Baylor Regents Approve $366 Million Operating Budget for 2008-09; Board Elects Officers, Approves New Computer Science, Nursing Degrees

May 16, 2008

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

The Baylor University Board of Regents at its spring meeting today approved a $366 million operating budget for 2008-09.

Next year's budget, which takes effect June 1, reflects an increase of $21.1 million or 6.1 percent over the original 2007-08 budget adopted by Baylor Regents last year. It includes an increase of $8.9 million or 10.1 percent to support merit and need-based scholarships, and graduate assistantships.

Personnel costs will increase by $15.2 million or 7.4 percent, which will support merit raises for faculty and staff as well as approximately 10 new full-time faculty positions, 44 replacement faculty positions and 31 new staff positions.

"This is a fiscally responsible budget in which we are allocating resources in a manner that will allow the university to continue its progress achieving the bold vision embodied in Baylor 2012," said Harold R. Cunningham, chairman of Baylor's Board of Regents. "Increasing compensation to allow the university to appoint and retain high-quality faculty and staff continues to be a budget priority."

In other board action, Regents elected Dr. Howard K. Batson of Amarillo to serve a one-year term as chair. He will succeed Harold R. Cunningham, effective June 1. Donell Teaff of Waco was elected vice chair.

"Having served on this and other boards for many years, Howard brings a wealth of experience to the position of Board chair," said Baylor President John M. Lilley. "His commitment to Baylor is unwavering and the university will surely prosper under his leadership."

"I should also like to express my sincere appreciation to Harold Cunningham for his dedicated service as chairman of the Board during the past year," Lilley said. "Harold's love for Baylor is well known and he demonstrated it this year in the skillful and selfless manner in which he led our board and our university."

Five Regents were re-elected to three-year terms: Stan Allcorn of Abilene, Harold R. Cunningham of Crawford, R. Stephen Carmack of Hinton, Okla., Ramiro Peña Jr. of Waco and R. Dary Stone of Dallas.

The board expressed its appreciation to Regents who have completed their terms: Jay Allison of Frisco, Dr. James Bowden of Waco, Randy Ferguson of Austin and Minette Drumwright Pratt of Fort Worth. In addition, Anne Graham Lotz completed her three-year term on the board and previously requested that she not be re-elected to another term, due to her ministerial commitments.

"The board sincerely appreciates Anne's service to Baylor University," said Wes Bailey, who chairs the board and administrative affairs committee. "She is an incredibly busy woman as she continues to maintain her own ministry around the globe, and otherwise help to carry on the incredible work of her father, Billy Graham. We are grateful for Anne's desire to serve Baylor and her support for the university's mission."

In other business, Regents approved two new degree programs - a bachelor of science in computing (BSC) degree to house a new major, Computer Science Fellows, and a nurse midwifery doctorate in nursing practice (NM/DNP) degree.

The department of computer science in Baylor's School of Engineering and Computer Science proposed the new BSC degree to allow Computer Science Fellows - who are intellectually gifted and highly-motivated students with a wide range of interests - to design individualized courses of study across the disciplines. The major is similar to Baylor's University Scholars and Baylor Business Fellows program, which prepare students for graduate studies or for successful careers.

Baylor's Louise Herrington School of Nursing's new graduate degree, the doctor of nursing practice with the new nurse-midwife major, is a clinical doctoral program that responds to professional mandates to move advanced nursing practice to doctoral education. The new graduate program also responds to the need for certified nurse-midwifes to provide care to women and their infants. The emphasis on caring for vulnerable populations will enable Baylor NM/DNP graduates to make a positive impact on perinatal health, infant mortality and healthcare disparities throughout the United States and in medical missions fields around the world.

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