Allen returns to his alma mater after helping APU achieve a successful financial turnaround
On Thursday, Bethel University named Ross Allen as their sixth president-elect. Allen departs from Azusa Pacific after serving as the school’s CFO for the past two years. He will begin his new position as president of his alma mater in St. Paul, Minn. on July 1.
Allen was fundamental in orchestrating APU’s financial turnaround last year. Just one year after reporting nearly a $20 million loss, APU returned to the black with a gain of $4.8 million. This was possible primarily because of temporary heavy cuts to faculty and staff’s retirement plans and raises.
APU President Paul Ferguson congratulated Allen on his new position.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Ross personally and professionally,” Ferguson said. “The APU community is so grateful for the many years of service Ross gave as a member of the APU Board of Trustees and for his extraordinary contribution to our fiscal recovery. I wish Ross and his family success and joy in this new role.”
According to Bethel’s announcement, the decision was made unanimously by the school’s Board of Trustees. Bethel Presidential Search Committee Chair Jim Green and Board of Trustees Chair Julie White narrowed an extensive pool of candidates down to one.
“Of all the candidates we interviewed, Ross demonstrated a uniquely thorough understanding of Bethel’s mission and the challenges facing Christian higher education,” White said. “He is a deeply committed Christ-follower, a seasoned executive leader, and a transformative developer of people, culture and organizations. We are thrilled to welcome Ross back to Bethel.”
In a video announcement, Allen described how working at APU prepared him for his new role. He said he would not have been ready to transition from his 25 year career at Medtronic, a multinational medical device company, to the president of a higher education institution without learning from his experience at APU. Allen also expressed his elation for his new position.
“It’s exciting to think what we all can do here at Bethel in such a critical time as this. To step into the shoes of those who have come before, I’m excited about that and yet humbled and honored,” Allen said.
Allen will replace Jay Barnes, who has served as Bethel’s president since 2008 after serving as the school’s provost for 13 years before that, according to the Star Tribune. Barnes managed Bethel’s transition from a college and seminary to a university in 2004.
Allen graduated from Bethel in 1984 with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. He is the school’s first alum to become president, according to the Bethel Clarion.
In an email to APU faculty and staff, Ferguson announced that effective March 6, Alanna Godoy, APU’s director of financial planning and analysis, will assume the position of vice president for finance and business strategy and CFO.
Godoy joined APU in 2019 after serving for nearly 10 years at Biola University, most recently as director of University Budget. She received an MBA and a B.S. in Business Administration from Biola University, and completed the Management Development Program at Harvard University.
“Since her arrival at APU, Alanna has distinguished herself through positive engagement with the APU community and Board of Trustees,” Ferguson said. “She has worked to improve fiscal awareness and discipline, contributing to our financial turnaround while providing strategic thinking for future sustainability. I look forward to and welcome her substantive contribution and leadership on the President’s Cabinet and her continuing work with the Board of Trustees finance committee.”
According to Ferguson, Allen will serve in an advisory role to Godoy and the Division of Finance and Business Strategy over the next month, ensuring a smooth transition.