Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business will add a new doctorate degree in entrepreneurship, aiming to capitalize on the limited number of advanced degree options in the growing study field.

The university’s board of regents approved the doctoral program at its quarterly meeting Friday.

Hankamer Dean Terry Maness said there now are just six other Ph.D. programs in entrepreneurship nationwide.

Baylor thinks the new degree will aid in producing faculty researchers who will further advance the study of innovation and efficiency in business, as well as develop leaders to craft economic development policy for business think tanks and the federal government.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is critical to us continuing to improve as a world power and as an economy,” Maness said.

“There’s a real mismatch of demand for faculty with academy entrepreneurial training and the supply of those through academic degree programs.”

The program will formally launch in the fall 2016 semester. It will be the third Ph.D. program offered at the business school.

The degree builds on the success of Baylor’s undergraduate entrepreneurship program, which is currently ranked third in the nation in a 2015 survey between The Princeton Review and Entrepreneur Magazine, according to a Baylor press release. The school’s MBA program also includes an entrepreneurship track.

“It has grown to be a key component of business school curriculum,” Maness said. “I think also it’s consistent with what you hear on the importance of innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in terms of the U.S. economy where we’re looking for new ways of doing things, new products, new companies, that kind of thing.”

The regents on Friday also approved $1.1 million to design and construct the Simpson Strength and Performance Center in the Simpson Athletics and Academic Center.

The facility will be included in the upcoming renovation of the weight room at the center and will be used by student-athletes across all Baylor sports programs.

The strength and performance center will have dedicated space for sports nutrition as well as sports performance to aid student-athletes in improving strength, speed, power, flexibility and sport-specific conditioning.

In other action, the regents approved a $560.7 million operating budget for Baylor’s 2015-16 academic year, a 2.4 percent increase from the current budget.

The budget includes an additional $17.7 million for student scholarships and graduate assistantships, as well as a 4.6 percent increase in personnel costs to hire 17 new full-time faculty members, 44 new staff positions, and fund 53 replacement faculty slots.

The board also elected two new members, including former Wal-Mart president and CEO William S. Simon and Blue Scout Media CEO Kim Wilson Stevens. Both will begin their three-year terms on June 1.

Regents Robert Beauchamp, Cary Gray, David H. Harper, Dan Hord III, Christopher B. Howard, and Ronald D. Murff were re-elected to three year terms. The board confirmed the appointments of regents Linda Brian, Joel T. Allison and Jennifer Walker Elrod, who were re-elected by the Baptist General Convention of Texas to serve on the board.

Murff was elected vice chair, while board Chairman Richard T. Willis was re-elected to a fourth consecutive one-year term as chairman.

Baylor Business Fellows senior Jonathan Siktberg was elected as the student regent, while Lori Baker, chair of Baylor’s faculty senate and associate professor of anthropology, was elected as the faculty regent. Both are non-voting board positions.

The regents also elected Debbie Bradley Mann to represent a non-voting seat for the “B” Association, while Chris Manning will hold the Bear Foundation non-voting regent position.