Bethany College is seeking nominations and applications for the position of President.
The President of Bethany College is the Chief Executive Officer of the College. Appointed by and reporting to the Board of Trustees, the President oversees the work of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty; the Vice President for Finance and CFO; Vice President for Advancement, Communications and Marketing; Vice President for Enrollment; Athletic Director; and the Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students.
Completed applications are due by July 15, 2022. To ensure full consideration, you will be required to submit: 1) a current resume or CV; 2) a cover letter addressing the position; and 3) the contact information for three professional references. Submit your application securely online here or via email at BethanyWVPresident@rhperry.com.
The Board of Trustees considers the College to be at a critical juncture in its history. Following a comprehensive audit of all campus functions in the summer of 2021, the College developed its Build for a Lifetime strategic plan. The Board and campus community strongly believe that, with the plan’s clear path forward and transparent and focused presidential leadership, Bethany’s future is bright.
Key strategic opportunities for the next President of Bethany College include:
Continue the ongoing process of assessment and evaluation to eliminate debt and deficit spending and grow revenue to achieve a projected balanced budget by 2025.
Establish state-of-the-art enrollment management processes, including expanding the recruitment footprint, developing new student markets, and increasing nonathletic student enrollment.
Continue the work of academic assessment and innovation to provide new academic programs, particularly at the graduate level, that will be in high demand while adhering to a strong emphasis in the traditional liberal arts and sciences.
With a well-developed and prioritized plan, reduce significant deferred maintenance concerns and enhance the appearance of a beautiful and historic campus.
- Development of a strong and cohesive leadership team who have an entrepreneurial spirit, a commitment to strategic decision-making, and a culture of accountability.
- Model and promote transparent, proactive, and consistent communications from the Office of the President and across all functional areas.
- Execute the objectives identified in the strategic plan and prepare the campus for the development of a follow-up plan to continue the stabilization and improvement of all functional areas.
- Support and celebrate an extremely dedicated faculty and staff by reviewing compensation structures, implementing best practices to recruit and retain talented faculty and staff, and bringing a spirit of positivity and affirmation.
- Model a culture of student focus and success to ensure the overall welfare of a diverse student population.
- Work closely and collaboratively with an engaged and talented Board of Trustees to leverage their knowledge of, and commitment to, Bethany College.
- With the completion of an internal feasibility study and start of a comprehensive capital campaign, continuing that positive momentum and bringing the campaign to a successful conclusion.
- Re-engage and leverage a strong network of deeply loyal and committed alumni to assist the College in securing a sound future.
- Establish strong and productive partnerships with the communities in the surrounding region, businesses, industries, other educational institutions, religious
organizations, and governmental entities.
- Further strengthen the relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
The Board of Trustees and Bethany College community seek an experienced, transparent, and visionary leader who embraces the College’s mission, vision, and values and who:
- Has a proven record of success in senior management and leadership experience in higher education and/or in a complex organization; brings an in-depth knowledge of the academy;
- Has strong business and financial savvy; is a strategic thinker and creative in budgeting and finances; understands the challenges and complexities of a highly tuition-driven, diverse Liberal Arts institution;
- Has the ability to be an innovative and entrepreneurial agent of change, while valuing Bethany College’s foundational traditions and history;
- Is a leader who, while collaborating with the college community, is willing to make decisions and carry them through; is decisive and models accountability;
- Has a proven track record with, and strong commitment to, external resource development, including fundraising and new and creative revenue generation;
- Will be strongly committed to the town of Bethany and work to further strengthen relations between the College and the local and regional community;
- Experience with student-centered learning, inclusion, community and education of the whole person; demonstrates engagement, passion, energy and involvement;
- Demonstrates student-centered servant leadership; promotes transparency, accountability, honesty, integrity and humility;
- Has outstanding interpersonal communications and relational skills – including listening skills – and, has the ability to build personal and lasting relationships with all internal and external constituencies;
- Has the ability, and strong commitment, to articulate the mission, vision and values of the Bethany community, including its Disciples of Christ heritage; and,
- Preferably holds a terminal degree from an accredited institution of higher education, with an advanced degree required.
Bethany College, a small college of national distinction, was founded in 1840 by Alexander Campbell, who provided the land and funds for the first building and served as the first President. Bethany College is a highly contemporary institution based in the tradition of the liberal arts.
