SWBTS in Financial Trouble?

Discussion in 'Baptist Colleges / Seminaries' started by Jimmy C, Sep 16, 2004.

  1. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    Students at SWBTS that have not completly paid thier tuition for this semester have received notices that there is currently $250,000 in unpaid tuition - and that if they dont pay soon five profs will be terminated. I guess Pattersons new $3,000 BBQ pit, $100,000 remodel to the president's house for his library, and the new flat screen tvs to watch chapel - as well as the card readers to make sure students are attending chapel, are more important than the faculty.
     
  2. mike

    mike
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    Wow!

    I toured the campus about two months ago and saw some of the remodeling happening at the presidential home. I had no idea about the $3,000 BBQ pit. I have a grill from Wal Mart that would work just as well for $150.

    Priorities seem a little out of kelter don't they?
     
  3. TomVols

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    Proof?
     
  4. Jimmy C

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    The following is from the theodrama website, a current student of SWBTS

    you can check out his blog at http://wwwtheodrama.blogspot.com

    , September 15, 2004
    XX SWBTS Giving Students The Business XX
    Today the offices of Southwestern seminary were buzzing over letters sent this week to students with unpaid tuition and fees that suggested that if $250,000 in funds were not received that it was probable that five seminary professors would lose their jobs.

    Sources in the business offices acknowledged that the letters had created much discussion amongst the staff and that many students had expressed concerns about the safety of their professor’s employment.

    This news comes less five months after the seminary trustees approved a budget of $31.5 million, a 2.58 percent increase over the previous year's budget, elected eight faculty members to the theology and educational ministries schools, and elected two new deans. Within the past 15 months, SWBTS has remodeled the presidential house, built a new presidential library estimated at $100,000, and constructed a $3,000 presidential BBQ pit.

    This news also follows both a seminary housing rent and tuition increase.

    Also, returning students may notice the addition of new multiple flat-screen TVs across campus for watching chapel. They may also notice the new card sliding machines that ensure that students taking Spiritual Formations attend chapel services.

    Those close to the Business Administration affirmed the possibility of an era in judgment concerning the wording of the letters. They also stated that the intent of the letters was to remind students that the Seminary suffers corporately when people do not pay their fees.

    [Editorial Note: The body wouldn’t suffer; just a few members.]

    Theodrama has obtained a photocopy of one of the letters sent to a seminary student. After being allowed to check the original letter and verifying the authenticity of the letter with the Business Administration we can now reproduce the letter in full.

    [Now if we can do it, CBS, so can you.]


    SOUTHWESTERN BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY
    Business Office

    September 9, 2004

    Dear XXXXX

    We have 1/4 of a million dollars in unpaid student tuition and fees. If we do not receive those funds, it is highly probable that we will have to release five professors from the Seminary faculty.

    This is not a threat to you, but a sincere reminder that the Seminary suffers corporately when people do not pay what they owe. Further, it is a matter of ethical and moral significance that students either pay their bills or in the inevitability that it is impossible that they come by the Business Office to explain their situation and to make proper arrangements.

    If you believe an error has been made, please contact XXXXX at (555) 555-5555, ext. 5555. Thank you for helping clear up the status of your account.

    Blessings,

    XXXXX
     
  5. NateT

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    What I'm wondering is what are they doing letting students who haven't paid their tuition in class in the first place?

    I agree that perhaps flat screens and barbecue pits might have been a little obsurd if the financial situation was in that bad of a pinch. However, in addition to that, they elected 8 new faculty members. Perhaps they should have only elected 3?
     
  6. gb93433

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    I find it interesting that since the founding of SWBTS the president has never seen such luxury.
     
  7. RandR

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    A few thoughts:

    Professors are under contract. Highly unlikely any would be cut in mid-semester if the money isn't paid. The statement in the letter is obviously an unfortunate attempt to get the money in quickly by someone trying to impress his boss. Pretty stupid, really. And unrelated to the other items listed.

    New monitors were installed during the summer, and most likely a budgeted item from last year's budget.

    The card readers are a non-issue. How many card readers? Two? Three? Wow! That's at least what, a few hundred dollars? For students in the Spiritual Formation seminar, chapel attendance is required. I suppose they could give those students assigned seats and check to see if they're present. But that would likely be "wrong" somehow too.

    3k is a lot for a grill. But then, hold a barbecue for a few donors with deep pockets, and the stupid thing pays for itself with one use. Not sure its that big of a deal in perspective. Seems like Hemphill's bonzai garden and Japanese goldfish pond were more of a waste.

    Finally, purporting that all these things must be "more important" than the faculty is demagoguery.
     
  8. Jimmy C

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    At least Hemphill is off the budget this year. Last year the seminary had to pay his salary while he did the Kingdom thing. One of the real problems is that they now have so many deans - who teach reduced course loads, not to mention the seminary paid "company"cars provided for the VPS and Paiges driver.

    The amount of fat they have in the administration is unbelievable
     
  9. RandR

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    I take it you've met Dr. Allen. ;)
     
  10. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    ROFLOL
     
  11. go2church

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    Well is everyone at least (a little bit) impressed by the BBQ and library? Pope Paige strikes again!
     
  12. SaggyWoman

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    That is interesting. When I was a student there, I couldn't start classes unless I had all my tuition paid prior to the semester starting.
     
  13. HappyG

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    Moral of the story: Pay your bills.

    There is always a balance but I get tired of the concept that anyone in full-time service should be poor and using out of date technology.

    The students are getting the service they signed up for and they should be paying for it. The school is saying we budgeted and have done the things we have done based on the novel idea that "you all will pay your bills."

    Pay up or we will need to change things. Maybe it could have been worded a little better, but I understand the sentiment of what they are saying.
     
  14. Joseph_Botwinick

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    Same experience as Saggy Woman for me. I had to pay all my bills up front. What I was not able to pay myself right away, I took a loan from a company called, I think it was called FACS, which had to be paid back to the company by the end of that semester. This honestly doesn't sound right to me.

    Also, when I was there, I know that they hired students to drive the president around to the airport, etc...

    I don't think they were paying them that much either. I knew one of the guys who did this with Dr. Hemphill.

    Something doesn't sound right about this story. It doesn't make sense that they would allow someone into class without first paying their tuition especially when they have a financial aid program that goes that far to help them out.

    Joseph Botwinick
     
  15. Jimmy C

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    I heard and interesting story on one student who received one of the letters, turned out he had received some grant or aid money that had been received by the seminary but not applied to his account. He was most upset that 1- he got the letter and 2- the overall accusatory tone of the letter.

    Patterson brought his own driver from SEBTS.
     
  16. preachinjesus

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    hmmm...I'm going to remain out of this conversation for now. My blog has mentioned this too.
     
  17. Jimmy C

    Jimmy C
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    what is your blog site? Are you familiar with Nick who has the Theodrama blog?
     
  18. preachinjesus

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    yeah I'm linked off his site...he's a good friend
     
  19. Jimmy C

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    I just read through some of your blog - you have some good stuff. Are you in the school of theology or education? I noticed that you are planning to go into education/administration after graduation.

    Nic seems like an interesting character, but perhaps a bit on the political moderate side of the SBC from what I have read. Not much of a Patterson fan is he.
     
  20. preachinjesus

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    I'm in the school of theology finishing my MDiv. Oh what a day that will be whence from school I shall be free!

    Nic's a great guy, easy to talk with. He's very interested in dialogue and hashing points out, and your perception of him is probably accurate. Good guy.
     

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