Bethel Welcomes New Cabinet Leadership
Smith Named Vice President for Academic Services
Bradley Smith, Ph.D., was named Vice President for Academic Services at Bethel University, and began his new role June 1. Smith has served the university for 27 years, most recently as Dean of Humanities & Social Science and Associate Professor of Economics. During his tenure, he also served as Interim Vice President for Academic Services.
Smith earned his Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from the University of Notre Dame, and his M.S. in economics from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill. He is a member of the American Economic Association and a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
Some of his top accomplishments at Bethel include obtaining and maintaining accreditation for new and existing programs, revising and instituting academic policies, redesigning and implementing a system for tracking academic performance, and supervising over 130 faculty and staff. Currently, he serves on the Academic Policy and Curriculum Committee and the General Education Committee, as chair.
Additionally, Smith has a heart for Christian higher education, believing that revival starts with faculty. He hopes to provide them the space and autonomy to grow spiritually.
“I have spent much of my professional career at Bethel and have seen firsthand how a Bethel education can transform lives. I am committed to investing in and advocating for the faculty and programs that make the Bethel experience so impactful,” Smith says.
LaVigne Named Vice President for Institutional Advancement
Brent LaVigne, Ph.D., began as Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Bethel University Sept. 6. He brings more than a decade of experience in Christian higher education, having served at Southern Nazarene University (SNU), in Bethany, Okla., since 2010. His positions there ranged from staff member to faculty member to administrator.
In his most recent role as Vice President for University Relations at SNU, he oversaw advancement, alumni and foundation activities. During his tenure, he and his team increased purposeful and strategic donor interactions by 600%, reached record highs in annual giving and endowment giving, and this spring led a fundraising initiative that raised $4.5 million dollars in new unrestricted gifts, among other accolades.
LaVigne is a graduate of SNU, with a B.S. in Business Administration. He earned his master’s degree in Management from Mount Vernon Nazarene University, and his Ph.D. in Higher Education Policy and Administration from Oklahoma State University. He also has missionary experience, having served in Swaziland, Africa, as an on-site coordinator.
He and his wife Michaele have been married 16 years and have two young children, Austin and Galilee.
“It is evident that Bethel University is built on faith in God, excellence in teaching, and service to our world. I look forward to working with alumni, donors and the Institutional Advancement team to enable the education and vocational calling of Bethel students,” LaVigne says.
Bethel University’s cabinet has a combined 125 years of experience in higher education. They are (left to right) Brent LaVigne, Ph.D., Vice President for Institutional Advancement; Jerry White, CPA, Vice President for Administration and Finance and CFO; Bradley Smith, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Services; Barb Bellefeuille, Ed.D., Interim President; Shawn Holtgren, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Development; and Terry Elam, Ph.D., Vice President of Enrollment Management.