Bethel College launches search for new president


John Sheriff, interim president.

Bethel College in North Newton is looking for a new president with the departure of Barry Bartel after three years of service.

In a release from the college, Mel Goering, chair of the Bethel board of directors, announced that John Sheriff, professor of English and current executive vice president for institutional development, will become interim president, effective immediately.

Goering said the board ?acknowledges and expresses appreciation for the tireless dedication of Barry Bartel and his family during the last three years.

?His loyalty to the college, his devotion to the church and community, his affirmation of diversity and his tireless activity for the college were extraordinary.

?We wish Barry and his family the very best with whatever they choose as they chart a new course.?

The release did not indicate reasons for the transition nor include a statement from Bartel.

Sheriff previously filled the role of interim president for a year, 2005-06, between the tenures of E. Laverne Epp and Bartel.

?John?s understanding of the issues facing the college, his past experience as (academic) dean and interim president, and the trust others have in him will allow Bethel College to move quickly, working with the administrative cabinet, faculty and staff, to provide positive forward momentum in addressing the college?s needs in these challenging times,? Goering said.

The Bethel board has begun the presidential search process and ?will proceed as rapidly as possible to secure a person with the requisite experience and talent to foster the mission of the college,? Goering said.?

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, which has several member congregations in Marion County.

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