Bethany Board sets tuition, approves sabbaticals and promotions

On Feb. 19-20, the Bethany College Board of Directors set tuition for the 2010-11 academic year, approved two sabbaticals and three faculty promotions, and discussed the financial state of the college.

The board approved increases of 3.8 percent for tuition, 3.48 percent for room and 6.9 percent for board for the 2010-11 academic year. Tuition for 12-18 credit hours will be $19,426. Double occupancy room will be $3,309 and board will be $2,865. The board of directors also approved an increase in student fees to $400, as recommended by Bethany’s Student Congress. A facility and technology enhancement fee of $200 will also be charged next year. Overall, the comprehensive cost will increase just 4.9 percent.

The decision to increase our prices modestly was part of a six-month process led by the Pricing Task Force, formed in September. The task force created a multiple-year plan as a roadmap with a goal to reach a financial equilibrium. The plan was then shared and endorsed by Student Congress before presentation to the board.

“The pricing task force used data-driven research to make an informed decision about tuition and fees for next year. For most of the last 25 years, Bethany’s operating expenses have exceeded our operating revenues. We must act to cover our costs yet remain affordable and keep the current economic situation of students and their families in mind,” said Bethany College President Edward F. Leonard III.

Because more than 95 percent of students currently attending Bethany receive financial aid, and the college awards merit and need-based scholarships and performance awards totaling almost $6 million, the real cost of attending Bethany is dramatically lower than the comprehensive cost.

In other business actions, Associate Professor of English Kristin Van Tassel, Associate Professor of Criminal Justice Doug Smith and Professor of Communication Carl Isaacson received promotions after the board of directors approved their tenure this past weekend. In addition, Isaacson was promoted to full professor and Smith to associate professor.

Sabbatical leaves for the spring 2011 semester were also approved for faculty members Isaacson and Ron MacLennan.

Isaacson, professor of communication, plans to study Swedish American humor and the image of Swedish Americans in humor publications and the comedies of Hollywood’s “Golden Era.” A faculty member since 2004, Isaacson teaches classes in public speaking, rhetoric, mass communication, argumentation and human communication. He is the advisor for The Bethanian, Bethany’s annual yearbook.

MacLennan, professor of religion, will develop resources for the religion curriculum at Bethany College, especially courses such as Christianity in Its Global Context and Theology for the New Millennium. Since 1989, MacLennan has taught classes in Christianity, theology and biblical studies at Bethany. Previously, he served as Bethany’s Campus Pastor.

During the two days on campus, Board members met with current students and Lindsborg citizens, hosted a staff appreciation gathering, listened to student presentations featuring international study experiences and attended classes.

Faculty, students and staff were involved in board committee meetings, including committees on the student experience, advancement, facilities & technology, business & finance, audit & risk management and recruitment & marketing.

In addition, the board met in executive session to discuss Bethany’s financial history, the current line-of-credit with the Endowment Trust and next year’s budget, which will be topics of further conversation leading up to the full board’s next meeting, April 30-May 1.

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