Ouachita Baptist University trustees approved a 2013-14 operating budget and a concealed weapons policy as well as several personnel recommendations during their June 13 Board of Trustees meeting on the Ouachita campus. The new operating budget is a slight decrease from the previous fiscal year.
The university’s weapons policy was expanded to address a recent law adopted by the Arkansas legislature. Ouachita officials chose to opt out of allowing concealed weapons on campus. The policy prohibits “the use, possession or carrying, concealed or unconcealed, of weapons of any type including but not limited to firearms” and other weapons on university property. The policy applies to all faculty, staff, students and visitors on campus.
Among personnel actions, trustees approved one new faculty member and seven new administrative staff members, including:
Dr. Becky Morrison, assistant professor of music. Morrison has been an adjunct professor of music and communications at East Central University in Ada, Okla. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from Oklahoma Baptist University as well as Master of Music degrees from the University of North Texas and the Boston University College of Fine Arts and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Josh Aldridge, assistant football coach. Aldridge is a graduate assistant at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., where he is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harding University.
Brittany Armstrong, admissions counselor. Armstrong is a 2010 Ouachita graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian studies. She will be recruiting prospective students in mid-south Arkansas and the southeastern United States.
Stacy Beck, admissions counselor. Beck is a 2013 Ouachita graduate with majors in history, political science and French. She will be recruiting in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
Joel Coleman, residence hall director. Coleman, who serves as worship leader at Lake Hamilton Baptist Church in Hot Springs, graduated from Ouachita in May with a Bachelor of Music degree. He will be the hall director in Anthony Hall.
Merrilee Greer, residence hall director. Greer, a former Ouachita student, has worked in medical offices, as a teacher in a Christian school and as a certified nursing assistant. She will be the hall director in Gosser Hall.
Hannah Pilcher, residence hall director. Pilcher is a May 2013 Ouachita graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish. She will be the hall director in Frances Crawford East and will have additional responsibilities in the offices of Alumni and Career Services.
Rickey Rogers, residence hall director and assistant football coach. Rogers is a 2002 Ouachita graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in physical education and holds a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling from Henderson State University. He has worked as an educational advisor for the TRIO program at Ouachita and in HSU’s Educational Opportunity Center. He also is an associate pastor at Primera Iglesia Bautista. He will be the hall director of O.C. Bailey Hall as well as an assistant football coach.
In other business, Ouachita President Rex Horne highlighted several campus updates, including plans to revise the university’s CORE curriculum and reduce the minimum number of hours required for graduation from 128 to 120. He also cited current remodeling of the Grant Center for International Education and a Mabee Foundation challenge grant to help fund a proposed new facility for the Elrod Center for Family and Community.
President Horne also noted that Ouachita graduates continue to maintain a low average student debt total and that the student-led Ouachita Student Foundation raised a record amount of more than $100,000 for student scholarships.
Trustee Frank Hickingbotham opened the quarterly board meeting with a brief devotional based on Micah 6:6-9. Citing Micah’s instruction “to do justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God,” Hickingbotham said God simply tells His followers, “I want you to walk with Me.”
When believers walk with God, Hickingbotham added, they have the opportunity to talk with God, thank God and trust God. “When I come on this campus, I see every reason to be thanking God,” he said. “You see how God has blessed this great university. … When we trust God and walk with God, He will take care of all of our needs.”
By Trennis Henderson, OBU Vice President for Communications