Ouachita Baptist University’s Board of Trustees approved eight new staff members and new tuition rates for the 2010-11 academic year during their Sept. 10 meeting on Ouachita’s Arkadelphia campus.
In other action, trustees heard a report from Dr. Randall Wight, coordinator of Ouachita’s self-study process, and honored the Arnold family for recent gifts designated for student scholarships and renovation projects in Lile Hall.
Trustees approved a 2010-11 rate of $25,660 for tuition, fees, room and board. The 4.31 percent change from the current rate of $24,600 is an increase of just over $500 per semester or $1,000 for the year. The new rate follows the current year’s increase of 2.8 percent—one of the lowest increases compared to peer institutions which reported rate increases of up to 9 percent.
New staff members formally approved by trustees include four admissions counselors and four athletics staff members.
New admissions counselors include Lara Cobb, a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and a recent intern at Second Baptist Church of Houston; Brad Evans, a 2005 Ouachita graduate who recently completed a Master of Arts in youth and family at Denver Seminary; Eli Fuentez, who holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish from Pittsburg State University where he served as a lecturer; and Katie Mahfouz, a 2009 Ouachita graduate with a degree in sociology.
Alan Greenwood, a 2008 Ouachita graduate, has been named sports information director, director of recreational sports and East Village hall director. He recently served as sports editor for the Arkadelphia Daily Siftings Herald.
Other new staff members include Roy Thompson, assistant football coach, who holds a Bachelor of Sports and Administration and Master of Education degrees from Belhaven College. His wife, Julia, is a Ouachita admissions counselor. Bryan White was named interim head athletic trainer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Salisbury University and a Master of Science in health, exercise and sport science from the Citadel. Kylie Shaw is serving as assistant athletic trainer. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in athletic training from Carson-Newman College and a Master of Science in health, exercise and sport science from the Citadel.
Dr. Randall Wight, professor and chair of the department of psychology, shared an overview of Ouachita’s current self-study process. Highlighting details of a recent faculty and staff survey of Ouachita’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges, Wight noted, “One of the touchstones for this whole process is something we like to call affectionate realism. We want to take an honest but tender examination of Ouachita with an eye to the future.”
Citing such strengths as “classroom teaching, international relationships and technological infrastructure,” Wight said survey responses “suggest that we work hard to promote academics.”
Affirming that “Ouachita’s mission is to create well-furnished minds for our students,” Wight added, “Here we relish love of God, love of learning, love of our students. … Ouachita truly does make a difference.”
During his report to trustees, Ouachita President Rex Horne noted Ouachita’s environmental stewardship efforts which have resulted in energy savings of approximately 20 percent per month.
He also highlighted Ouachita’s third consecutive ranking as the No. 1 Baccalaureate College in the South by U.S. News & World Report and the second year in a row as the No. 1 “Great Schools, Great Prices” university in the same category. Describing the annual findings as “significant,” he said Ouachita’s top rankings “reflect back on the people who serve here.”
Dr. Horne also noted the recent dedication of Ouachita’s new Student Village which houses more than 350 students. He added that the university’s next student housing construction project will begin this fall with two three-story facilities scheduled to be completed by fall of 2011.
Citing the biblical call in Galatians 6:9 to “not grow weary in well doing; for in due season we will reap, if we faint not,” Dr. Horne told trustees, “We’ve been working hard at sowing. We are sowing for a noble institution that we all believe in. We will continue to sow and we will continue to tell the story.
“There are going to be great days coming,” he concluded. “We’ve got a lot to be thankful for.”
During a luncheon following the board meeting, Dr. Horne introduced Bill and Sharon Arnold (OBU Class of 1967) and their sons and daughters-in-law, Curtis (Class of 1992) and Nancy Arnold and U.S. Army Maj. J.P. (Class of 1994) and Amy Arnold.
“From time to time we run across individuals and families that are an extra blessing to us and the Arnold family is one of those families,” President Horne noted. He said recent gifts from the Arnold Family Foundation include scholarships for students from the DeValls Bluff and Hazen area as well as the Bill and Sharon Arnold Multimedia Suite which will be a part of the university’s renovation of Lile Hall.
The gifts in honor of Bill and Sharon Arnold recognize their “lifetime of service to educating students” during more than 40 years of public school service, Dr. Horne said. “This family is a great example of people devoted to Ouachita who are making a difference today and will make a difference in the years to come.”
Responding on behalf of the family, Curtis Arnold told the luncheon crowd, “This is about honoring my mom and dad more than anything and their lifelong commitment to teaching and education.” Affirming his family’s commitment to supporting Ouachita, he added, “For kids that want a quality Christian education, I can’t think of a better school in America.”
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications