February 2014 Trustee Meeting Summary

February 14, 2014 | 11:36 a.m.

The Bethel University Board of Trustees met February 5-6 for its regular winter meeting. Twenty-five trustees, along with faculty, student, and alumni observers and senior staff members participated in discussions in committee meetings and plenary sessions. Trustees reviewed the work of the university at mid-year, focusing on the recently completed purchase of the facility at Two Pine Tree Drive.

The meetings had a decidedly future-oriented focus. President Barnes spoke with the trustees about strategic directions for the university that are outlined in the “Strategic Direction 2021” document (PDF). He described that plan as “our declared path to the years ahead.” He reviewed each of the seven priorities for institutional action, which are: 

  1. Position and resource Bethel Seminary for successful service to the work of the church in the 21st Century and beyond.
  2. Upgrade facilities and support for the natural and health sciences to match the excellence of faculty and programs.
  3. Significantly raise the profile of our business and economics programs.
  4. Achieve excellence both on and off the field for every sport in which we compete in intercollegiate athletics.
  5. Expand our graduates’ view of the world through increased diversity and opportunities for global and experiential learning. 
  6. Increase the fundraising capacity significantly and rapidly to provide the resources needed to accomplish the strategic priorities. 
  7. Clearly articulate the distinctiveness of a Bethel University education in a way that keeps us anchored to our mission and distinguishes us within a crowded higher education marketplace. 

Other Highlights:

  • Reports from the President and other officers indicate that spring enrollment and financial projections are consistent with expectations in fall 2013.
  • Trustees visited the Pine Tree building for a planning session with a consultant, faculty, and administration on expanded future use of the facility. Out of this came a number of suggestions regarding principles to consider in expansion. Faculty presented on the current use of the facility for the physician assistant and nurse-midwifery programs.
  • Faculty from each academic unit presented information in the Academic Programs Committee on initiatives that will move the university forward.
  • The Co-curricular Programs Committee appreciated reports on the “Moving the Needle” project in the College of Arts & Sciences to strengthen retention.

Actions taken

In keeping with the future-focused theme of the meeting, the board gave approval to the administration to engage fundraising counsel in planning a comprehensive campaign.

Other actions:

  • Approval of housing allowance requests for current faculty and retirees.
  • Approval of the appointment of Katrina Anderson as instructor in nursing in CAPS/GS.
  • Approval of the award of emeritus status to four faculty members and four administrators.
  • Approval of the appointment of Jane Wrede as associate professor of nursing and program director for the nurse-midwifery program.
  • Approval of several routine resolutions regarding institutional finance
    • Credit agreement with U.S. Bank
    • Authorization of administrative officers to enter into routine business transactions
    • Authorization of administrative officers to routine financial transactions