Bluefield College’s Board of Trustees gathered on campus for its annual spring meetings in April, and during the two-day session the group approved further study of a new residence facility, welcomed five new members to the Board, approved three faculty promotions, and endorsed a new budget with employee benefit increases for 2011-2012.
Less than two years ago, the trustees celebrated with the BC family the opening of East River Residence Hall to meet the growing demand for on campus living arrangements. Last fall, in an effort to continue to explore residential expansion, the trustees created a Residence Hall Task Force to work with the administration on a study of the feasibility of creating even more on-campus dwelling facilities.
After six months of study, the Task Force recommended this spring additional analysis to include the exploration of constructing contemporary townhouse structures instead of a traditional dormitory. The Board approved the concept and charged the Task Force with exploring more in-depth the feasibility of building a student townhouse complex on campus.
In related action, a similar task force created by the Board reported progress on the study of a new Campus-Community Wellness Center (CCWC). The college began initial planning for such a facility with the Town of Bluefield in 2007. Two years later, the cooperative venture was abandoned, and the college began revising its plans. Fundraising and construction options for the project are still being considered by the CCWC Task Force.
During their spring session, the BC trustees also welcomed five new members to the Board, approved two new trustees to begin service in the fall of 2011, and recognized an outgoing member for his service to the school.
Joining the Board this spring were Dr. Thomas Brewster of Falls Mills, Virginia, a deputy superintendent of Pulaski (VA) County Schools and a former teacher, assistant principal and principal for Tazewell (VA) County Schools; Robert Houck of Culpeper, Virginia, an accountant and retired vice president of finance for Warrenton (VA) Farm Credit; Jim Justice of Bluefield, Virginia, a retired sales and marketing consultant, who was captain of Bluefield (WV) High School’s 1965 Class AAA state championship football team; Sidney Lanier of Williamsburg, Virginia, a 34-year veteran quality assurance analyst for Anheuser-Busch; and Sarah Reid of Fredericksburg, Virginia, a 26-year veteran of the Virginia Public School System, currently serving as the coordinator of Middle School Special Education for Spotsylvania County.
Elected to begin four-year terms this fall were Dr. Assaad Mounzer, a medical doctor from Bluefield, Virginia, and Dr. Alan Stanford, senior pastor of Leesburg (VA) Community Church.
Retiring from the Board this spring was Dr. Claude Rhea, an attorney and fundraiser, who became a trustee in the fall of 2007. Dr. Rhea serves as chief counsel and chief development officer for Lifeshape, a Christian missions and mentoring ministry in Atlanta, Georgia.
Three BC faculty members were granted promotions by the Board during the spring session, and one BC professor earned a sabbatical for 2011-’12. Dr. Barbara Hudson, director of the school’s Masterworks Chorale and Opera Theatre, was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of music. Charles Reese, who has grown the BC Theatre Department and directed more than 20 plays during his tenure, was promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of theatre. Phyllis Owens, who recently helped bring national accreditation to BC’s Teacher Education Program, was promoted from instructor to assistant professor of education.
Dr. Dusty Anderson, a 13-year professor of information technology at BC, was granted a sabbatical for the upcoming academic year for the purpose of developing new courses in IT and introducing methods for using technology in teaching. Dr. Anderson will also engage in research related to technology antitrust litigation and cyber terrorism.
In other business, the Board approved a $17.4 million operating budget for the college for fiscal year 2011-’12, which features an increase in employee retirement benefits and compensation packages and increases in fundraising goals for the school’s Annual Fund and endowment.
“This Board meeting was the best I have attended since joining the college in 2007,” said BC president Dr. David Olive, “because it included a lot of strategic dialogue and forward thinking. I believe the spirit of this Board session is unmatched.”