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Vice President for Academic Affairs
Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas
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Date Posted 08/19/2019
Executive-Academic Vice President and Provost
Employment Type Fulltime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Bethany College aims to be celebrated as a college dedicated to student success and community transformation. Over the past two years, under the leadership of President Will Jones and the college's Cabinet, Bethany has grown by 16 percent full-time enrollment, initiated the Good Life Scholarship (a four-year, full-tuition scholarship for local students in our home community), and launched Swedes to Sweden (a free service-learning trip to Sweden for all sophomores who start as a freshman at Bethany), and we are on track to welcome another record freshman and transfer class again this fall. Bethany enjoys a diverse student body from more than 35 states and 25 countries. In addition, the college serves students from diverse economic backgrounds, including more than one-third of our students who demonstrate full-need on the FAFSA and nearly 50 percent who are Pell Grant recipients.

Bethany invites nominations, inquiries, and applications for our next Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) and Dean of the College. We seek an academic leader receptive to new academic models and agile in responding to challenges and opportunities. We expect our VPAA to be thoughtful, kind, caring, and a committed servant-leader. Bethany's VPAA will have a firm understanding of and commitment to a church-related liberal arts college with professional programs.

The VPAA is the chief academic officer given authority, responsibility, and accountability for Bethany's academic program. The VPAA reports to the President as a member of Cabinet (the senior leadership team). The VPAA is the primary liaison between the faculty and the President and other members of the Cabinet and the Board of Directors. The VPAA represents the academic program to alumni, friends, current students and their families, prospective students and their families, and our campus community. In addition, the VPAA provides supervisory leadership to key academic activities and offices, including institutional effectiveness, institutional research, the registrar's office, academic support services, and the Wallerstedt Learning Center Library.

Bethany College 
Bethany College has a long history of leading in education in the Midwest and beyond. For 136 years our choir, joined by choristers from across the Midwest, has inspired and entertained audiences with our Easter Sunday performance of Handel's Messiah. The college's band is the third oldest in the country. According to historic accounts, the "vigorous and active" Bethany alumni chapter at the Yale Graduate school was second in size only to Yale itself. Throughout the years, many members of our faculty and staff have been recognized as leading experts and talents in their fields. The college has received endorsements from the Swedish royal family. Bethany's choir has performed in Carnegie Hall. Nobel recipients have visited our campus as a part of the Johnson Lecture Series. The Swedes 19 intercollegiate athletic teams have celebrated more than 190 regular season and tournament Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference championships. Two of our former football coaches are in the College Football Hall of Fame: Bennie Owen (who has the field named after him at the University of Oklahoma) and Ted Kessinger (who served as head coach for 27 years with 219 wins).

Bethany is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ECLA). Like the ELCA, the college is committed to nurturing a diverse and inclusive community. In addition, the President, the Cabinet, the Board of Directors, and the Faculty Senate value and protect academic freedom.

Bethany's five-year strategic plan, Bethany, Arise!, challenges the campus to answer two primary questions: How can we help more of our students to be successful? And, how can we help to transform our local community? Bethany's vision statement declares, "Bethany College will be celebrated in the ELCA and in the Midwest for offering inspired learning and informed faith that results in student success and community transformation." To accomplish this vision and to answer the two primary questions, the strategic plan outlines five initiatives: Advance the Academic Program, Strengthen and Establish Distinctive Offerings, Bolster our Market Position, Create Robust Resource Development, and Ensure Prudent Financial Management. As goals were established to achieve these five initiatives, the college's future efforts were focused on investing in and improving our people first (our students, faculty, staff, board, and local community), then programs (academic, academic-support, and athletics), and finally places (classroom spaces, laboratories, locker rooms, performance spaces, current buildings, and additional facility needs).

Situated perfectly in the charming and inviting city of Lindsborg, Kansas-one of only two Kansas towns listed in Livability's "Top 100 Best Towns" in the U.S.-Bethany College enjoys the delightful people and setting of this often visited historically Swedish community. With a large number of local alumni and friends with Bethany connections, the college's faculty, staff, and students enjoy and benefit from strong local support. Equidistant from Dallas, Chicago, and Denver, the campus sits confidently at the center of a great part of the country.

Qualifications and Desired Attributes 
Our next VPAA must hold an earned doctorate or terminal degree and a record of increasing leadership roles. Preference will be given to candidates with experience of service to a church-related liberal arts college with professional programs.

The successful candidate will have full-time, collegiate teaching experience and a commitment to scholarship, service, and student engagement.

Additionally, Bethany seeks in our VPAA:

An academic leader committed to learning
A teacher with heart for keeping students at the center of thinking and planning
A coach and mentor committed to challenging talented faculty, staff, administrators, and students to strive for excellence (one of the college's six core values)
A data-driven decision maker with experience leading program review
A strategic and entrepreneurial thinker who can inspire the faculty to create programs that meet learning outcomes and enrollment goals
An assessor with experience overseeing institutional and program accreditation at state, regional, and national levels;
A colleague committed to making Bethany College a celebrated institution in the ELCA and the Midwest
Academic Program 
Bethany's student/faculty ratio is 11 to 1, and all but a few of our full-time faculty members hold a doctorate or terminal degree in their field. Bethany is known for strong relationships between faculty, students, staff, and coaches. Students regularly praise our faculty for strong teaching, their accessibility after class, and the personal interest faculty demonstrate in the lives of students.
Bethany academic programs range from the humanities to the fine arts to the pre-professional and professional. All academic programs are grounded in a core curriculum that encourages foundational, common learning among all community members. The college offers 36 areas of study that lead to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education. The college encourages study across multiple disciplines; students benefit from a January Term of study.

Bethany is strongly committed to international and domestic travel opportunities for academic credit within a variety of study areas and co-curricular activities. In early December 2017, college leaders announced the Swedes to Sweden program which guarantees a free service-learning trip for all sophomores that start at Bethany as a freshman. This May and June, our choir will perform throughout Germany and Sweden.

As the 14th president of Bethany College, Will Jones has challenged our faculty, staff, and coaches with producing graduates who become successful professionals who love God and love people. Bethany College's Christian commitment to higher education and the deep community found in close-knit Lindsborg attracted Will to serve at Bethany. As someone who grew up in traumatic poverty in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, he knows first-hand how a liberal arts education and hard work can transform a student's life. A determination to be a college graduate was instilled at an early age by his parents; his mom was an eighth grade dropout and his dad dropped out in the ninth grade. A passion for fundraising for private colleges and universities and a passion to help others has shaped his career as a servant leader. Will earned a master's degree in Philanthropy and Development from St. Mary's University of Minnesota and a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Berea College. He is currently completing a PhD in International Conflict Management from Kennesaw State University.

Application Process 
Application materials must include: a letter of interest (in the position and Bethany College), current curriculum vitae, and at least three references with full contact information (references will not be contacted without candidate's consent)

Submit application materials and nominations to hayskl@bethanylb.edu.

For best consideration, materials must be received by April 16, 2018.

Bethany College is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer. Veterans, minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Contact: Kristi Hays
Human Resources
Bethany College, KS
Phone: (785) 227-3380
Fax: (785) 212-6312
Email Address: hayskl@bethanylb.edu

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