Bethel to become Bethel University
In a recent news release, Bethel College Board of Trustee president, Judge Ben Cantrell, announced a name change for Bethel College to Bethel University. The process to change the name began with a vote by the trustees at their March 2009 meeting and will require a change in the charter of the college. The change, according to Cantrell, “is simply an acknowledgement of the growth Bethel has already experienced and a structural change to maintain Bethel’s momentum into the future.” A select task force was created at the November 2008 board meeting to examine whether a university structure was needed to assure Bethel’s continued health and growth during a time of leadership transition.
The consulting firm of Agee, Stewart and Allen was employed to evaluate Bethel’s structure and make recommendations. Dr. Bob Agee observed that Bethel has three distinct and highly successful programs: (1) A quality residential liberal arts undergraduate program of some 1,000 students; (2) Three graduate programs with 500 students; and (3) an adult education program with 1,300 students. All of these are well positioned for a delegated management style and administrative units for the distinctly different kinds of programs.
Dr. Agee recommended the name change immediately and further recommended that President Prosser be asked to delay his retirement in order to lead the university in the implementation of the new management structure. “No one knows Bethel from the inside out like Bob Prosser,” observed Dr. Agee. “He is deeply committed to Bethel’s success and has the experience necessary to lead this transition. When this structure is in place, Bethel will be in a much better position to search for a successor to Dr. Prosser. The job will be much more manageable.”
Judge Cantrell further observed, “Bethel College is healthy and continues to grow at a rate of 30% per year. The board wants to continue that growth and believes its actions to structure Bethel as a university will lead to that result.”