Baylor Regents Authorize Feasibility Study and Fundraising to Begin for Alumni Events Center, Approve Next Step in Design Process for Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation
WACO, Texas (July 19, 2013) - At its annual July retreat, the Baylor University Board of Regents voted to take significant steps forward on two substantial University projects that have been proposed: an alumni event center at Baylor Stadium and the new Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, which would create a new home for the University's nationally-ranked Hankamer School of Business.
Regents approved expenditures of up to $2.5 million for site preparation, a feasibility study and architectural renderings associated with a new alumni event center at Baylor Stadium. The board also authorized fundraising to support construction of the center, which has an expected cost of $17 million.
Preliminary design plans place the event center on the south side of the stadium plaza and include:
a 40,000-square-foot, multi-story glass building
potential for a rooftop terrace and shade canopy
space for meetings and banquets
"The alumni event center was part of our original plan, but we were forced to cut it from the project because of the overall cost of construction," said Dr. Ken Hall, senior vice president for University development and strategic initiatives. "Now, with the great momentum we're experiencing as Baylor Nation responds to stadium fundraising, seat options and even stadium bricks, we have a renewed sense of optimism and confidence that we can raise the support necessary to fund construction of a new event center for Baylor alumni."
The alumni event center will provide a home for Baylor alumni on game day and at other times. The center also will be available to faculty, staff, students and the community for special events.
Regents also approved $2 million to continue with design of the $100 million, 275,000-square foot Foster Campus for Business and Innovation, which received a historic gift last month from Paul L. Foster, BBA '79, of El Paso. With continued fundraising success, ground could be broken as early as December on property across from the new East Village Residential Community on Bagby Avenue between Third and Fourth streets.
Baylor has been working with Overland Partners of San Antonio to plan the new Foster Campus for the business school. The architectural design features a highly corporate and sustainable business environment, including a centerpiece atrium that will showcase some of the school's signature classrooms, such as the Southwest Securities Financial Markets Center. The design also includes a 350-seat auditorium to accommodate guest lectures and special events, and a variety of classrooms that will incorporate the latest classroom technology for collaborative learning, innovation and problem solving. The new building is expected to expand the school's size by nearly 40 percent.
Also during the summer board meeting, Regents set tuition and fees for 2014-2015. The board has been working actively to reduce tuition increases and will make significant progress towards that goal beginning with the following academic year.
Regents voted to increase undergraduate tuition for 12 hours or more during the fall 2014 and spring 2015 academic year tuition by 5.85 percent. This is the lowest tuition increase since regents set tuition and fees for the 1996-1997 academic year.
With its flat-rate tuition structure, Baylor's tuition will be $17,240 per semester or $34,480 for the 2014-2015 academic year. Tuition for graduate and professional programs will increase similarly. The general student fee will increase 7.12 percent to $1,820 per semester or $3,640 for the 2014-2015 academic year.
Baylor's tuition and required fees remain lower than peer private institutions in Texas, including Rice, Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University. Baylor's tuition also remains well below those of most private universities outside of Texas, such as Duke, Emory, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, Stanford, Tulane, University of Southern California, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest.
Baylor's financial plan will continue to support access to a Baylor education by providing financial aid packaging to families and students who demonstrate financial need. Baylor also will continue to offer affordability scholarships, a student-led initiative enacted by the board in fall 2011, which will provide about $4 million to assist successful continuing students who have financial need. In addition, the successful President's Scholarship Initiative is now providing approximately $1 million in increase student scholarships.
"The financial impact that our tuition and fees will have on Baylor students and their families is thoughtfully and prayerfully considered by the board," said Richard Willis, BBA '81, MBA '82, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents. "The University continues to provide greater financial assistance to more students than at any other time in our history, and that's critically important as more than 95 percent of Baylor's freshmen receive some form of financial aid, whether merit, need or a combination of both.
"The tuition increase will help ensure that we have the financial resources needed to deliver the exceptional educational and residential campus experience expected by Baylor students and their families, while additional financial assistance will help us reach out to students and families in need and recruit students who will strengthen the academic caliber and profile of our student body," Willis said.
In addition to providing students with the highest quality Christian education, the increase will allow Baylor to support its current operations, provide for new faculty and staff hires and a 3 percent merit raise pool for faculty and staff, fund initial components of the University's new strategic vision Pro Futuris and maintain a growing physical plant.
The board retreat also included new Regent orientation, Regent committee meetings and tours of:
the $70 million, 238,715-square-foot East Village Residential Community, which will be the on-campus home to 700 students beginning this fall,
the under-construction Baylor Stadium, the University's on-campus football stadium that is expected to open in fall 2014 and
the newly renovated Marrs McLean Science Building, a $23 million project that provides much-needed academic space for faculty and students and will house the School of Education and departments of anthropology and statistics.
On Thursday night, Baylor Regents also celebrated the opening of the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC) - the cornerstone project of the Central Texas Technology and Research Park - during a reception at the new BRIC discovery park located in the former General Tire building on South Loop Drive in Waco. The invited guests included state, county and city government officials, local economic development representatives and higher education leaders who have been supportive of the BRIC initiative.
Full occupancy/operation of the BRIC is slated for 2016.
ABOUT BAYLOR UNIVERSITY
Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The University provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.