Michael Freer Named Chief Human Resources Officer

With more than 18 years of experience at colleges and universities, Michael Freer plans to streamline processes, enhancing transparency as he supports a thriving culture at Bethel by leading the Office of People and Culture.

By Jason Schoonover ’09, senior web content specialist

September 07, 2023 | 2 p.m.

Michael Freer

Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Freer

After a nationwide search, Michael Freer has been hired as the next chief human resources officer at Bethel University. Freer brings over 18 years of human resources experience at colleges and universities in Minnesota. “Michael has demonstrated a passion and appreciation for the work environment and educational experience provided in a smaller, private college setting,” Bethel President Ross Allen says.

Along with Freer’s hiring, Mark Hintz was also named Bethel’s next vice president for university advancement. They fill two key leadership positions at Bethel. “Human resources and university advancement are essential to the success of Bethel,” Allen says. “We are excited to welcome Michael and Mark to our team, as they bring a wealth of experience and expertise in higher education. I am grateful to have found two qualified individuals who share our faith in Jesus Christ and are committed to serving him with wisdom and integrity.”

Freer is eager to bring his talents to Bethel’s Christ-guided community. “I could not be more excited about this opportunity,” Freer says. “Bethel gives me an opportunity to be myself. I have never worked in an environment where I felt I could talk about my faith.” As chief human resources officer, Freer will lead Bethel’s Office of People and Culture. He’s excited to immerse himself in the Bethel community and Bethel culture as he develops the office’s work. As he leads Bethel’s human resources office, Freer is excited to use improved processes and technology to increase efficiency. “I hope to use this ability to streamline processes while enhancing transparency,” he says. That will allow Freer and his team to be more present in other areas that will continue to support and enhance a thriving culture at Bethel.

“I could not be more excited about this opportunity. Bethel gives me an opportunity to be myself. I have never worked in an environment where I felt I could talk about my faith.”

— Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Freer
Freer actually took an untraditional path to working in education. He started college immediately after high school, but he ended up quitting and working for nine years as a corrections officer. Eventually, he returned to college, earning an A.A., a bachelor’s in computer science and information systems, a master’s in management, and an MBA as he started his human resources career. Outside of work, Freer and his wife of 27 years, Christy, have six children: Justin, Ashley, Trevor, Zach, Caitlin, and Kayla. He is an avid Minnesota Vikings fan and loves to watch airplanes. “Yes, I said watch airplanes,” he says with a laugh.

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