Trustees see students, talk ’07-’08 budget

With the motto “People First,” Baker University President Pat Long has made her goals for the university very clear as her first year comes to a close.

Friday marked the third and final board of trustees meeting for the academic year, which included a day of reflection, interaction with students and business as usual.

The board’s morning session was filled with presentations about Baker’s accomplishments this year and goals for the future. Rand Ziegler, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, spoke about the faculty salary increases and increases for adjunct pay and faculty development funds. Vice President of Financial Services Jo Adams announced a $90,000 surplus in the university budget.

Long said one area that still needs attention is diversity on campus.

“We’ve made some progress, but it’s still a work in progress,” she said.

The second half of the day gave trustee members a glimpse into some of the projects and activities going on at all of Baker’s schools.

Senior Kendra Cody, the winner the first BOOK award, discussed her internship at Frito-Lay and emphasized the importance of internships.

“It’s an opportunity to take information and see how it applies to the real world, and it also gives companies a chance to hear your name,” she said.

Cody encouraged students to participate in the BOOK program, a competition in which students must observe a company more in-depth than the normal requirements for an internship. The student who gives the best presentation and who displays growth from the internship is awarded $1,500.

“It’s a great program and I’m so excited that I got to take part in it,” she said. “It was a chance to stop and actually observe a company.”

Also among the presenters was Josh Anderson, the 2007 Kansas Teacher of the Year. He discussed with the trustees the qualities of Baker’s education program.

“No other university is as in tune with teachers’ schedules as Baker University,” he said. “No other university produces such a relevant education as Baker.”

While the day was a reflection of the improvements made under Long’s first year, much work is yet to come, including fundraising for the renovation of Mulvane Hall and the building of a new residence hall.

Vice President of University Advancement Lyn Lakin said the funds for the renovation of Mulvane are up 111 percent from last year. Long said options for contractors for the residence hall should be finalized this summer, and a cost of less than $6 million is the goal.