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MBU approves new faculty, annual budget

Missouri Baptist University's Rotunda

Missouri Baptist University trustees approved two new majors, faculty appointments and an expansive annual budget at their regularly scheduled meeting Feb. 26.

The board approved a major in Special Education: Cross-categorical disabilities mild to moderate, which prepares professional educators for certification in both public and private school special education settings kindergarten through twelfth grade. In addition, the board approved a major in Early Childhood Special Education (birth-grade 3). That program prepares educators for certification in both public and private school education settings. Previously, MBU offered both areas of study as minors to the Bachelor of Science in Education.

The board unanimously approved the appointment of the following faculty candidates:

• Dr. Matt Frederickson was named Associate Professor of Music. Frederickson, who holds a doctor of philosophy in music education from University of Missouri-Columbia, has decades of experience working in both K-12 and higher education. Previously, Frederickson worked as the director of athletic bands at Ouachita Baptist University and the director of curriculum for the Rockwood School District.

• Dr. Matthew Easter was named Assistant Professor of Bible. Easter holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand and a master of divinity from Duke University. His research has been published in dozens of academic publications. Last year, The Cambridge University Press published Easter’s first book, titled “Faith and the Faithfulness of Jesus in Hebrews.”

In addition, the following MBU faculty members received promotions:

• Ms. Paula Bennett was promoted to associate professor of communications.

• Ms. Joy Powell was promoted to associate professor of theatre arts.

• Dr. Cathy Benton was promoted to professor of music.

• Dr. Amber Henry was promoted to professor of education.

• Dr. Thomas Smith was promoted to professor of education/health and sport sciences.

The University’s 2015-2016 operating budget was also approved. The budget represents a 6 percent increase from last year—ensuring that key strategic initiatives will be completed. At the same time, the budget includes a 4.9 percent tuition increase.

Trustees also approved resolutions of appreciation to members of The President’s Club, which is comprised of donors who have given $1,000 or more to MBU in the last year.