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ELT Meeting Summary for May 1

The Executive Leadership Team met on May 1 and the primary agenda items were a presentation of the Core Value Mark of Distinction recipients for spring, an explanation of the Strategic Growth Awards through the Bethel University Foundation, planning for the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting, and monthly updates on enrollment, budget, and the campaign.

Core Value Mark of Distinction: Michelle Barringer from human resources introduced the two Core Value Mark of Distinction award recipients: Vickie Sanford, office manager for the Academic Enrichment and Support Center (AESC), and Matt Putz, director of Teaching Learning and Technology (TLT). The award is given to nominated employees who consistently live out Bethel’s core values, positively affect department goals, constructively serve the Bethel community, and advance Bethel’s mission and vision. Vickie and Matt were (respectively) recognized for their contributions as world changer and character-builder. Each recipient received a $250 check and a custom-made Bethel fleece jacket.

Strategic Growth Awards: Angie Hjelle, executive director of the Bethel University Foundation, explained about a new opportunity for faculty and staff members to receive funding for strategic initiatives that enhance the effective and sustainable growth of Bethel’s enrollment and/or the affordability of a Bethel education. In the first year, the foundation will fund two Strategic Growth Awards in the amount of $40,000-50,000 each. The initiative has two main goals: to help fund strategic initiatives that will benefit Bethel and to enhance the visibility of the Bethel University Foundation. Applications will be accepted through June and then reviewed by the Philanthropy Committee of the Board of Governors, with assistance from strategic enrollment teams at Bethel. Recipients and their projects will be announced in late August.

Board of Trustee Meetings: The agenda for the June 1–2 Board of Trustees meeting was discussed. The meeting will focus on the sciences and space planning for the science departments renovations and expansion.

Enrollment update: Tim Eaton, vice president for enrollment management, gave an update on enrollment numbers for all schools. CAS deposits for freshmen are ahead of last year’s numbers, but the early FAFSA change in financial aid still makes benchmarking against past years difficult.

Summer enrollment numbers for CAPS are good with 174 of the 180 goal. Tim said dynamic enrollment and pricing changes have had positive effects on CAPS enrollment. Bethel Seminary is seeing good numbers for their new fully online programs, especially the D.Min. program which had a goal of 14 students and is currently at 20.

Giving update: Mark Miles, senior vice president for university advancement, said that total giving is higher than it has been in years past at $12 million. Bethel Fund numbers are behind goal and there will be a bigger push in the last month of the fiscal year to increase giving to Bethel Fund. We are still working on finding lead gifts for the sciences. We need a few initial big gifts to kick off the renovation and expansion project.

Budget update: Chief Financial Officer Pat Brooke said that Fiscal Year 2017 is wrapping up nicely and we are on track to end with a surplus. Budget submissions for Fiscal Year 2018 have been compiled and we have some challenges. It will be a tight year ahead and we will not be able to provide funding to every request that was made. Cabinet will go through the budget in more detail on May 4 to get closer to balancing the budget, with a final budget proposal to take to the board in June.