Tuition, scholarships set to rise in 2012-13

Artist rendering of Baylor’s new Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center. In its June meeting, the Baylor board of regents OK’d the center’s construction and also approved the 2012-13 operating budget.

By Chris Derrett
Editor in chief

The Baylor board of regents has decided how much tuition and scholarships will rise in the next two years.

After last spring’s semester, the board finalized the university’s 2011-12 and 2012-13 operating budgets, also approving on-campus construction that resulted from generous donations.

The board settled on 2011-12’s budget in its May meeting and the 2012-13 budget during its June meeting.

Tuition for full-time students this year increases from $13,483 per semester last year to $14,360, a 6.5 percent hike. Compared to last year, $22.5 million more will go toward scholarships, graduate assistantships and scholarships for graduate and professional students.

In 2012-13, a full-time Baylor semester will cost $15,293, or 6.5 percent more than 2011-12.

Baylor will offset that increase, however, with $165 million in total scholarships. The amount represents a $15.9 million, or 10.6 percent, increase from this year.

For the current year, the budget as a whole sees a $25.3 million boost to $403.3 million, a jump that former board chair Dary Stone attributed mostly to President Ken Starr’s fundraising efforts.

“Judge Starr’s done a good job raising money, and it’s enabled us to give a healthy amount of scholarship,” Stone said. “The school’s on great financial footing, and Judge Starr’s a very popular leader and fundraiser.”

Baylor media communications also reported that budget increases will allow Baylor 19 new full-time faculty positions, 43 replacement faculty positions and 31 new staff positions. New hirings, Stone said, will help the university achieve its Baylor 2012 imperatives.

“We’ve got good, competitive raises for our faculty, and it’s good to attract new, great faculty,” Stone said. “We’re taking care of that which we have and adding to it.”

Beyond the budget, the board approved the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership, which will provide additional avenues for business students wanting to develop policy on health care.

Despite its name, the Robbins Institute is not a physical addition to the business school but refers to new programs available to students.

The Robbins Institute establishes a health care track in Baylor’s executive MBA program and will eventually establish a certificate program offering short courses for professionals already in health care professions.

Baylor School of Business Dean Terry Maness hopes the institute will attract more students wanting to explore health care policy at Baylor. Previously they could only pursue a concentration in health care administration through the MBA program.

“What the Robbins Institute does is give a name to a program and shows people we really have an institute now,” Maness said. “This will give us an umbrella to bring research together. Not only that, but it provides a platform of more to do.”

Maness said he was grateful to the institute’s main donors, Baylor graduates Bill and Mary Jo Robbins, who backed the program because of the importance of health care policy.

Academics isn’t the only department expanding for the Baylor family’s sake. A new tennis facility also received the thumbs up from the board in June and should have ground broken by this fall.

Named the Jim and Nell Hawkins Indoor Tennis Center for the Hawkins’ donation toward the project, the facility will stand across from the Ferrell Center on LaSalle Avenue.

“We are very grateful to Nell and Jim Hawkins for their generous gift that made this facility possible,” Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw said.

The facility will allow Baylor tennis to host NCAA championship events.

No NCAA teams on campus have been as dominant in the Big 12 as tennis. The men’s team has won 10 of the last 11 regular season Big 12 championships, most recently last spring. The women claimed a regular season conference title last season to make it six straight.