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The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

The Student News Site of Bethel University

The Clarion

Information Technology Services outsourced

Dynamic Campus abruptly assumes ownership of the IT department as a solution for understaffing and low salaries.

An external company took over Bethel University Information Technology Services Friday. Similar to Bethel’s partnerships with Sodexo and Loffler, the university has opted to outsource ITS to Dynamic Campus, “a higher-ed focused technology partner … for private colleges and universities” based in Austin, Texas, that serves about 25 small Christian universities throughout the country.

As a result, Bethel’s entire ITS department was outsourced Tuesday morning in an all-department meeting, meaning they could accept contracts with Dynamic Campus to stay at Bethel. Chief Financial Officer Joel Costa called the meeting the day prior. Costa has overseen the department since Associate Vice President Michael Spande left in April for unrelated reasons. ITS directors were informed of the decision just an hour before the meeting. No severance will be given, and all employees will lose their benefits and any accrued paid time off. Employees were stunned by the news according to two sources. Several cried. Sources were granted anonymity due to fear of backlash for speaking with The Clarion.

“I signed up to work for Bethel, not Dynamic Campus,” one anonymous source said. “They didn’t really throw us a bone.” 

This source calculated they lost $6,000 in accrued PTO. 

Minnesota is one of 49 states, Montana being the exception, that uses “at-will employment,” meaning termination of employees can come without any notice and without any reason, excluding discrimination. 

According to the second anonymous source, the two options presented were a $500,000 budget increase that was recently approved for the ITS department and would have allowed for raises in staff salaries and possibly additional hiring. Instead, Bethel opted for the second option: signing a $700,000 contract with Dynamic Campus. 

Since budget cuts in October 2022, ITS has struggled to “attract and retain talent” while under Bethel leadership. As a Christian, nonprofit institution, Bethel cannot afford to match the industry market price for employees. 

The first ITS employee, while disappointed in losing their Bethel employment, looks forward to the prospect of raises. Despite the loss of benefits, Dynamic Campus is able to pay employees much closer to their true market price.  

“The growing breadth of the ITS field and required skills combined with a fiercely competitive hiring market for ITS employees has prevented us from fully staffing this critical team,” Costa said in a statement to staff and faculty Wednesday. “Through this partnership, we will have access to a broader and deeper set of human resources and ITS best practices, along with providing developmental opportunities for ITS employees, to effectively and adequately support Bethel into the future.”

ITS employees — students not included — were given until 6 p.m. Wednesday to sign on with DynamicCampus. Two of the 24 staff members chose not to sign, but the anonymous source said many employees who did sign are still job-searching. This source also did research on and saw complaints about the transition process.

“There’s a lot of people who say [Dynamic Campus], they pull people in, they learn what they know, and then they kick them to the curb so they can use their own people,” the source said. “People rarely go to Glassdoor to write positive reviews, so it might be more of a worst-case scenario. Either way, it scared us all the same.”

July 14, 2023, Oakwood University in Alabama filed a legal complaint against Dynamic Campus. Oakwood suffered a cyber-attack in March 2022 in which cyber criminals were able to “access and lock Oakwood out of its vital IT systems.” According to the complaint, Dynamic Campus failed to provide timely backups and restore Oakwood’s IT functions. The complaint was resolved outside of court in November 2023.

Dynamic Campus instituted a 90-day probation period, which allows them to learn the basic systems the department uses and evaluate which roles to keep and which to cut. 

Joel Costa and Dynamic Campus did not respond to email inquiries from The Clarion. 

Dynamic Campus officially took over Friday.

Additional reporting by Molly Wilson.

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About the Contributor
Aiden Penner, Staff Reporter
Aiden Penner, 19, is a freshman journalism major. His favorite activities are snatching every rebound in pick-up basketball, driving the combine during harvest on his farm and researching obscure statistics on Baseball-Reference. His biggest flex is that he met Carl Azuz. [email protected] | 507.621.4619
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