Bethel president discusses changes to university amid pandemic
MCKENZIE, Tenn. — A local university president spoke with community leaders about how his school is adapting with the pandemic.
The Paris-Henry County Chamber of Commerce gathered for a roundtable discussion with Bethel University’s President Dr. Walter Butler.
Thursday morning, Butler discussed the adjustments taken amid the pandemic this past year to continue their success rate.
“It’s not that they have quit operating, a lot of it has been operating on a different mode, which in some ways we found we can do things a lot different than what we were in this routine doing every year,” Butler said.
Butler says they found that students participating in extra-curricular activities have greater success. However this year’s students experiences are completely changed.
All fall sports were moved to spring, and the renaissance program now performs over recordings instead of live performances.
Butler says students have stepped up to the plate and have tried to make the pandemic a positive experience to better train themselves for the real world.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students. I mean you think this is maybe a once in a lifetime thing to witness this, and if you are a student, think of the experience you got now,” Butler said.
The Chamber of Commerce and Bethel University have formed a partnership to better their community. Bethel has supported the community with graduates taking roles within the county, and the chamber supports their efforts.
“I think it’s important that we build our area, that we build our West Tennessee area. If we don’t do that then were failing our mission. Our mission is to leave this better than what it was when we got here. We want to raise that level where you get the teachers that you want, you find the people that you need in your industries,” Butler said.
Butler says going forward, they will stick with their original structured plan of keeping their campus coronavirus safe.