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Board Executive Committee names chair, board reps for presidential search

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The Executive Committee of the Bethel College Board of Directors, in its Nov. 1 meeting, approved five board members to the presidential search committee.

Daniel P. Flickinger, San Francisco, will chair the search committee. Board members joining Flickinger on the committee are Kate Brubacher, Kansas City (board appointment), Jim Ensz, Beatrice, Nebraska (representing Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA), Roberta Franz Hodgson, Spokane, Washington (representing Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference of MC USA), and George Rogers III, Newton (Bethel Corporation appointment).

Flickinger, the board representative from Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA, is senior research associate at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI), and information and project manager of the LinGo Laboratory at CSLI, located at Stanford University.

Flickinger will head the effort to find a new president for Bethel College, following Perry D. White’s announcement last month that he will step down at the end of this academic year.

“As chair of the presidential search committee, Dan brings experience in higher education combined with a deep passion for Bethel College,” said Heather Esau Zerger, Newton, who is board chair through the end of 2016. “We are pleased he has agreed to lead the search for Bethel’s next president.

“We are grateful to this tremendous committee for their dedication and willingness to serve in this important role,” Zerger added.

The executive committee also approved the remaining “internal” members of the search committee – two faculty members and one non-cabinet staff member, to be named in the next few weeks.

Discussions coordinated by Robert Milliman, vice president for academic affairs, are currently taking place to identify faculty representation and by Allen Wedel, vice president for business affairs, with the Staff Welfare Committee, to find a staff representative.

Since the search process will bridge the terms of two board chairs, both Zerger (Mennonite Education Agency appointment) and Brett Birky, Denver, board chair beginning January 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.

Bethel College is the only private college in Kansas listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, the Washington Monthly National Universities-Liberal Arts section and the National Liberal Arts College category of U.S. News & World Report, all for 2016'17. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.