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PLT Updates: VP for Mission Jo Beld

To get insights for the student body, Fricka Lindemann'22 regularly meets with Jo Beld, who is the VP for Mission of St. Olaf College. She is part of the President's Leadership Team. To submit your own questions to him or any of the other PLT members, click here.

Jo Beld is the VP for Mission. Her work includes overseeing College Ministry, the Lutheran Center, and Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment. This semester, Jo has been helping to implement numerous new initiatives. One of them is the new workshop series held by the Lutheran Center, "Interfaith Leadership for the 21st Century Workplace". Not only is this the first time that this workshop is conducted by the Eboo Patel, currently appointed as the inaugural Fellow with Lutheran Center, but the 4-part workshop series is also supported by 48 alumni who give first-hand insights to the participants. Jo has assisted with recruiting the alumni, and while this has involved a great amount of work, she is certain that the series will help students and community members in exploring meaningful vocation.

Inter-religious engagement has also been a focus of the College Ministry team. Running faith services safely under COVID has prompted College Ministry to utilize different formats. Currently, services are taking place socially distanced on campus.

As the PLT member who oversees the team for Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment, Jo is also involved in planning for the coming year. She forwards information from the COVID surveys to the President's Leadership Team, and as a member herself, she helped to develop the potential scenarios for 2021/22, which were then sent out to the campus community. Overall, the Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment team has been working to make data more accessible for the community. The new data presentation platform Tableau on the website serves to provide a better visual comparison of the different metrics that IE&A tracks. You can find links to the various dashboards here.

Lastly, Jo works with María Pabón Gautier on the college's equity and inclusion initiative by planning and executing the current Co-creating an Inclusive Community conversation series. In four stages, community input shall serve to inform the action steps the college will take to become more equitable, inclusive, and antiracist.

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