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Cabinet Update - August 2018

For those faculty and staff members who were away from campus for the summer months, welcome back. As you probably notice every year, much has happened in the last three months. In this back-to-school update from Cabinet, we would like to share information on the progress of the working groups along with updates on enrollment, space planning, and Campus Ministries. Finally, we will end by sharing about Bethel’s Act Six program and how it is a wonderful example of “why we do what we do” at Bethel.

Working Groups Update

The Staff and Administration Working Groups met throughout the summer and concluded their work on August 1. Members of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) led each group and submitted recommendations to Cabinet for their review. Cabinet accepted and revised the recommendations, as needed, to meet the $575,000 target that included a 15% cushion. Cabinet has communicated with all affected ELT members regarding the decisions. Staff position eliminations and related departmental changes will be implemented based on department timing rather than on a single day as has been done in the past. Several decisions have already been made and announced. More information will be provided within the next few weeks.

The CAS Program Enrollment and Cost Analysis Working Group and the CAPS/Sem/GS Program Enrollment and Cost Analysis Working Group met throughout the summer to review all academic programs across the university. Each of these groups was given a target of reductions to meet through proposed recommendations.  The CAS target was $750,000, with an additional 15% cushion for a total of $865,000. The CAPS/Sem/GS target was $200,000, with an additional 15% cushion, for a total of $230,000. Cabinet received reports from these groups by the August 1 deadline. The Cabinet has met to review and discuss, and in some cases revise, the recommendations. Cabinet will provide more information as decisions are implemented within the next several weeks.

The Innovations in Academics (report due November 1), Innovations Across the University (report due November 1), and Faculty Load and Structures (report due April 1, 2019) working groups continue to meet to identify and research their recommendations.

Enrollment Update

College of Arts & Sciences

New student numbers for the College of Arts & Sciences (as of August 29)

New students – 555 (547 last year)

Former PSEO students – 65 (45 last year)

Transfers – 95 (113 last year)

PSEO – 120 (100 last year)

Total – 835 (805 last year)

The numbers above highlight the four major recruitment markets for CAS Admissions. Segmenting out PSEO for a moment, our new student enrollment for fall 2018 will be up by 10 students, year over year. The majority of this growth is in returning PSEO students with an increase of 20 students. New student enrollment is currently up eight students over last year. Transfer students are currently down 18 from last year.

Continuing student numbers also look encouraging, with 1659 students registered to return for the fall. Total enrollment (excluding BUILD and PSEO) for the fall will likely be 2,374—beating the budget goal of 2,370 by four students. Additionally, there are 120 PSEO students (up from 100 last year), 16 new students in BUILD, and 13 continuing BUILD students for a total anticipated fall enrollment in CAS of 2,523 total students (including the 29 students in BUILD).

Enrollment, discount rate, and FY19 budget projection

This summer, multiple offices at Bethel have worked together to refine our process for setting and monitoring enrollment goals, discount rate, and the overall institutional budget. The CAS enrollment team has exceeded the enrollment target for new CAS, non-BUILD/non-PSEO, students for FY19 (Fall 2018). However, the discount rate for FY19 is likely to have increased. It is not possible to calculate the actual discount rate until after the 10th day of class, once we have confirmed our actual enrollment. With the likely increase in discount rate, we may be challenged to reach our overall revenue target, but it is too early to tell more precisely at this point.

College of Adult & Professional Studies, Seminary, and Graduate School

This summer we brought in three more students in CAPS/Sem/GS than we did last year. Unfortunately, we did not meet our summer goal due to challenges with the Ed.D. in K-12 Administration, International Baccalaureate, and Doctor of Ministry programs. With dynamic enrollment, we have shifted additional marketing dollars to the Ed.D. K-12 program to gain additional leads for fall and spring to make up for the deficit this summer. We continue to monitor the International Baccalaureate program, which historically goes up and down by term. As of August, we are on track to hit our fall goal for this program. The initial, fully online Doctor of Ministry program attracted new interest last fiscal year. As a whole, Bethel Seminary has experienced increased competition from other seminaries offering aggressive scholarship opportunities.

Due to low enrollment in our Doctor of Nursing Practice program this fall, we have moved to a spring start. Admissions and Marketing are working together to explore new ways of promoting this program.

In addition to the 341 anticipated new students this fall, we have 1,343 CAPS, GS, and Bethel Seminary continuing students registered. The numbers are as of August 17.

Space Planning Update

We wanted to update the community on the planning and construction timelines for the Bethel Seminary move to Anderson Center as well as the Academic Center (AC) building for the sciences and the current seminary building for the humanities.

The Bethel Seminary build out on the first level of Anderson Center continues, but the move date for faculty and staff has been pushed back to December. In addition, based on our continued funding needs and our desire for careful planning for the humanities move to the vacated seminary building, we have decided to extend the timeline for the humanities move. This decision gives us more time for fundraising and allows for additional planning with the humanities faculty.

We currently anticipate the humanities departments will move to the humanities complex (in the current seminary building) in summer 2019. Renovation work for the sciences in the AC building is also expected to begin in summer 2019.

Campus Ministries Changes to the Office of Christian Formation and Church Relations

The Office of Campus Ministries has officially changed its name to the Office of Christian Formation and Church Relations. Several years ago, the team began to assess the scope of their ministry, noting that their office name did not encompass the breadth of their work or their vision for the future.

With Ralph Gustafson’s retirement this spring from his position as Executive Minister for Bethel Seminary and Church Relations, Bethel leaders decided that church relations responsibilities would fall under Campus Ministries. This also led to an office name change and title change for Laurel Bunker, who is now Associate Vice President of Christian Formation and Church Relations. The office still provides the same ministries and outreach opportunities, but also includes church relations and a connection point to Converge, Bethel’s founding denomination.

Look for more information about this change in an upcoming Bethel News story.

Why We Do What We Do

From Ruben Rivera, Chief Diversity Officer

I love many things about Bethel that fall under the category of “why we do what we do.” Here is just one. This fall, Bethel University will celebrate the arrival of the fourth cadre of Act Six Scholars, making this the first time we will have a full complement of 8 to 10 scholars in each class. For those of you who may not be as familiar with Act Six, it is an urban leadership scholarship program founded on the principle that whatever the problems facing our cities, the assets in solving those problems are the people of those same communities.  We are excited to see God work in these promising, Christ-following leaders to enrich our campus and their home communities.

However, the excitement does not end there. In addition to the 10 new scholars enrolling this fall, 19 additional Act Six applicants chose to enroll at Bethel, despite some not being named a scholar. That’s 29 students in total enrolling at Bethel this fall, in part, because of Act Six.

We have worked diligently with Urban Ventures to leverage the Act Six recruitment process so that not only has it yielded a wonderful group of promising young Christian urban leaders, but many other students from underrepresented and underserved communities who previously never heard of Bethel or considered it as their school of choice. Benny Robert's team at Urban Ventures, and our own hard-working Bethel leaders—including Lani Moua, Pang Moua, current Act Six scholars, and of course Bret Hyder's admissions team—have done outstanding work to increase our reach into our surrounding diverse community.

I’m encouraged as Act Six helps Bethel to grow into a community that reflects the diversity of the Kingdom of God.

Serving together,

Jay, John, Pat, Deb, Mark, Ruben, and Cara