The tally is in! At the April 18th Board meeting, it was decided to adopt the “seven decisions”, linked in our last post. The decisions stress a move from reflection about change, to action. Those seven steps are:
1. Clarify PSR’s educational mission.
Commit clearly and sharply to the proposition that PSR will be a theological school specifically focused on preparing leaders for social transformation, in faith-based institutions and beyond.
2. Re-invest in the development of a body of scholarship, theology, and experience that connects spiritual practice, the commitment to a progressive Christian tradition, and the work of making change for social justice and the common good.
3. Charge the faculty, in collaboration with staff and external resources, to:
a. Design, prototype, and evaluate a portfolio of new programs, with a common set of themes, foundations, and content, for programs designed to draw new participants:
• New M.A. in leadership for communal, national, and global transformation
• Revised M.Div
• New 2-year M.A. for religious leaders who will not require an M.Div
• Series of short courses and non-degree programs (hybrid, weekend intensives, community and distance audiences)
b. Make recommendations to the Board regarding the continuation of existing degree and certificate programs, in light of PSR’s evolving mission and available resources.
4. Import and integrate resources for leadership skills and formation.
Select a complementary partner organization with expertise in leadership development, or a structure that will bring a diverse group of ‘changemakers in residence’ to campus, to more fully integrate formation, skills, and spiritually-based practices for leading organizational and community change into the PSR experience.
5. Unlock the value in PSR’s real estate assets, so that we can re-deploy their value for the mission of the school.
Explore ways, and make a decision within twelve months, to effectively capture and leverage the campus’ value, including possibilities of sale, lease, and/or equity share. The decision should take into account the importance of a campus in creating and fostering community.
6. Reduce the scale of operations for the next few years.
Get smaller—i.e., reduce admissions by 10-25%, and right-size staff and faculty, so that PSR can stabilize around a new model before growing again, in a manner which will be consistent with PSR’s core values, in particular its commitment to racial, gender, and ethnic diversity.
7. Re-design the organization for a new culture.
• Renew PSR’s commitment to being a spiritually-grounded and practicing community.
• Devise and engage in a sustained, facilitated process that includes all PSR stakeholders, designed to improve trust, communications, mutual regard, and governance principles and practices.
• Encourage innovation and risk-taking to enhance fulfillment of the school’s educational mission.
• Invest in technology, professional development, and pedagogical innovation.
• Collaboratively explore new faculty roles and responsibilities.
• Re-configure staffing roles and relationships to encourage greater collaboration, innovation, and adaptability.
• Refine and renew information systems to allow clearer and more regular assessment (of learning processes and outcomes, finances, etc.).
Although we’re in the home stretch of Spring Semester, we’ll continue to keep you posted on the progress of the Commission on Strategic Direction, here at Futures of PSR. Stay tuned…