JACKSON — Union University trustees received a clean audit report and welcomed new officers during their Dec. 1 meeting on the university campus.
The meeting marked the first for Jeff Perkins in his role as trustee chairman. Perkins, a Union graduate and business and ministry leader from Greenfield, Tennessee, was elected as chairman in September. Joining Perkins as officers for the trustee meeting were Josh Dougan as vice chairman and Kay Griffin as secretary.
Gary Taylor, a real estate developer in Jackson, Tennessee, and a former trustee chairman, rejoined the Board of Trustees. Taylor serves as the chairman of the Union University Foundation Board as well as vice chair of Union 200: The Bicentennial Campaign.
The audit report from Crosslin showed that total assets for the university increased from $193.7 million in 2022 to $202.2 million in 2023 – the first time for Union to top the $200 million mark in total assets. The university also operated in the black in 2022, with a surplus of $1.7 million of revenue over expenses.
The university’s long-term debt also decreased from $14.7 million to $12.2 million.
“Union’s financial health is incredibly strong, and we see that as a great blessing from the Lord,” Perkins said. “We’re thankful for Union’s friends and partners who are so gracious in giving so that that the institution can continue to provide students with an excellent, Christ-centered education that prepares them to be faithful servants of Christ all over the world.”
Trustees also approved an amended budget of $91.7 million for the 2023-2024 year, and they approved a 4.05 percent increase in traditional undergraduate tuition for the 2024-2025 year. The also voted to discontinue Union’s majors in French and sport management due to low enrollment in the programs. Currently enrolled students will be offered teach-out options so they can complete the program requirements.
In other matters, trustees approved emeritus status for Sally Henrie, who retired as university professor of chemistry earlier this year, and they approved research leaves during the 2024-2025 academic year for Janna Chance, professor of English, and Brad Green, professor of theological studies.
At a Thursday evening dinner prior to their meeting, trustees honored a group of undergraduate students for their research efforts, along with their faculty mentors.
“Union has a rich history of undergraduate students engaging in a variety of substantial research projects, in partnership with professors who oversee, guide and mentor them through the whole research process,” Union President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver said. “Our annual Scholarship Symposium in the spring highlights the research efforts of our students on campus, and we wanted our trustees to be able to join in recognizing these students and their professors as well.” B&R