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Academic dean to step down at end of school year

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College President Perry D. White has announced the resignation of Brad S. Born, vice president for academic affairs.

Born has been in the position since November 2005, when he was appointed interim VP for academic affairs. The position became permanent in March 2007. His resignation is effective June 30, 2015.

Born will take a one-year leave of absence from the college beginning in July 2015. During that time, he plans to focus on several projects “with direct relevance to the Bethel curriculum in literary studies, but with strong cross-application to Common Ground [general education] areas in Cross-Cultural Learning and Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies,” Born said.

This is in preparation for a return to full-time teaching at Bethel, starting in August 2016.

White said a committee will be appointed to conduct a national search for a new academic dean, to begin immediately following Bethel College Board of Directors meetings in mid-October.

The search committee will include a representative from the Office of Academic Affairs. White will work with Allen Jantz, chair of the Faculty Executive Committee, to identify faculty members of the search committee.

Born attended Bethel College 1980-82 and is a 1984 graduate of Tabor College, Hillsboro. He earned masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Kansas.

Born joined Bethel’s English department in fall 1995, advancing to associate professor of English before assuming the office of academic dean.

“Working with administrative colleagues, fellow staff and Bethel faculty to sustain the excellence and relevance of Bethel’s academic program continues to be a great job,” Born said, “and it remains my focus for the rest of this academic year.

“When I step away from that next summer, I will especially miss the close working relationships and collaboration that administrative work entails. I have had the tremendous privilege of working with great people.

“All that said, I have missed the classroom and the immediacy of working directly with students, so I am ready to turn my attention back to that grand, noble vocation of teaching. I have much to learn and re-learn about how to do that well, so I am very thankful to President White for granting me a leave of absence so that I can devote the 2015-16 academic year to professional development to prepare for that return to the classroom.”

“We want to express our sincere appreciation to Dr. Born for his service to Bethel College as VP for academic affairs and dean of the faculty for the past10 years,” White said. “Brad has brought a deep passion for the work and for the institution.

“We have truly appreciated his tremendous dedication, his perspective and his sense of humor. We know he will bring those same traits back to the classroom and that our students will benefit greatly from his teaching.”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2014-15 Forbes.com analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2014-15. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA.

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