Students at Williams Baptist University can count on tuition staying the same next year, following action by the WBU Board of Trustees on Friday, Sept 15. The board also approved the launch of a new band program that will begin next year.
The Williams board, meeting in regular session, voted to freeze tuition for the 2018-19 school year. It will be the third year in a row for WBU to keep tuition at its current level.
“College is a major expense for students and their families, so I am glad we could take this action and hold the line on costs for them. Williams and its Board of Trustees are doing all we can to keep a high-quality, Christian college education affordable,” said Board Chair J.R. Cox of Walnut Ridge.
Room and board will increase by $100 per semester next year, which will cover the college’s increased expenses, according to Dr. Tom Jones, WBU’s president.
Another major action of the board was to approve a new band program, which will begin next year. The band is to be an instrumental music ensemble that will present concerts and perform at sporting events.
“We think band is going to be a great addition at Williams. It helps us further diversify our extra-curricular offerings, plus it adds a very exciting dimension to student life. Our campus community has received this news with much enthusiasm,” said Jones.
The president said WBU will hire a full-time band director in coming months who will begin recruiting band members for the 2018-19 school year.
In other business, the board heard details on WBU’s successful recruiting year. Enrollment rose seven percent overall compared to last fall, with a 25.7 percent jump in freshmen. Dr. Jeremy Dutschke, vice president for enrollment management and student services, provided details on the incoming class of students for the board.
The board also voted to accept this year’s financial audit, prepared by accountant Lisa Stephens of Conway, Ark. The audit gave WBU a clean bill of health for the recently completed fiscal year, with no issues raised.
WBU has a 24-member Board of Trustees. Board members are appointed by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention, which owns and operates the college.
Williams is a Christian liberal arts college in Walnut Ridge.