Leading Academics – Meet Bethel’s New V.P.
Although it was hard to see the for sale sign in the front lawn of her Georgia home, Barbara Bellefeuille, Ed.D., is now much closer to her Midwestern roots in her new role as vice president for academic services at Bethel.
“As I was looking for higher ed positions for which I am qualified, I came across Bethel,” she says. “It is very clearly a college that has stayed on mission. I wanted to be a part of a college that was Christ-centered and focused.”
Bellefeuille, who was hired this past summer, had previously spent about 30 years in the South, most recently working for Toccoa Falls College in Toccoa Falls, Ga.
Now the Michigan native is Beth-el’s second female vice president after Kathy Gribbin (’76), Ph.D., who was promoted to vice president in 2010.
“To be second means that someone has broken the glass ceil-ing for me,” Bellefeuille jokes, adding that everyone — male and female — who she’s met at Bethel has been very welcoming.
Bellefeuille is no stranger to this distinction; she was the first female vice president at her former institution.
In her new role, Bellefeuille not only wants to be open and lis-ten, but she also wants to maintain Bethel’s focus of hiring sound faculty who are committed to their faith and who are well-trained professionally.
“I feel that a college is only truly as strong as its faculty,” she says. “And in order to maintain a mission-strong college, we need to sustain the hiring of strong faculty.”
Bellefeuille looks forward to working with the solid programs Bethel has to offer, especially the graduate programs, of which her former institution had none.
Even though she’ll miss the mild winters, the lack of snow and the people she’s come to know in Georgia, Bellefeuille looks for-ward to enjoying the beautiful Midwestern summers, being closer to her family and the Great Lakes.
“I have been involved in Christian higher education for a long time and have come to love it,” she says. “I really feel that I don’t want to be involved in a profession other than Christ-centered college education.”