The Williams Baptist College board of trustees approved the school’s budget for the coming school year, as well as giving its approval to the 2016 graduating class. The board met in regular session Friday, April 22, at WBC.
Williams will operate on a $12.1 budget in the 2016-17 year, after the board approved the spending outline Friday.
“This is a budget that advances WBC’s mission of providing an excellent, holistically Christian, liberal arts education, and it does so in a responsible way,” said Dr. Tom Jones, president of Williams. “This budget also demonstrates the tremendous economic impact Williams has on our local community.”
Another item of business for the board was approving this year’s slate of graduates. About 90 graduates will receive their diplomas at WBC commencement exercises, which will take place Saturday, May 7.
Trustees voted to proceed with an academic expansion that will allow Williams to offer new degree programs in the future. The college is developing plans to reach a broader cross-section of students, likely involving on-line programs, according to Jones.
The board also took time to recognize Dr. Kenneth Startup, who is returning to the classroom as a WBC history professor after 22 years as academic dean, and Dr. Gary Gregory, who is retiring after 25 years as a psychology professor at Williams.
“It is a true joy to serve on a board with such unity of purpose and compassion for this institution,” said Dr. Melvin York of Des Arc, who presided at the meeting as board vice president.
“Not only are we celebrating the college’s 75th anniversary and the 30th anniversary of WBC’s first baccalaureate class in 1986, but the launching of new plans and programs show that the future for Williams includes continued growth and expansion.”
The WBC board is composed of 24 trustees and meets three times each year. Trustees are members of churches within the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, which owns and operates the college.
Williams is a four-year, liberal arts college at Walnut Ridge.