Bethel forms committee to work on plan

Mark Schnabel
The Kansan
Bethel College is in the midst of developing its strategic plan for 2021 to 2026.

At the beginning of February, Bethel College formed a 14-member committee to develop a new strategic plan.

The committee will work with college president Jon Gering and the school’s board of directors through September to develop the plan, which will cover 2021 to 2026.

The committee consists of 10 Bethel employees and four students.

The committee includes Adam Akers, director of facilities; Grant Bellar, associate web developer; Joel Boettger, assistant professor of music and director of band; Annie Carlson, junior biology major from Hurley, S.D.; Tricia Clark, director of Institutional Communications and Marketing; Reagan Cowden, senior nursing major from Derby, Kan.; Elissa Harris, program manager for social work and education; Ashleigh Hollis, director of annual giving; Megan Kershner, director of career and leadership development; Zachary Kennell, junior biology and business major from Newton; Thomas Kucera, junior history major from Wichita and vice president of the Student Government Association; Clark Oswald, director of financial aid; Jeremy Reed, assistant athletic director and assistant football coach; and Lisa Janzen Scott, associate professor of education and mathematics.

The previous strategic plan was developed in the fall of 2015 and titled, “Extending our Heritage, Expanding our Impact.”

That plan “identified four primary themes – which covered areas such as a thriving and high-impact college, a vibrant and vital campus and a dynamic student experience. Several objectives with corresponding initiatives fell under the heading of each theme.”

“Many of these initiatives have been successful,” Gering said.

Under that plan, Bethel “established a Human Resources office; rolled out a new branding and marketing campaign; exceeded the objectives for annual fund giving and grown the endowment; launched a comprehensive capital campaign that includes a Wellness Center; and created the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

“We have also revitalized our summer camp program, made wiser use of technology and expanded our scholarship pipelines for undergraduate enrollment,” Gering said. “And this is not a comprehensive list of our successes.”

There also will be “public engagement” that includes alumni groups and community groups.

“The 2015 strategic plan has come to its natural conclusion,” Gering said, “and it is now time to begin charting the direction of the college into the near future.  

“I’m grateful for the thought that past President White and the Board of Directors gave to the future of the college when they went through this process several years ago.”

Mark Schnabel can be reached at mschnabel@thekansan.com