(Walnut Ridge, Ark.) – Trustees at Williams Baptist College learned Friday that improvements are coming soon to the main road into campus. The WBC board met in regular session Friday, Jan. 17, in a meeting that was postponed from December due to icy weather.

Trustees were told that College City, where the Williams campus is located, has just been approved for a project to widen and resurface Fulbright Ave. from Hwy. 67 to WBC’s main entrance. The concrete road, which is about 70 years old, is currently narrow and very bumpy, and it has developed drainage problems. Plans call for the road to be paved with asphalt, and it will be widened from 20 to 28 feet.

The project, estimated to cost $200,000, will be fully funded and engineered through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department. College City is receiving the grant through AHTD’s State Aid Street Program. Highway department officials will set dates for construction in coming weeks.

WBC President Dr. Tom Jones noted that improving Fulbright Ave. is a stated goal in WBC’s strategic vision, known as the Diamond Destiny Plan. Williams officials have worked closely with College City leaders in securing the AHTD grant for the project.

The board also heard of progress in WBC’s launch of online degree programs. Williams will offer degree completion programs in both psychology and pastoral ministries starting March 10, and a program in business administration is slated to begin in May.

Williams online programs are for adult students, age 23 and older, who have at least 45 hours of college credit.

In other business, the board acted on a faculty promotion and added a new faculty member. Dr. Brad Baine, who is chair of the Williams Teacher Education Program, was named the La Delle Moody Professor of Education. The move makes Baine a tenured faculty member.

Trustees also approved the hiring of Blake Perkins as assistant professor of history. Perkins, a Lawrence County native, has been serving as an adjunct history instructor at WBC. He is nearing completion of his Ph.D. at West Virginia University.

The board welcomed five new members. Ken Brunt of Bryant, J.R. Cox of Walnut Ridge, Sue McGowan of Paragould, Dr. Heather Moore of Cabot and Larry Singleton of Paragould have joined the 24-member board of trustees. This year’s board chair is James Miller of Melbourne.

The Williams board meets three times each year, and its next scheduled meeting is April 4 at WBC.