Bethany College Finds Balance

By Chris Conde
March 10, 2017

The Bethany College Board of Directors approved the college’s fiscal year 2016 audit report as presented by Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd Certified Public Accountants at its spring meeting. The audit found that the total change in net operating assets improved from a negative of nearly $5.5 million in fiscal year 2015 to a positive of more than $77,000 in fiscal year 2016.

“This is incredible news,” President Will Jones said. “Bethany was able to accomplish this goal thanks to the generous support of our alumni and friends, especially those in our local community.”

Additionally, the audit report confirmed that the college was able to fully fund depreciation expenses while correcting some financial issues from prior years.

“In the current environment facing smaller private colleges, especially those in Kansas, this audit report shows the wise stewardship that Bethany’s leadership team is providing the college,” said Matt Lindsey, president of the Kansas Independent College Association and Fund. “For any KICA college to fully fund depreciation is challenging and is a mark of strength that bodes well the present and future.”

In the auditors’ report to the board, they commended the college for its efforts in increasing contributions and in making a concerted effort to cut expenses.

“The bottom line is very encouraging,” Carol Summervill, senior manager of Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk & Loyd, said. “The hard work of the management team and decisions that were made last year have paid off impressively. It was a successful year and the results can be seen in black and white.”

Corey Peterson ‘84, chair of the Bethany College Board of Directors, added that along with a focused effort on finances, Bethany also committed to providing students a transformative experience.

“Student surveys indicate that it was a very positive year on campus,” he said. “Along with our efforts to reduce Bethany’s expenses, we remained focused on helping our students to be successful.”

Jean Hall, vice president of Finance and Operations, also reported to the board that the college continues to carefully monitor and manage the budget and is confident that the financial progress over the past year will continue.

“This was the first year in many years that the college operated within a balanced budget,” she said. “With board leadership and commitment of administration, faculty and staff, the college passed another balanced budget and is off to a better start in the first six months of this fiscal year than in previous years.”

President Jones added, “The financial turn-around that is happening at Bethany is not complete. We still need our alumni, friends, and churches to continue to provide strong financial support. With this support, I am confident we will be a celebrated college in the Midwest and in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.”

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The mission of Bethany College is to educate, develop and challenge individuals to reach for truth and excellence as they lead lives of faith, learning and service. Bethany College is on the Web at www.bethanylb.edu.


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