Bob Jones University reducing staff after $4.5 million expense 'overage' last year

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dgszweda's picture

This will save about $2.5M a year, given what teachers make at BJU.  Not surprising, as the shool shifts its focus.  One of the things the school needs to focus on is making an endowment.  They have never been very good at driving donations.  Many of us have never been contacted by the school actively in any capacity, even though we keep contacts with the school.

Larry Nelson's picture

Excerpt: "The $4.5 million is about 6.5 percent of the school's annual budget, Page said."

So that means that BJU's annual budget is about $69 million, give or take, FWIW.

Another excerpt: "BJU's current resident enrollment is about 2,500 students from almost every state and more than 40 countries." 

So the annual budget expense on a per-student basis is about $27,600 each.

WallyMorris's picture

dgszweda wrote:

This will save about $2.5M a year, given what teachers make at BJU.  Not surprising, as the shool shifts its focus.  One of the things the school needs to focus on is making an endowment.  They have never been very good at driving donations.  Many of us have never been contacted by the school actively in any capacity, even though we keep contacts with the school.

I was contacted extensively about making donations for the Bruins program.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN

amomentofcharity.blogspot.com

Bert Perry's picture

David, would your figures include benefits?  I'm guessing that even with proverbial fundamental pay scales--where the person chooses between BJU/whoever and Wal-Mart on the basis of pay--benefits is going to push the compensation package for 50 employees well past $2.5 million.  I wonder if, barring further drops in enrollment, they're going to come close to break-even.

No argument that BJU needs to look at establishing an endowment, though.  Would there be a faction that would view that as not trusting God?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Ron Bean's picture

I seem to recall being contacted to give to various scholarship programs for students as well as the Art Gallery, Bible Conference projects, Forsake Me Not, and and other projects. The alumni of fundamentalist institutions have not been known for their financial generosity.

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Barry L.'s picture

If you are graduating from BJU, hopefully, you are putting church above alma mater when it comes to giving; so, getting an endowment will be a tough road for the university.

When it comes to giving amongst the secular world, alma mater comes before church. That's why they do well.

Ron Bean's picture

While there are a few individual alumni with deep pockets who have given generously to their alma maters I think that churches could have done much more to include good institutions of higher learning in their budgets. I suspect that the Christian schools that are not facing financial difficulties receive most of their support from churches rather than individuals.  

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

dgszweda's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

David, would your figures include benefits?  I'm guessing that even with proverbial fundamental pay scales--where the person chooses between BJU/whoever and Wal-Mart on the basis of pay--benefits is going to push the compensation package for 50 employees well past $2.5 million.  I wonder if, barring further drops in enrollment, they're going to come close to break-even.

No argument that BJU needs to look at establishing an endowment, though.  Would there be a faction that would view that as not trusting God?

 

I know what some of the teachers are getting paid, and I am not too far off including benefits.

Maybe there would be some that view it as not trusting God.  I view it as good financially planning.  While there are some graduates who struggle, I know quite a few that are very well off and some multi-millionaires.  For example, BJU could do a better job at setting up charitable trust options for those with retirement savings.  Not for everyone, but is a good option for some people.  While they will sometimes call individuals and ask for money, they don't do very well in putting together packages that reward giving with access.

JohnS's picture

dgszweda wrote:

 

Bert Perry wrote:

 

David, would your figures include benefits?  I'm guessing that even with proverbial fundamental pay scales--where the person chooses between BJU/whoever and Wal-Mart on the basis of pay--benefits is going to push the compensation package for 50 employees well past $2.5 million.  I wonder if, barring further drops in enrollment, they're going to come close to break-even.

No argument that BJU needs to look at establishing an endowment, though.  Would there be a faction that would view that as not trusting God?

 

 

 

I know what some of the teachers are getting paid, and I am not too far off including benefits.

Maybe there would be some that view it as not trusting God.  I view it as good financially planning.  While there are some graduates who struggle, I know quite a few that are very well off and some multi-millionaires.  For example, BJU could do a better job at setting up charitable trust options for those with retirement savings.  Not for everyone, but is a good option for some people.  While they will sometimes call individuals and ask for money, they don't do very well in putting together packages that reward giving with access.

 

Clearly how well BJU does in soliciting donations and putting packages together is a matter of personal experience.  My experience is that BJU does a solid job making their needs known and soliciting charitable giving.  Keep in mind the institution has only been tax exempt since 2017, a key barrier before that time to large charitable donations.  I - not a "big ticket" donor - have frequent contact with the advancement staff.  Could they do better, sure, and they have dramatically improved their efforts in the last 5-10 years.  They've offered packages and estate planning for quite some time.  

Lack of results does not mean their efforts are skills are poor.  The fact is that a large % of their graduates have historically gone into full-time Christian ministry which leaves little additional income for charitable giving.  And as earlier poster opined, graduates of biblically faithful institutions often attend biblically faithful local churches to which they give before their alma mater.

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that Faith, at least upon getting a large inheritance from one of its supporters, did set up funds ($7 million or so?) that could be viewed as a version of an endowment.  So I don't believe that training people for service in the church precludes effective endowment efforts.  I would fall more on the side of what Jim Peet comments on often; that all too often, our ministries don't really plan for the future.  (his pet peeve being failure to fund retirement for pastors, I believe)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.