As a national liberal arts college, Bethany offers a wide array of studies, awarding Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in more than 24 fields of study and 33 majors, many with options for emphasis. The College also offers a Master of Arts in Teaching degree. Students also may include as part of their programs one or more minors.
The College’s program of liberal arts education prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance. Bethany places a particular emphasis on leadership and incorporates pre-professional education in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, physical therapy, public administration, theology, and veterinary medicine.
Bethany’s 1,300-acre campus is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Within a half-hour drive from the College are Wheeling, West Virginia; Washington, Pennsylvania; and Steubenville, Ohio. Pittsburgh is 39 miles to the northeast.
Since its inception, Bethany has been a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This religious body, of which Campbell was one of the principal founders, continues to support and encourage the College, although it exercises no sectarian control. Students from virtually every religious community attend Bethany.
The town of Bethany, West Virginia, is steeped in local history and is an important dimension of Bethany College. Originally settled in 1769, Bethany had been inhabited by the Mingo and Shawnee nations. The Town of Bethany was given its name by the founder of Bethany College, Alexander Campbell, in 1827 so that a post office could be located here. Campbell then became Bethany’s first postmaster.
When West Virginia received statehood in 1863, Bethany College was its only degree-granting institution in higher education and is the oldest institution of higher learning in the Mountain State.
Campbell’s home, working farm, family cemetery, a substantial portion of Campbell’s private library and many 19th Century documents were given to the college for preservation and use. Today, the Bethany Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Based in the liberal arts tradition, Bethany’s academic program is designed to meet the educational needs of individual students by promoting breadth, depth, and the integration of knowledge. Bethany assists students in developing intellectual concepts, sophisticated learning skills, moral values, and good citizenship. Preparation for leadership is a central theme of the College.
The Bethany curriculum is unique in caring for individual students and in helping them develop their full potential at each level of learning. From First-Year Seminars to Senior Comprehensive Examinations, Bethany prepares its students for ever greater tasks and achievements, guiding them toward the fulfillment of personal goals, the challenges of graduate study, and the preparation for productive and rewarding careers. Learning at Bethany often takes place outside traditional classroom settings, through independent study, informal interaction with faculty, off-campus internships, and study abroad.
A Bethany education is, then, more than a list of courses. Bethany students approach their study through a framework of common educational goals which define the liberally educated person. Faculty members work closely with all students to ensure a proper grounding in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. Bethany students have many opportunities for choice; but here, too, faculty work closely with them to ensure that each student’s personal plan of study is both comprehensive and coherent. It is this combination of thoroughness and personal expression that makes Bethany unique.
Bethany College is an academic community founded on the close interaction between students and faculty in the educational process. Bethany College values intellectual rigor and freedom, diversity of thought and lifestyle, personal growth within a community context, and responsible engagement with public issues.
ITS PROGRAMS ARE DESIGNED TO:
- Engage the mind through emphasis on discipline in thinking, motivation in the search for knowledge, and acquisition of the intellectual resources for a lifetime of learning;
- Embolden the spirit through the opportunity for intellectual challenge, collaborative enterprise, athletic competition, artistic expression, personal growth, and meaningful work; and
- Enlarge the world through exposure to the abundant diversity of thought and lifestyle of the human community, support for personal engagement with societies and cultures different from one’s own, and commitment to service.
The Bethany Plan
Academic study at Bethany involves participation in The Bethany Plan. Its key components are:
- The First-Year Experience
- Out-of-Class Learning Experiences, including study abroad and internships
- A Capstone Experience in which each student must complete a Senior Project consistent with the guidelines and requirements of the department of the student’s major.
- A Senior Comprehensive Examination that help students demonstrate their mastery of a subject and lead the student to a sense of self-confidence and achievement. Bethany is one of only a few undergraduate institutions in the country that conduct comprehensive exams.
A Vibrant Community
The Bethany community is more than just a campus. It’s an integrated living experience of friends, classmates, professors, and advisors that enables students to thrive and discover pathways to the future. Numerous residence halls and Greek life opportunities aim to make every student feel at home at Bethany. With over 50 clubs and organizations to choose from, students are encouraged to get involved and make the most of their time at Bethany.
