Returning to Presidio Graduate School

When I left PGS in 2012, I never imagined that I would return. When we picture our career trajectories, we always imagine moving forward, on to something new. But honestly, it does feel like something new. While the mission and structure are the same, Presidio Graduate School has changed. The school is in such a different place and the team is so full of fresh energy that returning to PGS has truly felt like a new job—yet with the great comfort of familiar, trusted colleagues who have remained connected to this community.

The core changes I’ve witnessed deserve some explanation:

New leadership

Since I departed in 2012, PGS has grown greatly as a professional community. The team operates with motivation, camaraderie, and mutual respect. In addition to our new president, we have new leaders across various academic functions, and our new board members bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the school.

Over the past decade, the influx of new leadership has built on the wonderful foundation of standing community members, who remind us of our roots and endow the school with a wonderful sense of continuity.

New program development

In addition to developing new electives and concentrations for the MBA program, we are in the process of building new degree and certificate programs. There is great excitement among the staff about these new offerings. I am particularly excited by the opportunity to develop strong concentrations that will further refine our MBA program.

I’m also eager to see our newly redesigned, fully-online Master of Public Administration (MPA) program take flight. We wanted to expand the program’s reach and scale, and the program aims to prepare effective policy and social sector leaders for forward-looking leadership.

New faculty

We have some extraordinary new faculty members. As part of my position, I have had the chance to review faculty course evaluations from the fall. I have been both impressed and encouraged by the great praise that our faculty received from the past term—not just pertaining to the content of their courses, but also to their availability, warmth, and obvious dedication to the students and the school.

One of the projects I am focusing on this spring is a review of the current MBA curriculum. As tools, foci, and sustainable business goals are rapidly changing, we must review and hone our curriculum to ensure we are providing our graduates with the very best tools, skills, and knowledge to advance their careers and effectively promote sustainability and social justice in their organizations and sectors. As a first step, I am convening a group of sustainable business leaders—many of them PGS alums, and one a former faculty member—to brainstorm about what our graduates need to know and be able to do when they leave our (virtual) doors.

All to say—it is truly an exciting time to be at PGS. I am enjoying both my new colleagues (and we spend a lot of time together on Zoom) and the continuing opportunity to provide a better professional graduate education for a more sustainable and just world.

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