By Molly Korzenowski


Bethel faced a $6 million budget deficit last year, causing the loss of 6 majors and 10 staff positions. Bethel leadership predicted these cuts would save $1.3 million. 

Before the school year started, President Jay Barnes affirmed more future cuts and additional financial loss from declining enrollment numbers. 

Here are a few updates on the current budget situation:

  • Bethel will face a $9 million budget shortage in 2021 and an $11 million deficit in 2022 if action isn’t taken, according to President Jay Barnes. 
  • A budget cut plan is currently under deliberation by a working group of members of the Executive Leadership Team and the President’s Cabinet. 
  • Potential faculty changes and staff reductions will be announced spring 2020. Changes will be bigger than originally anticipated, Barnes said. 
  • Bethel’s budget is dependent mainly on enrollment, which is predicted to have decreased by 60 students this fall, Barnes said. 
  • Last year, 48.6 percent of tuition dollars were given back to students, the discount increasing steadily. 
  • The Child Development Center is planned to close. 
    • Provost Deb Harless read emails from individuals expressing their concerns. 
    • Increasing enrollment to support the CDC is not possible, as it would create the need for a building upgrade. Funding such a change is not practical at this time, Harless said. 
    • To save costs, a CDC management position was eliminated previously. A management restructure is not currently possible, according to Harless.


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