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MBU Board of Trustees approve new programs, set budget

Missouri Baptist University trustees approved new academic programs, an expansive annual budget and faculty appointments and promotions at their regularly-scheduled meeting Feb. 30.

The Board approved curriculum for the University’s new Master of Social Work, which is slated to begin in the fall. The hybrid program will allow students to complete the program through web-based courses, and courses that students can either attend on main campus or attend virtually using video conferencing.

In addition, the Board approved graduate certificates in both Library Media Specialist and School Psychological Examiner.

At the undergraduate level, The Board approved majors in Data Analytics and Forensic Psychology. The Data Analytics program will equip students with the tools to make critical decisions based on the collection and analyzation of mass amounts of data from complex data sources. The Forensic Psychology program will challenge students to apply their research skills, psychological knowledge and critical thinking abilities to a variety of issues facing the legal system.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, both fields of study are in high demand and are expected to grow much quicker than average over the next decade.  

In addition, the Board approved minors in Stage Management and Data Analytics, an Associates of Arts degree and undergraduate certificates in Accounting, Healthcare Management, Information Technology, Management and Marketing. All of the new undergraduate programs are set to begin in the fall of 2020. 

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

  • Mrs. Rebecca Duke as Instructor of English
  • Dr. Lakesha Davis as Assistant Professor of Counselor Education
  • Mrs. Judy Ellison as Instructor of Social Work

In addition, the following MBU faculty members received promotions:

  • Dr. Matthew Easter was promoted to Associate Professor of Bible
  • Dr. Andrew Elvington was promoted to Associate Professor of Biology
  • Dr. Linda “Nikki” Johnson was promoted to Associate Professor of Social Work
  • Mr. Lowell Pitzer was promoted to Associate Professor of Education
  • Dr. Jason Vermette was promoted to Associate Professor of Mathematics

The University’s 2020-2021 operating budget was also approved. The budget represents a 3.9 percent increase from last year and aligns with MBU’s robust strategic plan. At the same time, the budget includes a 4 percent tuition increase, which is among the lowest tuition increase in the last 20 years. 

The Board also adopted resolutions of appreciation to benefactors Michael and Nancy Gebhart and Don and Marian Wideman.  Members of the President’s Club, which is comprised of donors who have given $1,000 or more to MBU in the last year, were also recognized.