SBU Trustees approve new strategic plan, remove board member

BOLIVAR (SBU) — Southwest Baptist University’s Board of Trustees met for its regular fall meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22. Action items and discussion included approval of the new strategic plan, Peer Assessment Committee report and the removal of one trustee.

Strategic plan approval

Trustees approved the “Shaping Our Story Together” 2019-2028 strategic plan, guiding SBU toward the sesquicentennial in 2028.

The planning process began in Fall 2018, and the board received a preliminary report on the strategic planning process during the April meeting. The board voted to reaffirm the mission statement; affirm a new vision statement; reaffirm the core values with refined descriptions; affirm the University goals; affirm the unit-level goals and objectives; and approve the communication framework - shop now!

Ten new University goals inspired goals for each administrative unit. In combination, these goals provide a roadmap for fulfilling the vision. Overlapping yet distinct themes are “bookmarks” in the unfolding story of SBU: Engage, equip, grow, and steward. - shop now!

Peer Assessment Committee report

Trustees also reviewed the Peer Assessment Committee report. The Executive Summary of that report is now available for download at See separate news release for more information, including progress the University is making toward assuaging concerns and implementing the committee’s recommendations.

Trustee removal

The board voted to remove Kyle Lee as a member of the Board of Trustees.

“In an extension of grace, we censured Mr. Lee in January and gave him an opportunity to restore that confidence. He was invited to address the board and answer questions from the board,” said Board Chair Mark Rains. “After much prayerful discussion, the board determined there was a breach of confidentiality that irreparably eroded our trust and ability to work together. The board voted, consistent with SBU’s charter and by-laws, to remove him from the SBU Board of Trustees.”

A representative from SBU told The Pathway that SBU’s charter contains the following in Article IV, Section 7: “Any officer or member of the Board of Trustees may be removed at any time for gross misconduct, neglect of duty, or for any cause in the wisdom of said Board, PROVIDED, that no such removal shall be made without the concurrence of a majority of the entire Board of Trustees.”

Rains has notified the MBC Nominating Committee of the removal and is working with the Committee to find a replacement.

The Pathway is reaching out to Lee for comment about his removal from the trustee board.

Governing documents work group

Board Chair Mark Rains appointed a work group to address proposed changes to the University’s charter and by-laws to align with the governing documents of the Missouri Baptist Convention. Dr. John Yeats, MBC executive director, has communicated that during the August meeting of the MBC Executive Board, the board granted SBU’s Board of Trustees an extension until March 1, 2020, to submit the first draft of revised governing documents.

Work group members are trustees Bob Ingold (chair), David Brown,Eddie Bumpers, Susan Gilmore, Durwin Kicker, Ryan Palmer, Rebecca Randles and President Turner, ex-officio.

Other business

During the meeting, the board fostered a dialogue with Dr. Yeats regarding the trustee nomination process and governing documents. The board expressed concern that, to date, the University has not been notified of nominees to be put forth at the MBC annual meeting next week. This is an unprecedented action on the part of the Nominating Committee, and the SBU Board of Trustees desires for this to change in the future.

The Pathway is reaching out to the MBC’s Nominating Committee for comment about the concerns expressed by SBU trustees.

In other action, the board approved Bolivar undergraduate tuition, room, board and general fees for the 2020-21 academic year; accepted the fiscal year 2018-2019 audit; and adopted the revised fiscal year 2019-20 budget.

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