May 2014 Trustee Meeting Summary

May 12, 2014 | 12:54 p.m.

The Bethel University Board of Trustees completed its third business meeting of the year on Friday, May 9. More than 30 trustees were able to attend in addition to the Executive Leadership Team and observers representing faculty, students, and alumni from all schools.

Reports from the administration provided updates on the budget development process and on planning initiatives, including a new program focused on intellectually disabled students. Jim Green, vice chair of the board, presented information on a new “Strategic Coalition” project, involving board members, administrators, and campus stakeholders over the next six months. The Coalition will review strategic issues likely to face Bethel over the next 10 years. An initial report will be provided the trustees at the fall 2014 meeting. As part of the initiative, board members, administrators, observers, and a number of faculty participated in an afternoon workshop facilitated by an outside consultant. Trustees also heard from Jon McGee, currently at St. John’s University/College of St. Benedict, on the current state of significant higher education issues.

Actions taken by the trustees included:

  • Ratification of or approval of a number of recommended personnel actions, including grants of initial terms of tenure and renewal of tenure and grants of promotion in rank.
  • Approval of the proposed university budget for 2014-2015.
  • Ratification of or approval of students for graduation in the College of Arts and Sciences and College of Adult and Professional Studies and Graduate School.

In preparation for the biennial meeting of the Bethel Corporation in fall 2014, at which delegates from the churches of Converge Worldwide will be asked to vote on significant university issues, the trustees took the following actions:

  • Nominated six trustees to be elected by delegates at the Corporation meeting
  • Elected eight trustees, their election to be ratified by delegates at the Corporation meeting
  • Recommended the reappointment of seven seminary faculty for terms of up to six years, to be voted on by the delegates
  • Recommended the confirmation of Debra Harless as executive vice president and provost and David Clark as vice president and dean of Bethel Seminary.
  • Appointed trustees as officers for the business meeting of the Corporation, and appointed members of the board to serve as the Committee on Business. 

In a separate action, the board voted to extend the term of office of President Barnes until the date of the Corporation meeting, and nominated him for a second six-year term as president.

The trustees also elected officers who will begin their terms in fall semester 2014. The new chair will be Jim Green; the vice chair will be Robert Bjork; Joel Johnson will continue as secretary, and Dan Dye as assistant secretary. Timothy Traudt was elected treasurer of the board. The outgoing chair, Harold Wiens, and three trustees were honored for their service.