Baylor Regents Approve 2004-05 Budget, Elect New Officers

May 14, 2004

by Larry D. Brumley

Baylor University's Board of Regents today approved a 2004-05 fiscal year budget of $341 million - a 9.1 percent, or $28.5 million increase over the current operating budget - and elected Will Davis of Austin as board chair. Jim Turner of Dallas was elected vice chair.

Next year's budget, which takes effect June 1, anticipates a freshman class of 2,650 next fall and does not draw upon any quasi-endowment funds to balance the budget. Due to lower-than-expected revenue the past two years, the University used a total of $7.5 million in quasi-endowment funds to balance the 2002-03 and 2003-04 budgets. Overall operating expenses for 2004-05 have been reduced by 20 percent and overall capital expenses by 50 percent from the original 2003-04 budget.

The 2004-05 budget also features a $9.3 million - or 19.8 percent - increase in scholarships and fellowships. This total includes increases for merit, need-based and graduate assistantship scholarships.

"The growth in this year's overall budget is largely due to increased tuition revenue," said David R. Brooks, vice president for finance and administration. "On the expenditures side, the University will have additional maintenance and utilities costs associated with the new sciences building, the new Jeanes Discovery Center and the North Village residential complex. We also have invested a significant portion of the additional revenue in student financial aid to ensure that a Baylor education remains accessible."

In other action, the board approved revised processes for determining potential conflicts of interest for faculty, officers, administrators and other employees, and regents. Annual questionnaires collecting information about potential conflicts of interest were previously administered by the Provost's Office for faculty, by the Human Resource Services division for staff, and by the Office of Vice President for Finance and Administration for regents. The new process will have all questionnaires distributed and reviewed first by the Office of Internal Audit. The processes were revised to improve efficiencies by consolidating administration of the questionnaires through the Internal Audit Office, resulting in a strengthening of the University's internal checks and balances.

The board also reviewed an updated long-term financial model, which was requested in February by the Special Regent Audit Committee. The updated model reflects changes in the economic environment since its initial approval by the board in September 2001. It includes adjustments in tuition increases, enrollment targets, endowment income, personnel costs, and operating and capital expenditures through the year 2015.

In other action, the board elected three new regents. Joining the board June 1 will be John H. Minton, an attorney with Potter Minton P.C. of Tyler; Neal T. "Buddy" Jones, principal/owner of HillCo Partners LLC, an Austin public affairs firm; and Albert C. Black Jr., president and CEO of On-Target Supplies and Logistics Ltd. of Dallas.

Five regents were re-elected to three-year terms, effective June 1. They include Davis; Laree Estes Perez, Albuquerque, N.M.; Joe Armes, Dallas; Joe Coleman, Houston; and Tommy Bowman, Waco. Sue Getterman of Waco was re-elected to a two-year term.

Last fall, the Baptist General Convention of Texas re-elected current regents Jaclanel McFarland of Houston, two-year term; Bill Brian of Amarillo, three-year term; John Wilkerson of Lubbock, three-year term; and John Reimers of Beaumont, who will fill an unexpired term on the board until May 31, 2006.

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