Williams Baptist University increases budget, changes mission statement

by George Jared ([email protected]) 215 views 

The board of trustees at Williams Baptist University recently approved a budget increase for the next fiscal year and it has adopted a new mission statement.

The board approved an $18.4 million budget for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year. The budget is a 3.2% increase from the current year.

“We endeavored to present the board with a conservative budget, and that is what they approved,” said WBU President Dr. Stan Norman. “This spending blueprint accounts for expenses that have increased over the last year and otherwise keeps spending in check. This budget reflects strategic needs and opportunities as well as ensures that we are good stewards of the financial resources God has given this university.”

WBU will be operating with an updated mission statement and core values. The board approved a recommendation on both from the University Planning & Advisory Council (UPAV), a body of faculty, staff and administrators who are developing a new strategic plan for the university.

The new mission statement is, “Williams Baptist University exists to cultivate Christ-centered leaders who make a difference in their lifework.”

“This new mission statement effectively and succinctly captures where we are and what we do as a university,” Norman said. “It reflects the transformative impact of a Williams education and the leaders who are being equipped here. The committee process was very effective at refining this statement, and I want to thank the entire group for their collaboration on it.”

The WBU Class of 2024 was approved by the board as well. Approximately 140 graduates are set to receive their diplomas this spring. Commencement exercises are scheduled for May 4.

Trustees approved two organizations for Williams alumni and other supporters. The WBU Alumni Association Committee will help coordinate alumni events and engagement. The committee will consist of members from around Arkansas and, eventually, from other states.

The President’s Advisory Council will consist of up to 20 members who provide guidance to WBU’s president on advancing the mission of the university.

“These two groups will enable us to engage with many more people who are excited about what is going on at Williams,” Norman said. “The Alumni Association Committee will involve WBU graduates from a broad area, while the President’s Advisory Council will broaden our circle of influence with fellow Christians who believe in what we do.”

The board welcomed six new members to its ranks. Trustees who are new to the board this year are Cliff Gifford of Corning, Johnny Harp of Lowell, Stephen Harrison of Benton and Shane Knight of Benton. In addition, Brenda Doty of Salem and Dave Russell of Jonesboro have returned to the board this year after serving in previous years.