ELT Meeting Summary

Publication date: Jul 21, 2014 12:00:00 AM

The Executive Leadership Team members, in their July meeting, received updates on four topics: HR-related issues, near-term space planning, the CFO search process, and the Strategic Coalition process that is being co-led by Jim Green, chair of Bethel’s Board of Trustees, and President Barnes. President Barnes also provided a timely devotional.

HR Update: Cara Wald provided an update about efforts around the Twin Cities by adjuncts to unionize. She noted that adjunct faculty at the University of St. Thomas would soon hear the results of their unionization vote (we heard later that evening that UST adjuncts voted against unionizing). Key messages from this conversation are that (1) we want to proactively attend to the issues and concerns of Bethel’s adjunct faculty, and (2) we are monitoring unionizing efforts in the Twin Cities and elsewhere.

A second focus of Cara’s update was a reminder about a labor law. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that all time sheets accurately reflect two things: how many hours employees work and when those hours were worked. For example, an employee who works 10 hours one day and six the next must report 10 hours and six hours on his or her time sheets. The practice of “balancing” hours or averaging those hours (e.g. reporting eight hours for two days) violates the requirements for the FLSA. Cara asked that supervisors stress this requirement to all hourly staff.

Near Term Space Planning: Joe LaLuzerne talked about how we are addressing near-term space needs. The E2 property (the former public library) will be up for sale soon and the Bethel Office Center (BOC) property is for sale now. These properties will be sold to help with the acquisition of the Pine Tree building. When BOC sells, we will need to move all offices that are housed there.

As we anticipate these moves, we are seeking to make short-term decisions that will not interfere with the longer term campus master planning effort that is underway. Once short term moves are made, the Pine Tree building will have a mix of long-term office and classroom space (like the space for the PA program) and temporary space. The temporary moves will not involve major renovations.

Some short-term moves are already planned. The CAPS/GS student success team will be moved from BOC to Pine Tree in the near future. In order to get all CAPS/GS admissions personnel together, some will move into empty space in the BOC. We also anticipate moving some members of the ITS staff (Mike Spande’s team) to Pine Tree in the near future. By mid-to-late fall we will have a plan for short-term moves into Pine Tree and out of the BOC.

Some other moves are happening on campus as well. University Relations staff related to alumni and church relations will all be housed in Townhouse N. Some additional web and creative services staff will move to Townhouse H. We will also be creating a Cultural Connections Center, probably on CC 3rd level.

CFO Search Update: Jay Barnes let us know that Pat Brooke has accepted the CFO position. Pat comes with significant, progressive experience at Wheaton College over 30 years and strong recommendations. His planned start date is around August 15. His office will be in HC 4th level, where he will share a suite with Cabinet members Deb Harless, Joe LaLuzerne, and Ruben Rivera.

Strategic Coalition Update: ELT members heard an update about the Strategic Coalition efforts. Jay and Joe led this conversation and emphasized that the coalition work is designed to help us think about strategic options for Bethel long into the future. Groups worked in June and July to think about Bethel’s distinctive elements going back to its founding in 1871, and also tried to gain new perspectives on where the university is today. In August, ELT members will be provided with materials related to the Strategic Coalition process so that they can share information with their teams and engage personnel throughout the university in this important work.

The Strategic Coalition process is a macro-level process that is being coordinated with other processes that are also underway. These include strategic planning for the seminary; Moving the Needle, a CAS process aimed at increasing retention; College of the Future, a strategic planning effort within CAS; campus master planning; and planning for the next major fund-raising campaign.

Devotional: A particularly important part of this meeting was a devotional and prayer time led by Jay Barnes. He read a portion from Mark Batterson’s book All In. The passage was about the explorer Cortés burning his ships to make retreat to “an inadequate old life” impossible. Jay communicated that, in this time of significant challenge and dramatic change in higher education, we cannot keep doing things as we have done. We will continue to be committed to transforming lives, but many things about Bethel will look different in 20 years. We need to all be on our knees praying for the right future for Bethel.