Since its inception, the College has an historic and on-going relationship with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). At Bethany, students can find a safe place to question, explore, and develop a growing faith in the context of a caring community. Bethany Memorial Church is a “church away from home” for those who come from church backgrounds and offer them the nurture and support they need as well as to give them a place where their gifts can be received and appreciated.
Bethany College received reaffirmation of accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) in 2019, signifying HLC’s firm endorsement of the College’s leadership and strategic direction. The next reaffirmation review will occur in the 2028-2029 academic year.
The Bethany Bison is a member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) and participate in ten women’s sports (basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, volleyball) and ten men’s sports (baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field). In addition, there is a competition equestrian team and numerous intramural opportunities. Approximately 70% of the undergraduate population are student-athletes.
As an NCAA Division III institution, Bethany College maintains a particular relationship between the College and intercollegiate athletics. That relationship assures that:
- Intercollegiate athletes are integrated into normal campus life, as all students are, in terms of housing access, course selection, and the like;
- The Athletics Department is an integral part of Bethany College, and of its overall educational mission, “Recognition [in] the Bethany College community [of] the unity of all participants, both athletes and supporters … combining
academics with athletics as an essential educational experience.”
- All those who are affected by intercollegiate athletics promote and are exposed to the highest standards of sporting behavior and ethical conduct. Bethany College, as well as the Presidents’ Athletic Conference and NCAA, promote good sportsmanship by student-athletes, coaches and spectators. The Bethany Athletic Department encourages that officials, student-athletes, coaches and team representatives are supported in a positive manner.
- West Virginia’s oldest surviving post-secondary institution is Bethany College, founded on March 2, 1840 by Alexander Campbell.
- Chosen as one of the Best Colleges in the Southeast by Princeton Review, principally because of strong academic programs.
- U.S. News and World Report ranks Bethany among Top Performers in Social Mobility.
- Bethany is the most diverse institution of higher education in West Virginia, including 10% international students.
- Over 10,000 living alumni who are deeply loyal and strongly committed to the institution.
- More than fifty student organizations and strong Greek life (approximately 30% of the student population).
- The Ponton Mentoring Program has achieved 100% fall-to-spring retention rate for first-year students.
- Small class sizes with an 11:1 student/faculty ratio.
- The College community contributes nearly 40,000 hours of service to nearly 100 different agencies or programs annually.
- The recent development of new academic programs, including a 4+1 MBA Program, M.S. Low Residency Program in Business Cybersecurity Management, and a B.A. in Criminal Justice.
- Exceptional opportunities for experiential learning, internships, and community service.
- Through its partnership with Knowledge Exchange International, students can study throughout the world.
- A beautiful 1,300-acre campus set in the rolling hills of the West Virginia panhandle.
- A safe rural location that is 30 minutes from Wheeling and an hour from Pittsburgh.
- Two buildings on campus are on the National Register of Historic Places: Old Main and Christman Manor at Pendleton Heights (the President’s home).
- Three buildings in the Town of Bethany are on the National Register: Campbell Mansion, Delta Tau Delta Founders’ House, and the Old Meeting House.
- The Judith J. Hurl Education Center, an historic building, which formerly housed Bethany Primary School, is a gathering place for students and faculty and open to the Bethany community for meetings and activities.
After five months of intensive and collaborative effort, the Build for a Lifetime strategic plan was approved by the Board on January 24, 2022. A three-year plan developed by a Strategic Plan Joint Working Group that included nine members of the faculty, five Trustees, four members of the President’s Cabinet, three staff members and an external facilitator, the plan is comprehensive in scope and designed to make the Bethany experience more attractive to students from around the globe.
Presidential Search Committee
Board of Trustees
Thaddaeus Allen ’92
Trustee, co chair
George M. “Ken” Bado ’77
Trustee, board chair
Logan Hassig ’70
Carmina Hughes ’76
Trustee, search committee co-chair
Arthur B. Keys, Jr. ’67
Janet A Long ’78
Chris Payne ’81
Jhamal Robinson ’98
Trustee, search committee co-chair
Charline Barnes Rowland
Associate Professor and Chair of Education
Director of Teacher Preparation Programs
Assistant Professor of History
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Professor of Finance & Business
Director of Philanthropic Gifts
Justin D. Thomas
Baseball Head Coach
Marc B. Chernenko ’78
Michael Springer-Ingram ’18