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Deb Harless Installed as Bethel University Executive Vice President and Provost

Deb Harless Installed as Bethel University Executive Vice President and Provost

Deb Harless stands next to President Jay Barnes during a special dedication service during chapel.

Bethel University President Jay Barnes installed Deb Harless as Bethel University executive vice president and provost during a special College of Arts & Sciences chapel service on May 8. Barnes appointed Harless to this role in January. Harless ’83 returned to Bethel in 1989 to teach psychology, and later served as a counselor and co-director of the Academic Enrichment & Support Center and dean of academic programs in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) before becoming vice president and dean of CAS in 2009.

Campus Pastor Laurel Bunker described Harless as a woman of prayer, a servant leader, and a scholar with a bright mind who seeks the will of the Father. Bunker chose Romans 12: 1-8 in Harless’ honor, saying “I see so many of these aspects in her.”

Barnes, who held the position of Bethel provost for many years before becoming president, answered the often asked question, “What does a provost do?,” describing it as chief education officer, a position of action, and “a high and holy calling for which Deb is wholly equipped.”

Harless shared about the importance of prayer in her life. “My journey with prayer has gone along with my journey with Bethel,” she said. She focused on her prayer that God “make it clear and make a way” when Barnes approached her about making the transition from teaching to administration.

Harless’ spiritual director, Lois Lindbloom ’62, former Bethel employee and Board of Trustee member, led prayers for Harless and the Bethel community during the service.


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