Nearly a year’s worth of collaboration with faculty, staff, students, alumni and community, has resulted in a five-year strategic plan for Bethany College that was recently unanimously approved by the Bethany Board of Directors. The “Bethany, Arise!” five-year plan sets a vision for the college’s future that calls for Bethany to be celebrated in the Midwest and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America for offering inspired learning and informed faith that results in student success and community transformation.
“This is great news for Bethany,” President William Jones said. “It was a Herculean effort over ten months that pulled together board, faculty, staff, students, and community input. Thanks to all this good work, we now have direction for our institutional efforts for the next five-years.”
Work began at the board’s retreat last August and goals were established that focused on investing in and improving Bethany’s people (students, faculty, staff, board, local community), then programs (academic, academic-support, and athletic), and finally places (classroom spaces, locker rooms, performance spaces, current buildings, and additional facility needs.)
A strategic planning committee met nearly a dozen times throughout the academic year to discuss the future of Bethany. Members of the planning committee include Robert Carlson, Dane Pavlovich, Matthew Pfannenstiel, Jean Hall, Tina Goodwin, David Earle, Alisa Jones, all President’s Cabinet members; Corey Peterson, board chair; Daniel Masterson, Denise Carson, Duke Rogers, Gretchen Norland, Kristin Van Tassel, Mark McDonald, faculty members; Erica Kruckenberg and Molly Johnson, Laura Moreno, Matthew Carver, Matthew Riordan, Vicki Cornett, staff members; Kylee Ayres and Linzi Garcia, students; and Greg Lundstrom, community and alumni representative.
The plan looks specifically at strategies that address advancing the academic program, strengthening and establishing distinctive offerings, bolstering the college’s market position, creating robust resource development, and ensuring prudent financial management.
“This was an important task for the college to accomplish,” Peterson said. “The plan gives us a vision of where we want Bethany to be in the next five years. This process and its results gives the board an opportunity to oversee a clear vision for the college and will give us a means of accountability to measure our success. With contributions from across campus, the board and community, there is a lot of ownership in the plan. This will go a long way in insuring Bethany’s future success.”
In the planning process, the committee recommended and the board approved the addition of “Excellence” to the college’s core values of Integrity, Hospitality, Community, Servant Leadership, and Sustainability. Defined as the standard by which the college will evaluate all it does for students and the community, the pursuit of excellence will assure that Bethany is an outstanding institution.
“The strategic plan will serve as the guiding document for all of the college’s annual division planning,” President Jones said. “It will be important for all of us on campus to use this as a guide in our individual planning while being open to new possibilities and able to address new challenges.”
A model of the Bethany, Arise! Strategic plan can be found on the college website: strategic plan.