Board Meeting Affirms Updates on Campus

Siloam Springs, Ark. (October 10, 2006) - John Brown University’s Board of Trustees held its regular meeting on Oct. 6-7 at which it affirmed the university administration’s recommendations regarding the Cathedral Group renovation project, changing the school calendar, and amending the school’s policy on sponsored dances. Also this weekend, JBU hosted its third annual Scholarship Dinner for over 300 people and its 2006 Homecoming activities for over 700 people.

“I always enjoy the opportunity to interact with JBU’s board of trustees,” Charles W. Pollard, JBU’s President, said. “They bring a level of expertise and Christian commitment to the university that is invaluable. We started our meeting by attending chapel together with the students, and one of our board members, the Honorable Lavenski Smith, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, brought the message. It was a wonderful start to a great two days of meetings.”

During the board meeting, the board reviewed the plans for renovating the three historic buildings on campus: the Cathedral of the Ozarks, the Engineering Building, and the Art Building. JBU will be restoring these buildings by replacing the roofs and mechanical systems, remodeling some of classrooms and offices, purchasing classroom technology, and cladding the exterior walls with limestone as originally intended for the buildings 50 years ago.

“The board of trustee members were excited about both the scope and intended look of the project and about the progress to date on the fundraising for it,” Dr. Jim Krall, JBU vice president of advancement, said. “These buildings are the historical, academic, and spiritual center of campus, and we are looking forward to restoring them for use for the next 100 years.”

Krall also reported to the board of trustees on the progress of JBU’s $10 Million Challenge, which is nearly 75% complete after only 14 months. JBU received an anonymous pledge of $5 million in August of 2005 to challenge the university to raise an additional $5 million for endowed scholarship for students. As of the board meeting, JBU had received gifts or pledges in excess of $7.3 million toward that $10 million goal.

The board of trustees also approved a recommendation to change the school calendar to begin the fall and spring semester in the middle of the week and to make Labor Day an official school holiday.

“The mid-week start enables parents to drop off new students on the weekend and allows for a more seamless transition between orientation and the beginning of classes,” said Dr. Ed Ericson, vice president of academic affairs. “This change in our school calendar, including making Labor Day a school holiday, brings us more in line with most of our peer institutions both in the number of class days and the holiday schedule and will allow us to better serve our students,”

JBU’s board of trustees also affirmed a recommendation from student government and university administration to amend the university’s on-campus dance policy. Previously, JBU sponsored square and folk dances on campus, and students had the freedom to participate in other forms of dance off-campus in non-sponsored events. The new policy expands the number of sponsored dances on campus to three and includes genres such as swing and ballroom.

“The student government leadership made a thoughtful proposal regarding a change to this policy, so we worked with them on it. We consulted the parent’s council, and they fully supported the proposal as did the board of trustees,” said Dr. Steve Beers, vice president of student development. “We believe that this new policy better reflects the general sentiment of JBU’s Christian constituency on this issue and enables JBU to offer students more entertaining and positive social events on campus. We remain committed to the scriptural principles of modesty, self-control, and respect for others, and we are confident JBU students can enjoy these forms of dancing while displaying these characteristics.”

“We had a great two days looking forward to how we can best advance the mission of the university in the future,” President Pollard said. “I am deeply grateful for the trustees’ dedication to JBU, and I appreciate their support in helping us better educate today’s students to honor God and serve others.”

John Brown University is a private Christian university, ranked sixth by U.S. News & World Report in the Southern Region. JBU enrolls more than 2,000 students from 40 states and 45 countries. JBU is a member of Arkansas’ Independent Colleges and Universities and the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

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