Williams Board Approves Three New Programs, $13.6 Million Budget

The Board of Trustees at Williams Baptist College voted to approve three new academic programs, as well as adopting the university’s 2018-19 budget on Friday, April 6. The board, meeting in regular session on the Walnut Ridge campus, also welcomed the new president of Williams, Dr. Stan Norman.

With the board’s action, Williams will offer its second master’s degree, the Master of Science in Education (MSE), and it will add bachelor’s degrees in criminal justice and marketing. All the degrees will be launched this year.

The MSE will be offered fully online and will be available to those who have a bachelor’s degree in education and wish to further their education, according to Dr. Brad Baine, academic dean.

“The Master of Science in Education at Williams is an ideal program for someone who has earned a BSE and wishes to learn and develop new best practices in the teaching profession. The course work for the MSE at Williams was developed by experienced educators with proven success in P-12 classrooms,” Baine said.

Williams launched its first graduate degree, the Master of Arts in Teaching, last year.

Williams will also add two new bachelor’s degree majors for its on-campus students. Starting this fall, students can earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice or a Bachelor of Science in Marketing. The two additions bring the total number of undergraduate majors at WBC to 27.

Baine noted that the marketing degree will be one of three majors offered in the field of business at Williams, along with business administration and finance. “The BS in Marketing degree will provide students a solid preparation in advertising, sales and social media marketing, providing them with the skills and knowledge for many meaningful career opportunities,” he said.

The dean said that Williams offers an online criminal justice program for professionals already working in law enforcement, and there was strong interest for an on-campus degree plan for traditional students.

“Students with an interest in the field of criminal justice would benefit from the new BS in Criminal Justice degree by being introduced to the many disciplines found throughout the field. Students graduating from the new program will be prepared to enter the field of criminal justice at any level of government, local, state or federal,” Baine said.

Norman, who assumed duties as president last week, noted, “These new programs position Williams to serve students in three growing fields, providing them with the outstanding Christian educational experience for which WBU has come to be known. The board of trustees affirmed the fine work done in developing these programs by their respective departments, and we are truly excited to see these degrees launch later this year.”

The board also approved the university’s budget for the 2018-19 school year. Williams will operate with a budget of just under $13.6 million, which is a slight increase over last year.

“This is a budget that allows Williams to continue growing in key areas, while also reflecting good stewardship of our resources. It also shows that Williams continues to make a sizable economic impact on our community and region,” Norman said.

The Williams Board of Trustees is composed of 24 members from across the state, appointed by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. It meets in regular session three times each year.

Williams is a liberal arts university in Walnut Ridge. It will formally become Williams Baptist University this summer.