MISHAWAKA—Bethel College has a new CFO for the next six months. Dick Reagan is a CPA, former auditor with Arthur Anderson, and former CFO for the New England Patriots. Originally from Boston, Reagan was hired by Bethel with assistance by The Registry, an interim staffing organization. According to President Gregg Chenoweth, Reagan will use his experience and administration skills and will assist the physical plant on some new projects.
“For example ... we’re working now to get a design and bids from contractors for this summer to build out two new computer laboratories, associated with the new Computer Science major we’re launching in the fall,” Chenoweth said.
Another example is a Welcome Center as an addition to the Admissions barn.
“It will nearly double the square footage of what’s available there but be very different in design. It’s not for offices—we’re keeping the barn space for offices. This will be sort of a gallery space with some media and will be a first place to meet with parents and prospective students,” Chenoweth said.
The President went on to describe the importance of the project.
“We have about 7,000 per year—prospective students and or parents. So, with that volume, we felt that we should do better than what we’ve been doing. … typically, we would meet them in the coffee shop or that conference room [in the back] that’s been modified. Fortunately, we talked to some friends of Bethel who have donated to this cause and neither of the [projects] I’ve mentioned come out of student tuition, they all come from philanthropy.”
Although President Chenoweth did not want to damage former CFO David Armstrong’s reputation, he did attempt to give some rationale for why Armstrong was no longer at Bethel.
“For any person at Bethel, when we hire someone we have them sign a covenant lifestyle, like students. We also have work values that we interview on... Once the person is here, we have trainings and onboardings. We also have annual performance reviews. And if there’s any difficulties in an employment relationship, we can use our work values to diagnose the situation... Sometimes we have what we call a performance improvement plan. Sometimes there’s even a second performance improvement plan, but typically if things aren’t improving you wouldn’t have a future together,” he said.