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BVU Names Bral VP of Extended University Programs

October 17, 2019 4:35pm

Buena Vista University has named Jean Bral vice president of Extended University Programs, a new divisional operating structure created to better serve BVU’s online, site, and graduate school programming.

Bral, who served as director of operations for BVU’s online, site, and graduate school programs from 2011 to 2018, became executive director of the University’s graduate programs in 2018 and helped oversee an enrollment increase to 337 students, second most all-time.

“We are thrilled to have the benefit of Jean’s wisdom, leadership, and involvement across a variety of BVU departments in this structuring effort,” says BVU President Joshua Merchant. “The creation of the new Extended University Programs is an outgrowth of a more than year-long examination of the landscape and markets served by BVU’s online, site, and graduate programs. It included a study led by a national consultant, along with an in-depth examination by a group of senior leaders.”

Bral, a BVU graduate, will help direct partnerships among community college locations and graduate programs while leading enrollment and student success initiatives, working closely with Laura Newhouse, who has been named director of enrollment and student success for Extended University Programs. Bral’s staff will also oversee continuing education efforts, while developing strategic partnerships for the University.

Components of the new organizational structure were implemented as early as last spring when deans serving four separate schools on the Storm Lake campus (Education, Liberal Arts, Science, and the Harold Walter Siebens School of Business) began overseeing academic functions involving sites and graduate programs.

Additionally, BVU officials are working to create an Academic Innovations Team that will report to Provost Brian Lenzmeier as the University strives to meet the ever-changing needs of students and the market.

“It has been an honor to work for my alma mater and I deeply appreciate the opportunities BVU offers all our students not only here in Storm Lake, but at our locations across the state of Iowa and online,” Bral says. “I have always believed that education can change someone’s story. It can change their life in ways that they can’t foresee, and I am grateful to be a part of offering those opportunities.”

Bral, a native of Manning, began her career in BVU’s Admissions Department. She has enjoyed roles in Financial Aid and the Registrar’s Office prior to her service with online, site, and graduate programs. She and her husband, Jayme Bral, also a BVU alum, are the parents of three adult children, and reside in Storm Lake.