CBU dedicates Events Center, trustees approve budget

Published Jun 01, 2017

RIVERSIDE — Dedication of a 5,050-seat Events Center and approval of a record $272.7 million budget topped the agenda of the spring board of trustees meeting at California Baptist University.

The day before the May 5 trustee gathering, Ronald L. Ellis, CBU president, said at the dedication that the 153,000-square-foot, multi-use arena is the realization of dreams and prayers of generations of Lancers (the university mascot).

“We were in pursuit of this for most of my 23 years here. And I know that people dreamed about such a facility long before I arrived in 1992.

So this is an accumulation of generational dreams for many, many people affiliated with California Baptist College and California Baptist University,” Ellis said.

The center will be used for athletic events and provide space for CBU’s chapel program attended by nearly 5,000 students weekly. Other planned uses include student orientation activities and commencement ceremonies each spring and fall.

During the regular board meeting, trustees approved a $272,690,350 budget for the 2017-18 school year. It is an increase of $15,563,687, or 6.1 percent, over the current fiscal year spending plan.

The budget calls for 9,535 full-time equivalent students (taking at least 12 units). The largest revenue stream is tuition and fees, which accounts for 88.5 percent. The largest expense is for instruction, at 24.7 percent, followed closely by institutional scholarships at 21.7 percent, or almost $60 million.

Trustees also approved a resolution allowing authorized officers, acting together, to sell single family residents or property received as gifts as long as the price does not exceed 2 percent of the current annual operating budget. At this time, the amount could not exceed $5.4 million.

Trustees approved a recommendation allocating $5 million in surplus reserves from the 2018 operating budget for matching funds for qualifying endowment gifts made to any university-controlled endowment. The move is in anticipation of several large matching gifts scheduled for the coming year.

Trustees gave the nod to administration to publish a statement (in various forms — website, admissions materials, catalogues) to comply with the requirements of SB1146. The California Senate bill requires institutions exempt from the state Equity in Higher Education Act, or that have an active Title IX waiver, to make disclosures to the institution’s current and prospective students, faculty and employees and to the California Student Aid Commission, concerning its basis for having the exemption.

Background information says “CBU retains its free exercise of religion rights under the first Amendment of the United State Constitution and thus would be required to make such a disclosure” beginning with the 2017-18 academic year.

A policy covering service and assistance animals also was approved, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. Background information indicates the university is committed to making “reasonable modifications to its rules, policies and practices to afford people with disabilities an equal opportunity to access its programs, services and activities.”

In other business trustees:

  • approved meeting dates for 2020;
  • approved academic travel to Australia, China, England, France, Greece, Italy, Singapore and Spain;
  • approved promotions for 69 faculty; and
  • received the Single Audit Report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016.

The next trustee meeting is scheduled for Sept. 29 in Riverside.