Southwest Baptist University’s Board of Trustees voted during the board’s April 28 meeting to reinstate the Master of Business Administration degree.
The MBA program was suspended in May 2012 due to low enrollment and decreasing revenue, but SBU has continued to have approved degree status for the program from the Higher Learning Commission, the University’s overall accrediting body, and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), the business accrediting body.
Classes will begin in Fall 2015 on the Bolivar campus for the Residential MBA that is designed for graduates of the traditional undergraduate program on SBU’s Bolivar campus. A second track, the Professional MBA that is designed for the business professional who desires to return to school to complete an MBA, will be introduced to the Springfield market at a future time.
The program has three distinctive components: Being intentionally faith-based with a focus on leadership and an emphasis on entrepreneurship.
2015-16 budget: Trustees also approved a $58 million budget that includes a 4-percent raise for all employees if enrollment goals are met.
MBC donation to building project: Dr. John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC), presented a check from the MBC to be used toward the renovation and expansion of the Gene Taylor Free Enterprise Center. The estimated total cost of the project is $2.5 million, with more than $1.4 million raised. Expansion is necessary due to enrollment growth in the Robert W. Plaster College of Business and Computer Science.
Five-year strategic plan: Trustees approved an updated Pathways for Success: 2015-2020 strategic plan. Goals identified in the plan are:
- Place students first;
- Commitment to employee well-being;
- Achieve enrollment goals;
- Advance excellence in teaching and learning;
- Integration of faith in all aspects of university life;
- Enhanced visibility and reputation; and
- Improve financial health.
During his state of University address, Dr. Taylor also detailed the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot building adjacent to the Springfield campus that houses the Mercy College of Nursing and Health Sciences of SBU. Total cost of the building purchase, renovations and installation of a state-of-the-art simulation lab is estimated to be $3.5 million. The Springfield campus has more than 700 students enrolled in nursing, radiography and health sciences programs.