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BOLIVAR, Mo. — Southwest Baptist University President Dr. Eric A. Turner presented to employees on June 2 the University Sustainability Plan designed to guide the University through current and future disruptions to higher education.
The University is nearly two years into a strategic planning process, Shaping our Story Together. The Sustainability Plan was formed by the process and works in tandem with the overall strategic plan. Changes will be implemented throughout the next two academic years with a total savings of $3.2 million, about 5 percent of the overall budget.
“Through this plan, we are addressing historic budgetary issues and we are responding to the enrollment concerns caused by COVID-19. However, we also want to plan for the future,” Dr. Turner said. “There is an enrollment decline in high school seniors coming in 2026 and beyond, and we need to be positioned to navigate the challenges it presents. In the end, we do not want a budget that is simply balanced. We want a margin for reinvestment in people, programs and facilities. We need to have the resources to fund the strategic plan, to implement the compensation study and to fulfill the facilities master plan.”
Executive Cabinet focused on streamlining operations; distributing workload, particularly among University and academic leadership, in a more-equitable manner; temporary savings measures; and evaluation of the paradigm.
Outline of changes
“There are no salary reductions, no freezes in retirement contributions, and no changes to health insurance,” Dr. Turner said. “There are, however, many difficult changes, and it will take time for all of us to fully adjust. I am confident these changes are positive steps toward solving our budgetary challenges and positioning us to fund our strategic plan in a compelling, mission-centric way.”