allison, BA '70, and Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod, BA '88, were re-elected by the BGCT to three-year terms and confirmed by the board.
Elected by the board to serve one-year terms respectively as non-voting Faculty and Student Regents are Dr. Lori E. Baker, BA '93, MA '94, chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of anthropology in Baylor's College of Arts and Sciences, and Jonathan Siktberg, a senior Baylor Business Fellow from Nashville, Tenn.
Elected by the board to serve one-year terms respectively as non-voting Regent members of the "B" Association and the Bear Foundation are Debbie Bradley Mann, BS '80, and Chris Manning, BBA '84, of Dallas.