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Meet the Provost

Meet Bethel University’s Executive Vice President and Provost, Dr. Debra (Deb) Harless.

Deb first came to Bethel as a college student. She graduated in 1983 with a bachelor’s degree in French and psychology. She then went on to receive her master’s and doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota. Deb returned to Bethel in 1989 to teach in the psychology department and to serve as co-director of the Academic Enrichment & Support Center and as a counselor in Bethel’s Counseling Center.

Deb Harless

In 2001, she became Dean of Academic Programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, a position she held until 2008 when she became Acting Provost of the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Adult & Professional Studies, and Graduate School. In 2009 Deb was named Vice President and Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. She was appointed to her current role as Executive Vice President and Provost in 2013.

Deb says, “What a privilege it’s been to be part of a place that had such a profound impact on me. Bethel’s founder, John Alexis Edgren said, 'Measure our performance by what God accomplishes through our graduates after they have been prepared at Bethel to go out into the world to serve.' People often ask me what’s kept me at Bethel for so long. My answer to that is clear—it’s seeing what God does in students’ lives during their time at Bethel and then seeing how they lead and serve in significant ways after they graduate.”

Deb and her husband Mark have been married for 36 years and have two adult sons.



Faculty are involved in significant research and are actively involved in contributing to the broader academic community through publications and presentations of their work. They enjoy partnering with students in research to prepare them for excellence in their future careers.

Employment at Bethel

Interested in joining us? Visit our employment website for a list of job openings.