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- August 2005 / BPC President Offers Encouraging Update, Goals
to Faculty, Staff
BPC President Offers Encouraging Update, Goals
to Faculty, Staff
|Dr. David R. Smith, president of Brewton-Parker College, updates the
faculty and staff on six areas of development over the summer and offers
his hopes for the forthcoming academic year in his State of the College
address during a year-commencing meeting Aug. 17 in the Briscoe Center
on the Mount Vernon campus.
Brewton-Parker College’s president
updated the faculty and staff on six areas of development over the summer
and offered his hopes for the forthcoming
academic year in his State of the College address during a year-commencing
meeting Aug. 17 in the Briscoe Center on the Mount Vernon campus.
Dr. David R. Smith first offered his thoughts on faculty development, “that
we understand that our students are our priority.”
The development includes two new division chairs in Dr. H. Lee Cheek Jr. in
Social and Behavioral Sciences and Dr. Dean Williamson in Business, as well
as the return of retired professor Dr. Bowman Barr as interim chair of the
Smith commended Dr. Bill Faw, who had served as the Social and Behavioral Sciences
chair, for surrendering his chairmanship in an effort to help bring Cheek back
to Brewton-Parker after he had left in 2000.
Smith also noted three new faculty members in the Music Division, with all
six music faculty having served in music ministry in congregational settings.
Among other new faculty are two each in Arts and Letters, Social and Behavioral
Sciences and Business, and one in Religion and Philosophy.
The new faculty include natives of Argentina, Brazil and Jamaica, Also, for
the first time since Smith’s administration began in 1998, the Business
Division has four faculty members with doctorate degrees. “All these
will lead to improvements among our faculty,” he added.
In moving to facility improvements, Smith spokes of significant renovations
in the Phillips Student Center, which include redesigning and switching of
the restrooms and painting of the entryway, with work done by college Plant
Operations and members of the Campers on Mission ministry.
Other improvements include the paving of parking lots for Dowling and Friendship
Halls, with funding from former trustees and the Business Office; and the addition
of a security fence and increased parking for the Baron Ridge Residence Hall.
Other painting projects took place across campus as well.
In turning to academic support improvements, Smith spoke of the Campus Store’s
new security system and stronger security and numerous improvements in Technology
The Fountain-New Library added more than 4,500 volumes in the past year and
almost 13,500 in the past four years, increasing its total to nearly 87,000
volumes and reaching its capacity. “These additions provide both a better
experience for our students and better opportunities for our faculty and staff,” Smith
Smith then spoke on enrollment, with good signs of strong numbers for the fall
semester. “Student registrations indicate that we are very close to last
year’s registration numbers at this point,” he said.
Smith mentioned that the fall’s class of new students is academically
stronger and that financial aid has been reconfigured to award more academically
gifted students. The Mount Vernon campus residence facilities are almost full,
with more resident students anticipated than the college has available beds.
Also, the Cohort Degree-Completion Program is attracting larger numbers of
non-traditional and external program students, Smith said.
In Savannah, our spring 2004 enrollment totaled only about 35; this fall, Savannah
will enroll around 100 students,” he said. “In Newnan, seven enrolled
last fall; this fall, enrollment is expected to be about 50,” he said,
adding that indicators also are good in Liberty County, Glennville and Norman
Smith next moved into financial advancement, summarizing that Brewton-Parker
has received about $800,000 in gifts and grants in the past four months.
In addition to a large sum in a trust from the estate of a supporter from Statesboro,
gifts included $135,000 from the Sewell Trust of the Georgia Baptist Convention,
$100,000 in a trust established by a former trustee, $86,000 from the Lettie
Pate Whitehead Foundation and a $70,000 allocation from the GBC’s general
fund that exceeds the convention’s annual allocation.
Smith also commended Claire Johnson, director of the Annual Fund, for leading
a campaign in the spring that raised more than $150,000, primarily from immediate
Finally, Smith touched on the college’s financial condition, stating
that while the external audit is not yet completed, preliminary numbers indicate
surpluses both in the operations budget and in the total value of the institution. “It
has been the best financial year in my administration, and we are to feel blessed,” he
He also added that for the first time in several years, Brewton-Parker’s
$16 million endowment earned income.
In addressing his hopes for the 2005-06 academic year, Smith began by wishing
for a strong enrollment. He then seeks the development of innovative academic
programs and packaging techniques for them “that make our institution
appealing and competitive with other institutions.”
Smith also wished for aggressive action regarding policy and program improvements
through every committee and all divisions, along with a strong unity among
faculty and staff “regarding our direction and the meaning of success
for this college.”
He asked for a “continued commitment to our spiritual mission, particularly
as it relates to our academic program.”
We ought to be something unique, something special in our academic enterprise,
and not a mirror image of secular universities in our classrooms or in our
environment, if we hope to survive and prosper,” Smith said.
In his final hope, Smith asked for a “profound commitment to our scholarly
enterprise. We should never be satisfied being as good as our peer institutions.
We can do a better job and we must.”
We have a world-class faculty and a great staff and we want to be on the cutting
edge of scholarship,” he concluded.