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The Executive Leadership Team met on Feb. 16 and the primary agenda items were a presentation on the Wellbeing Initiative, an explanation of the university’s process for upgrading to the new Banner (or data management system for Bethel), and monthly updates on enrollment, budget, and the campaign.

Wellbeing Initiative: Christine Osgood, associate professor of wellbeing, joined the meeting as a guest speaker to present on the Wellbeing Initiative, which began in the College of Arts & Sciences and has expanded to include more involvement with all faculty and staff. She explained that we define “wellbeing” at Bethel as “a justice-infused peace, wholeness and flourishing for individuals and systems aligned with God. More than health and wellness. It is shalom.”

She has also defined six dimensions to focus on at Bethel:

  • Spiritual
  • Cognitive
  • Relational
  • Meaning
  • Physical
  • Emotional

Faculty and staff are encouraged to participate in “Lunch and Learns,” organized contemplative prayer sessions, yoga in the Wellness Center, and “The Sevens”—seven suggested simple activities to encourage wellbeing in everyday life. For more information, visit the class website at www.wellbeing-at-bethel.com or contact Christine Osgood at osgchr@bethel.edu.

Upgrading to Banner XE: Mike Spande, senior director of infrastructure systems and user services, and Lisa Carlson, associate director of enterprise information systems and services, explained what has happened, is happening, and will happen to upgrade to the newest version of Banner. Banner is an Enterprise Resource System (ERP) that collects and manages university data for student information, finance information, financial aid, human resources, and registration. Banner is both an administrative tool and a self-service tool for students, advisors, and employees. 

Mike and Lisa explained that Banner is a collection of applications and each performs a different function. Each application can be upgraded separately, which they intend to do across a number of months. Currently, ITS is focusing on upgrading: registration, course and classes, class schedule, and Banner administration. The first three should greatly improve student self-service capabilities and the last one will provide minor improvements to the administration portion of Banner.

ITS can provide offices basic information on how to use the newer version, but employees and ITS staff must work together to maximize Banner XE’s complete capabilities. In other words, offices will first need to help ITS understand what capability improvements are needed and the order of priority for an upgrade timeline. After an office’s application has been upgraded, it will be up to the employees in that office to become proficient in the new version. ITS recognizes this will take resources and will factor that into the timeline as well.

Questions about this upgrade can be directed to Mike Spande at m-spande@bethel.edu.

Enrollment Update: Tim Eaton, vice president for enrollment management, shared enrollment numbers for spring and fall.

Spring 2017

  • Down about 10% in CAPS/GS, but changes from the Post-traditional Project make admissions more optimistic about fall enrollment numbers.
  • CAS spring numbers were strong for re-admits and continuing students (retention), but again low on new freshmen.
  • Seminary enrollment numbers exceeded goal numbers by 10, to be 39 new starts and eight re-admit students.

Fall 2017

  • CAS fall numbers are hard to predict because the models were changed this year; students could complete FAFSAs in the fall using “prior prior year” tax returns. This federal rule change allowed many schools—including Bethel—to send out financial aid packages earlier. However, many of the larger public universities have not sent out their financial aid packages early and it appears students are waiting until they have received word from every school before deciding on a school.

Campaign update: Mark Miles, senior vice president for university advancement, shared that major gift officers are conducting a “Project Discovery Process” that involves a questionnaire and personal visit to meet new donor prospects and identify potential donors.

The Campaign Task Force had their last meeting and Mark Miles will now create a Campaign Cabinet for the next phase of work.

Planned giving received a $2 million deferred gift recently and is in other conversations with donors.

Overall, Mark expects the fundraising to meet its goals for Fiscal Year 2017.

Budget update: Chief Financial Officer Pat Brooke explained that the Fiscal Year 2017 budget remains tight and next year’s budget will be more challenging. The budget committee has prioritized the budget requests that were submitted in January and Cabinet will finalize the Fiscal Year 2018 budget soon.