That means the Shorter University Board of Trustees will now be able to decide how to spend $7.2 million instead of petitioning the GBC, which owns Shorter, for the money.
The funds are now available for use on board-approved projects, according to a news release from the university.
Previously, Shorter and the two other colleges that are part of the GBC — Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland and Brewton Parker College in Mt. Vernon — would plan capital improvement projects and endowments but would need the GBC’s approval for funds set aside for their respective institutions, said Mike Williams, vice president of operations for the GBC.
The change, approved by voting members at the GBC’s annual meeting Monday and Tuesday in Lawrenceville, means that Shorter’s board of Trustees can use the money as they want without having to get GBC approval.
But it wasn’t all good news from the convention for Shorter University.
The university’s annual allotment through the cooperative program budget was reduced to $2 million for the 2012 budget year, down from $2.3 million in 2011.
“It was an economic decision made because of decreasing income since the economy took a downturn,” Williams said.
It wasn’t just Shorter that was cut, Williams said. The entire GBC budget was cut by $2.7 million, a 6 percent decrease.
“It is significant that in a time of economic downturn that Georgia Baptists have demonstrated such strong support of their academic institutions,” said Shorter University President Don Dowless. “We thank the Lord and Georgia Baptists for this tremendous gift that will ensure our ability to help transform lives through Christ.”
The move comes weeks after the Shorter Board of Trustees approved a policy requiring employees to sign a statement of faith, sparking some protests from students and alumni.
Employees must find premarital sex, adultery and homosexuality “unacceptable.” Employees of the university are also forbidden to drink alcohol in public.