by Max Brantley
The Board of Trustees has authorized a pay reduction for employees at Arkansas Baptist College. The pay reductions will start at 30% and scale down to 4% depending on the income of the employee. President Dr. Joseph L. Jones will take the biggest reduction at 30%, and his administrative team will follow his lead at 20%.
“Although it pains us to make this decision to reduce pay of our employees, we wanted to ensure that there was equity in this process. We are reducing compensation based on income to minimize, as much as possible, the financial impact on our most vulnerable employees” stated Dr. Jones.
The reduction is due to a decline in enrollment from fall 2016 to spring 2017. In the fall of 2016, the College reported an enrollment of 843, and after enrollment verification this past January enrollment stands at 606. These cost reductions in combination with others, should help to meet the financial obligations of the institution.
The spring and summer student recruiting efforts should increase enrollment for fall 2017.
Arkansas Baptist College is an urban Historically Black College located in the historic Little Rock Central High District. It also neighbors the Wright Avenue District and the famous Paul Lawrence Dunbar Junior High School. The College is the only Baptist affiliated Historically Black College west of the Mississippi and has a student population from across the United States. Founded in 1884 as the Minister Institute, the College continues to be supported by the Consolidated Missionary Baptist Church. The mission of the College is to “prepare students for a life of service grounded in academic scholarship, the liberal arts tradition, social responsibility, Christian development and preparation for employment in a global community.”