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Endorsements, summer classes and Bethel’s governmental structure

The Faculty Senate met in February for the first time since winter break. 

By Molly Wilson 

Bethel University’s CAS Faculty Senate consists of a group of professors representing every department who meet once a month to discuss relevant issues. The current Senate president is Associate Professor of English Marion Larson. The Senate met Feb. 16 to discuss a variety of topics:

Endorsements: 

New endorsements are coming students’ way. Senate approved requirements for endorsements – smaller than a minor and designed to be applicable across majors and help students gain experience for graduate school – including that they will range between 6-17 credits each. 

Amy Blaz:

In the Q&A portion of the meeting, senators asked President Ross Allen if they should be concerned about the high turnover in the Cabinet following Vice President Amy Blaz’s resignation. He replied that he was shocked but not surprised about her resignation and that “she has worked hard for Bethel, but it has been exhausting. She got us through the point we needed to be through this year.” He is expecting to fill her place with an interim position before her last day in March. 

PSEO Advising:

Starting soon, PSEO students will have dedicated advisors working with them to balance high school, Bethel University classes and major requirements. This provides PSEO students with additional support while taking some pressure off departmental advisors. 

Acadeum:

The Acadeum program is set to be piloted over the summer. The program will offer Bethel students access to classes from other colleges – classes that Bethel doesn’t offer or that students frequently transfer into Bethel from other universities – for guaranteed transfer credit.

Bethel Governance Structure:

Provost Robin Rylaarsdam proposed changing the governmental structure of Bethel departments to be divided by field of study rather than age and degree. The change would entail creating a School of Education or a School of Business rather than CAS, CAPS/GS and Seminary. Each school would host all classes relevant to the subject’s Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees. Some senators were concerned about the proposed change because, historically, communication between the three schools is complicated and each works with different systems. Other senators wondered if systems of communication between CAS, CAPS/GS and Seminary simply need to change in lieu of a full governmental restructure. Senators were interested in how the change would affect the faith screening process, because CAS students are currently required to submit a faith statement and sign the Covenant for Life Together while CAPS/GS students do not. 

Bethel-hosted Events:

Events hosted at Bethel will be preceded by a disclaimer clarifying that opinions expressed at the events do not reflect the opinions of the institution. This stems from a group of students wanting to host a panel discussing topics such as race and sexuality and a church that is set to host an anti-Critical Race Theory session.

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