President Perry D. White has announced his plans to step down at the conclusion of the 2016-17 academic year, concluding seven years of service to the college.
“I intend to work closely with the board and campus constituency in preparation for this transition,” President White said. “I believe that the institution is in a good position to welcome the next institutional leader. I appreciate the support Dalene and I have received during our time at Bethel.” White informed the campus community of his decision in a message distributed Oct. 18.
“The board is extremely grateful to President White and Dalene for their commitment to Bethel during their tenure,” said Heather Esau Zerger ’96, Newton, chair of the Board of Directors through December 2016. “They have worked tirelessly both within the campus community and through their travels across the nation meeting with donors and alumni. We wish them the best in their future endeavors.”
Daniel P. Flickinger, San Francisco, will chair the search committee. The board members joining Flickinger are Kate Brubacher, Kansas City (board appointment), Jim Ensz ’72, Beatrice, Nebraska (representing Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA), Roberta Franz Hodgson ’73, Spokane, Washington (representing Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference of MC USA), and George Rogers III ’69, Newton (Bethel Corporation appointment).
Faculty members serving on the search committee are Dwight Krehbiel ’69, professor of psychology, and Doug Maury ’01, associate professor of athletic training and director of Bethel’s AT program. The staff appointment is pending.
Since the search process will bridge the terms of two board chairs, both Zerger (Mennonite Education Agency appointment) and Brett Birky ’87, Denver, board chair beginning Jan. 1, 2017 (Alumni Association appointment), will serve in ex officio roles. Once the committee convenes, the need for additional representatives from the broader constituency will be assessed.
“We are grateful to this tremendous committee for their dedication and willingness to serve in this important role,” Zerger said.