MARSHALL, Texas (1/20/12)- The East Texas Baptist University Board of Trustees convened today for its first meeting during the Centennial year. ETBU Board Chair Sam Moseley presided over the meeting.
One major agenda item discussed and approved by the Trustees was the Master of Arts in Counseling degree. The new program, to be housed in the Department of Behavior Sciences, will be offered beginning with the fall 2012 semester.
According to information published by the Health Professions Resource Center of the Texas Department of State Health Service, a shortage of mental health workers exists in most East Texas counties. One of the contributing factors for the shortage of mental health workers is the scarcity of graduate training programs and internship opportunities.
“Six professional counselors working in Harrison and Gregg counties each report that they currently have more clients than they can see due to full schedules,” said Dr. Lynn New, Dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences at ETBU. “By producing well-prepared counselors and mental health workers, ETBU can create a wellspring of help and healing that offers hope to many suffering from mental and emotional disorders.”
ETBU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Sherilyn Emberton sees this addition to the university’s graduate programs as, “further building on the strength of our successful undergraduate programs in psychology at ETBU. Historically, we have had large numbers of graduates in this field who continue their education at the graduate level. Now, we can offer our students the chance to continue their professional study in an environment that supports a Christian worldview.”
At the 2011 SACSCOC Annual Meeting held in Orlando, Florida, December 3-6, ETBU received affirmation of their accreditation as a Level III institution (ability to grant Master’s degrees) following the recommendation by a SACSCOC substantive change committee who visited the campus to review the University’s compliance with the Principles of Accreditation. The committee had no recommendations for improvement; therefore, the SACSCOC Board of Trustees confirmed the University’s accreditation at Level III. ETBU currently offers the Master of Arts in Religion and the Master of Education degrees.
Also approved was a degree completion program in cooperation with Panola College. The agreement will allow for a Bachelor of Applied Science degree with a major in University Studies and concentration in Business. Instruction for this degree will be conducted by ETBU faculty at Panola College in Carthage.
The Board approved the 2012-2013 tuition and fee schedule, which includes the smallest increase in years. “The increase of 4.81% for 2012-2013 is the smallest increase in tuition, fees, room and board that ETBU has had in 13 years,” said Ned Calvert, Vice President for Administration and Finance.
According to ETBU Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing Vince Blankenship, “ETBU awarded nearly $8 million dollars in institutional aid this year which makes the out-of-pocket cost for our families extremely competitive with other universities, including state schools,”
“Our goal is to make an education at a private university affordable for students and their families,” added Calvert.
After 11 months of work, the Centennial Council, comprised of 92 highly talented, successful, intelligent, and faithful people devoted to Christian higher education, presented its report. The Trustees accepted the report which expresses how ETBU may best fulfill its mission over the next 25 years.
“I am very pleased with the visionary work of the Centennial Council as represented in their report,” said Board Chair Moseley. “With the celebration of ETBU’s Centennial and the ample evidence of God’s blessing on the institution, the Board is looking forward to continuing our work with the administration, faculty, staff, and students to advance the University.”
The Trustees conducted its annual evaluation of President Oliver and renewed his contract, extending it through May 2015.
In other business, the Trustees approved seven faculty promotions and the 2012-2013 University Calendar.
The Board of Trustees seated six new members at this meeting. The new members are David Chadwick, president of Farmers State Bank of Center; Jerry Hamilton, a scrap metal buyer for Sims Metal Management; Denie Kendrick, a retired school teacher; Maj. Gen. Vernon Lewis, retired from the US Army; Susan Livingston, a retired administrative assistant; David Rice, pastor of Crossroads Baptist Church of Marshall; and Buddy Shaw, Louisiana State Senator.
The next scheduled board meeting is May 4, 2012.
ETBU has offered quality Christ-centered higher education since 1912.