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Changes to presidential cabinet and leadership team

New members for cabinet are sought out while others retire

By Emma Melling

There has been much change in the Bethel community this fall, and amongst those changes are shifting roles within President Jay Barnes’ cabinet and leadership team. Chief Financial Officer Pat Brooke is retiring and his spot will be filled by Amy Blaz. Michael Vedders will be starting as a new marketing officer, and a Chief Enrollment Officer will be hired as a part of the President’s leadership team.

In the midst of a drop in enrollment for the 2018-19 school year, this Chief Enrollment Officer is being sought out to help make decisions about admission and budgeting for students.

A committee to hire a Chief Enrollment Officer was launched toward the start of the school year. Philosophy professor Ray VanArragon is the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) faculty member serving on that committee.

“It’s such an important position,” VanArragon said. “We need to keep bringing in solid classes across the university. It’s a difficult environment for schools like Bethel, and so we need someone with experience in this area who can help us navigate it and flourish in it.”

Bethel Provost Deb Harless talked briefly about the hiring of the Chief Enrollment Officer during a faculty senate meeting on Sept. 5.

“I really believe we need an enrollment leader with a proven track record,” Harless said.

The duties of the Chief Enrollment Officer will include overseeing enrollment in all divisions of Bethel, devising ways to attract new students and working closely with the marketing department to spread the word about Bethel. The individual will report directly to President Jay Barnes and will also be a member of his cabinet.

“I’ve provided feedback from the faculty side as to what kind of candidate the CAS faculty would want,” VanArragon said. “A big part of that is, we want a candidate who values the kind of education that we at CAS offer and wants to sell it, wants to attract students to get this kind of education.”

As the committee works to hire a Chief Enrollment Officer, the timing in which the position will be filled is unknown. VanArragon said that the timing will depend on the candidates and applicants for the position.

“We need to make sure that we have the right person.”

In addition to hiring a Chief Enrollment officer, Michael Vedders will be starting as a marketing officer. Vedders graduated from Bethel in 2004 and has served at the university in many ways. He led an ITS and marketing team and has been Bethel’s director of marketing for the past three years.

In a Bethel news article, President Jay Barnes describes Vedders as “a testament to a Bethel liberal arts education.”

Amy Blaz will be taking the place of Chief Financial Officer Pat Brooke, who is retiring.

These changes are currently being implemented within the President’s cabinet and leadership team, and will continue to take place throughout the 2018-19 school year.

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