Dear Bethany College Community,

I want to thank the members of the student body who have reached out. You have been vulnerable. You have stepped out of your comfort zone to share your experiences. Most importantly, you have provided actionable steps to be a better Bethany.

Many in the Bethany Community are angry, frustrated, and saddened by systemic problems in our society and on our campus. It is equally apparent that Bethany must do its part – do more – to play a positive role in changing the way our community thinks and acts when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. These will be difficult conversations, but they are necessary. We are committed to having them to seek better understanding, together.

As we look at what is happening around the country and the world, we know that change of any kind must come from within, which is why we are taking the following actions. We will require anti-bias training for all faculty and staff, including security, food service, and other on-campus vendor employees. We will implement plans to include diversity, equity and inclusion training in the curriculum and the Bethany First Year Experience.

Moreover, we will empower a new President’s Council on Multi-Cultural Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. This Council will be a standing campuswide committee that includes students, faculty, staff, alumni, and trustees. In addition to the Council, we will convene a distinct Task Force on The Black Experience on Campus. The Task Force’s specific mandate will be to examine our campus culture, policies, security, health and hiring practices. The Task Force will be charged to make concrete recommendations that ensure we are living up to our commitment to diversity, inclusion and safety.

I have also committed that our new Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, for whom we are searching now, will serve on my Cabinet. We will, likewise, examine the nomenclature on our buildings and consider the message they represent in our community.

I, along with my Cabinet, recognize that these first steps cannot change past events in society or here on campus. However, they can move us in the right direction.

Rev. Dr. Tamara Nichols Rodenberg

Joe Lane, Ph.D.
Provost and Dean of Faculty

Gerald “Jerry” Stebbins
Vice President and Dean of Students

Steve Thompson
Director of Athletics

Chris Lambert
Vice President of Advancement and Alumni Relations

Karen Hunt
Vice President of Enrollment & Marketing

Denny McMaster
Vice President for Finance and Chief Financial Officer