Resident students at Williams Baptist University will receive prorated refunds of their room and board, following action Thursday by WBU’s Board of Trustees. Students who moved from campus housing several weeks early due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be reimbursed for their time away from the residence halls. WBU is completing the spring semester online.
The refund was proposed by WBU President Dr. Stan Norman. The board’s executive committee, meeting by conference call in light of the pandemic, approved the action on behalf of the full board.
“These are challenging days for all of us, and we want to help our students and their families any way we can,” said Norman. “Our resident students moved out with approximately a fourth of the spring semester remaining, so we are refunding the prorated amount of their room and board expenses.”
Norman said the prorated refund will be applied toward any balance a student may owe, with those adjustments to student accounts to be made by April 15. Graduating seniors will receive the remainder of the refund in a direct payment, while returning students can choose whether to apply the remainder as a credit toward next year’s expenses or in the form of a direct payment. Checks for those who receive direct payments will be disbursed on May 6.
Details of the refund were spelled out in an email to WBU students.
In other business, the board approved WBU’s 2020-21 budget. “This budget is the result of a painstaking process, as we constantly endeavor to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us at WBU. This is a very conservative budget, and even in the midst of these uncertain times we feel it provides us a realistic financial framework for the year ahead,” said Norman.
The board also approved this year’s slate of graduates. Approximately 80 seniors will have completed their degrees by May. Although commencement exercises have been postponed due to the pandemic, Norman said graduates will have their transcripts and their status updated as soon as they complete their studies.
“We grieve with our seniors that they will not be able to celebrate this wonderful accomplishment on May 2, as we had originally planned, but we have assured them that we will have a graduation celebration for them as soon as it is practical and safe to do so,” the president commented.
The president said WBU will announce plans for a rescheduled commencement once the pandemic threat has subsided.
“Our Board of Trustees is a wonderful, committed group of men and women who believe in WBU and its Christ-centered mission,” Norman commented. “We are truly grateful for their service to this institution, and we appreciate them bearing with us as we handled our board business remotely for this meeting.”
The WBU Board of Trustees is composed of 24 members appointed by the Arkansas Baptist State Convention. Williams is owned and operated by the ABSC. WBU is a private, Christian university in Walnut Ridge, Ark.
For more information on WBU’s response to COVID-19, check out our coronavirus FAQ page.