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ELT Meeting Summary for June 12

The Executive Leadership Team met on June 12 and the primary agenda items included planning work from Information Technology Services (ITS), an update on the current working groups across the university looking into creating a more sustainable financial model, space planning update, and monthly updates on enrollment, budget, and the campaign.

Planning work from ITS: Jeff Wynia, senior ITS director, shared how ITS has moved toward a culture of planning by focusing on four areas. First, they created business analyst roles to help work with Bethel employees to determine what jobs ITS can help with and possibly lead. Second, they have a team to determine the development lifecycle of a project and see it the whole way through. Third, they categorize their work into regular “keep the lights on” jobs, enhancement work, and extra projects. The heavy planning work centers around programs and projects. Finally, ITS is developing a process for prioritizing the projects they work on. The main groups involved include ITS leadership, University Technology Advisory Council (UTAC) with faculty, and Cabinet. ITS has proposed adding another group—the ITS Governance Committee— comprised of people from across the university to assist ITS with project priorities. They are still in process forming the group, but the goal is to finalize membership soon.

Working Groups Update: Executive Vice President and Provost Deb Harless and Chief Human Resources Officer Cara Wald shared an update on the progress from the working groups. Seven working groups were formed this spring to create a more sustainable financial model for Bethel. Deb shared that Cabinet has developed criteria to evaluate the recommendations from each working group. The process involved creating a list of questions and then walking through a possible scenario to test their list. As a result, many additional questions were added to the list. (The criteria are posted on the website, found in the HR tab in MyBethel.) Working group chairs have all been chosen and group membership has been finalized. The groups will hold regular meetings through the summer and until their recommendations are due to Cabinet. Recommendations from the two program enrollment and cost analysis groups are due in August along with the work from the Staff and Administrative Structures group. The two innovation groups as well as the Academic Loads and Structures group have more time for their work.

Space Planning Update: Senior Vice President for Strategic Planning and Operational Effectiveness Joe LaLuzerne provided an update on various space planning projects at Bethel. The new space for the business and economics department is finished and the faculty will move on June 18. In addition, with money saved from the project, the RC3 hallway will be updated this summer. Additional projects this summer include reconstructing a portion of Bethel Drive, moving Bethel Seminary St. Paul to the Anderson Center, and planning conversations about CAS departments that will move into the vacated seminary building. Timing for these projects are dependent on fundraising. No operational money is being spent on these projects.

Campaign Update: Associate Vice President for Development Paul Deakins shared that for FY18 the Bethel Fund raised just over $2 million, which is below its $3 million goal. The development team is looking for innovative ways to increase that number for FY19. Development officers are traveling and meeting with new and existing donors regarding campaign priorities. The current campaign focus is on raising money for the sciences and Bethel Seminary. He described the team as “nervously encouraged” by responses and interest they are receiving.

Budget Update: Chief Financial Officer Pat Brooke reminded ELT that the finance committee and full board has approved a balanced budget for FY19. He also extended appreciation to many at the university who helped to finalize the numbers to create a balanced budget for FY19. The university’s budget committee helped to make the decisions on any new initiatives to fund in the next year. As for how FY18 ended, he said they will know more in a month.

Enrollment Update: Joe LaLuzerne shared that CAPS, Bethel Seminary, and GS ended FY18 at 115% of goal. CAS admissions has been working hard and feel cautiously optimistic about the fall numbers for new students and transfers. They are ahead of last year’s numbers, which is good as they head into summer months when schools often experience melt.