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Projects get green light

Nov. 17, 1998


Staff Writer

As Baylor Board of Regents met last week, architectural designs for the new Discovery Center and the tennis complexes were approved, 11 graduate programs were eliminated, a new senior lecturer position was approved and a resolution was adopted allowing the university to continue with planning and fundraising for the expansion and renovation of existing science facilities.

The approved 61,000-square-foot Discovery Center complex will be located north of University Parks Drive between the Hughes-Dillard Alumni Center and the Streich Tennis Courts.

'This doesn't mean that construction is going to start immediately,' Larry Brumley, a Baylor spokesperson, said. 'They still have to complete the fundraising for it. When the $7.5 million is committed, the first phase will begin.'

Discussion concerning the expansion and renovation of science facilities was a significant issue on the agenda at the meeting, and the Regent's Facilities and Technology Committee was given a tour of the current science facilities, Brumley said.

'The regents recognized in a new way how critical this need is,' he said. 'They are fully supportive of the university proceeding with this project.'

This is a long project which will take approximately five to seven years to complete. It is a very important program because the sciences account for a significant percent of the university's enrollment, Brumley said.

'It will easily be the most complex capital project that the university has ever undertaken,' Brumley said. 'An architect has been retained from Detroit who will work with the committee of faculty and administrators who are planning to develop a program of how things need to be configured considering the way science needs to be taught in the future. They need to determine that before they can do the architectural programs.'

Similar to the Discovery Center, the regents also approved a design for the new tennis complex, which will include six indoor and six outdoor tennis courts. It will be located in the Jim and Julie Turner Riverfront Athletic Park along University Parks Drive.

The complex will include a 64,000-square-foot indoor facility including coaches' offices, varsity tennis men's and women's locker rooms, training facilities, a pro shop and a lounge area.

The exterior of the tennis complex will complement the style of the new stadiums that are currently under construction.

'It ties-in with the look of the new baseball stadium and softball stadium, and they'll all be continuous,' Brumley said. 'It's going to be very attractive--Baylor red brick.'

'Part of the funding for that is coming from the Student Life Complex, and other portions of it need to be raised,' Brumley said. 'This has turned out to be a little bit more extensive project than was originally planned a few years ago.'

The regents also voted to eliminate 11 graduate programs. These programs include: M.A. in anthropology; M.S. in environmental chemistry; M.A. in environmental physics; M.S. in environmental physics; M.A. in sociology with a specialization in environmental studies; M.A. in sociology with a specialization in gerontology; M.A. in Christian theology; M.A. in economics; M.S. in environmental economics; M.A. in educational administration; and the M.M. in string pedagogy.

'(These programs) were either not attracting students and didn't work financially or they were redundant,' Brumley said. 'They needed to focus more on existing programs to strengthen them. Some of those programs didn't have a single student.'

The business school will offer a joint bachelor of business administration/master of accountancy program and a joint master of business administration/master of science in information systems degree no later than next fall.

'That has evolved because accounting as a profession has been moving everybody to the point where they would have to have essentially a masters degree to CPA,' said Dr. Stan Madden, vice president for university relations.

Without the joint program, students would be required to take 170 semester hours to obtain both a BAA and MACC. The joint program will allow them to get both degrees in 158 hours, Brumley said.

According to the press release, the joint MBA/MS-IS degree will allow students to gain the best of both degrees--a broad understanding of the business environment from the MBA courses and the depth of technical knowledge found in the MS-IS courses.

The senior lecturer position will be implemented in the coming year. A faculty member seeking the status of senior lecturer will be evaluated after seven years. If approved, a contract will be issued for a two-year period. After seven years, if a lecturer is not given a contract, they will be terminated.

'The down side is when y9ou hit that seven years, if you're not named a senior lecturer, you are not continued,' Madden said. 'The idea is if you're worthy of doing that then we'll keep you, and if you're not then we need to find somebody else who could potentially take that role.'

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