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Bethel announces administrative appointments

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College administrators recently made announcements about a continuing and a new appointment.

One of President Barry C. Bartel’s first acts in office was to name John Sheriff, who served as interim president and before that academic dean, as executive vice president for institutional development. Sheriff initially agreed to take the position for one year but has now agreed to stay through 2010.

In addition, Bethel vice president for business affairs Lowell Peachey announced that Terri Headrick would take a new position as human resources director. “In addition to managing HR activities, Terri will provide administrative support in the business affairs office and for John in his work with institutional development,” Peachey said. “This position will enable us to further our institutional goals through increased management and coordination of personnel related matters. We want to give personnel matters the management and support they deserve.”

Headrick has been at Bethel since July of 1999, as assistant to Sheriff when he was vice president of academic affairs/academic dean and interim president, and most recently as assistant to Bartel.

“I am very excited about this new challenge and appreciate the opportunity to be a part of a positive step towards furthering our institutional goals,” Headrick said.

Bartel said, “Terri has played a crucial role in the presidential transition and she will be moving into a new role that fits her perfectly. Her knowledge of Bethel from various roles here over the past decade prepares her well to guide a stronger human resources effort at Bethel.”

Sheriff came to Bethel College as an English professor in 1967 and has been at Bethel ever since, with three years off campus while he earned his doctorate at the University of Oklahoma. President Doug Penner named Sheriff acting dean in 1997 and made the appointment permanent a year later. Sheriff served as interim president from November 2005 until October 2006, between the E. LaVerne Epp and Bartel administrations.

As executive vice president for institutional development, he will be involved in a number of projects, including helping to plan a capital campaign for the new Academic Center and endowment, continuing to work at implementing the Bethel College Project report recommendations for enhancing the student experience, working on ways to build Bethel’s summer curriculum, and other inter-departmental projects.

“John continues to demonstrate the value of his wisdom – built in several key roles at Bethel – and his interest in moving Bethel to a new level,” Bartel said. “At a time when John would have other options, his commitment to serve as executive vice president for another three years enables him to play an important role in longer-term endeavors.”

Another recent appointment was Alissa Cyphers, Wichita, to the newly created position of Web editor, as of January 17. She will work in the Office of Institutional Communications. Cyphers has a B.A. from Bethel College and most recently served as an editor for The Decorative Painter, the magazine of the Society of Decorative Painters, based in Wichita. She was at the Society for 10 years, since 1997.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and has been named a Top Tier college by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1998. For more information, see the Bethel web site at

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