May 2012 Trustee Meeting Summary

May 23, 2012 | 2 a.m.

The Bethel University Board of Trustees met on May 9 and 10 for its spring meeting. Below are some of the highlights of the meeting.

Major Reports

Seminary Trustee Task Force

The Seminary Trustee Task Force delivered its final report on seminary operations and future direction. The task force was established by the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees at its June 2011 meeting. Task force members interviewed stakeholders and constituents, sought consultation from peers at other seminaries, and made recommendations regarding four topics.

  • The seminary is a core component of the mission of Bethel University, although seminary education in North America is operating in a financially difficult time, Therefore, the task force recommends continued strategic investment in the seminary.
  • The seminary and university leadership commit to articulate an explicit vision for the seminary as serving the church and responsive to the needs of the church for leaders.
  • The university leadership commits to strengthen and improve the relationship between faculty and staff serving the seminary and the rest of the university.
  • The trustees commit to establish a Seminary advisory committee that will involve trustees, the president, the provost, and the Seminary VP/Dean.
  • The task force identified an initial framework for a financial model for seminary operations that focuses on the direct revenue and expenses that are controllable by the seminary.

In the weeks ahead there will be multiple opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to discuss the findings of this extensive report. Joint faculty and administrative task groups will be formed to work through the recommendations and prepare for the fall trustee update.

Read the full report from the Seminary Trustee Task Force (pdf).

Reconciliation Task Force

The Reconciliation Task Force, commissioned by the president to rethink the university’s central paradigm for promoting reconciliation, increasing diversity, reducing racism, elevating global engagement, and enhancing cultural competence, delivered its final report after an 18-month process. Provost David Clark and Leon Rodrigues, chief diversity officer, presented the group’s findings and recommendations, which included:

  • Community survey results
  • Description of the Shalom paradigm
  • Next steps for living Shalom
  • Development of a Diversity Master Plan
  • Progress report to the board in November

Read the full report from the Reconciliation Task Force.

Campus Master Plan

The Campus Master Plan was affirmed by the board following discussion of the strategic context, underlying assumptions, all three phases and the accompanying fundraising timeline that will provide capital for the plan. Slides of the environments are available online.

A printed version of the Campus Master Plan Executive Summary will be available later in June for distribution. 

Actions and Approvals

  • Approved appointments of six faculty members:
    • Amanda Hamilton, associate professor of art
    • Chris Carroll, instructor in Health and Physical education, Biokinetics-Human Performance
    • Joel Ward, instructor in Communication Studies (one year appointment)
    • Amy Poppinga, instructor in History
    • Daniel Halvorsen, professor of Health and Physical Education
    • Nicole Miller (NYCAMS)
  • Approvals for graduation (CAS, CAPS/GS, and Seminary)
  • Approval of budget assumptions
  • Approval of relocation of Facilities Management, and Safety and Security offices
  • Approval of faculty promotions as recommended
  • Approval of policy for process for approval of study-abroad programs in “travel warning” locations
  • Received Reconciliation Task Force report and directed staff to prepare a Diversity Master Plan for the fall board meeting
  • Nominated or elected six individuals to begin terms as trustees, to be elected or confirmed at the June meeting of the Bethel University Corporation 
    • Pamela Nyman Olson
    • Karin Larson
    • Rollie Anderson
    • Steve Kirby
    • Trina Maduro
    • Michael Henderson
  • Named officers of the Board of Trustees, to begin serving in fall 2012. Chair: Harold Wiens; Vice Chair: Jim Green; Secretary: Joel Johnson; Assistant Secretary: Dan Dye; Treasurer: Robert Bjork
  • Approved the FY2013 operating budget
  • Approved actions related to NYCAMS
  • Affirmed the Campus Master Plan
  • Received, approved, and endorsed the Seminary Trustee Task Force report, adopting recommendations toward a position description for the seminary vice president and dean; adopting a charter for a seminary advisory committee; anticipating a committee being appointed to address financial principles for the seminary