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Vice president for student life resigns

April 16th, 2018

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Aaron Austin, Bethel College vice president for student life since 2012, has announced his resignation.

In his letter to Interim President John Sheriff, Austin said, “My time at Bethel College has taught me a great deal about higher education and about myself. However, I think it is time for me to learn new lessons. I have accepted an offer [to be] associate vice president of student affairs, student life, at Wichita State University.”

Austin’s last day on campus will be Sept. 15.

A native of Garden City, Austin has a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in music education with a minor in American ethnic studies (1997). He completed a master’s degree in higher and postsecondary education at Arizona State University, Tempe, in 2002.

Austin came to Bethel from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, where he served as assistant director of residence life for university student housing for two years.

Before that, he was a senior admissions representative and coordinator of multicultural recruitment at K-State (1997-2000); graduate hall director (2000-02) and residence hall coordinator (2002-04) at ASU’s main campus in Tempe; vice president of operations for California Capital & Investment Groups, San Diego (2005-08); and assistant resident dean at Revelle College, University of California-San Diego (2008-10).

This past spring, Austin successfully defended his dissertation, “An Exploration of Black Male Achievement Utilizing an Anti-Deficit Framework,” and earned an Ed.D. from Texas Tech.

“Aaron’s professionalism and skill in his role has been a gift to Bethel College and to all of us who have worked with him,” said Sheriff. “His genuine care for each student, his wisdom in dealing with interpersonal and institutional issues, and his sense of humor will be missed by his colleagues and Bethel students.”

Bethel College is No. 1 in College Consensus’ ranking of Kansas colleges and universities, and is the only Kansas private college listed in the analysis of top colleges and universities, for 2017-18. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

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.