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Presidio Graduate School Programs to Join the University of Redlands

Presidio Graduate School and the University of Redlands are in the process of a merger, which will result in the creation of the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions in the School of Business & Society at the University of Redlands.

Presidio, the University of Redlands, and the School of Business & Society share a mission and vision to expand educational opportunities that promote environmental sustainability and social well-being. The merger will allow Presidio’s hallmark MBA, MPA, and dual degree programs in Sustainable Solutions to thrive, and will provide Presidians with additional student resources, a permanent home on the Redlands Marin campus in San Anselmo, and access to the vibrant Redlands community.

For more information about Redlands, FAQs, and the official press release about the merger, please visit www.redlands.edu/presidio

These FAQs will be updated regularly. Please be sure to check back for up-to-date information.

General FAQs

Where will the Presidio programs be located?

The University of Redlands’ Marin Campus, located in San Anselmo, CA (Marin County), will be the permanent home of Presidio, along with the San Francisco Theological Seminary which has operated on that campus since the 1890s. The campus, which is located 15 miles north of San Francisco, has ample classroom and housing facilities to host in-person residencies. The campus also happens to be the original home of Presidio Graduate School’s predecessor institution, World College West

The main campus of the University of Redlands is located in Southern California, about an hour east of Los Angeles. The main campus is a residential campus with housing for undergraduate students and academic and athletic facilities for undergraduate and graduate students.

The University of Redlands comprises several schools that offer liberal arts and professional education to approximately 3,500 students, including the School of Business & Society where Presidio’s programs will be housed.

The University of Redlands’ Marin Campus also is home to its Graduate Theology School and the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The Seminary was founded in 1871 and moved to Marin in 1891. This is the result of a partnership that took place in 2019. SFTS also is a founding member of the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. In addition to the theology degrees, spirituality and chaplaincy programs, the University has envisioned offering business degree programs at the Marin Campus.

The lovely campus is also host to a community park and theater space, a nonprofit serving people with disabilities, and is a popular option for weddings and other celebrations for the Marin community.

Redlands is acting as a steward for the Presidio curriculum and mission, which will continue.

Presidio students will continue to follow their program’s curriculum and schedule. The monthly residences will be conducted at the beautiful Marin Campus, with its iconic architecture and natural beauty. Student housing during the residences will also be available.

Presidians will have access to Redlands’ full suite of student support services, including the library, career services, academic advising, and more.

We are working towards the partnership being finalized and official as of July 1, 2023. There will be no disruption to Spring 2023 classes for Presidians, and the process for joining the Redlands community in Marin is expected to be seamless. Throughout the coming months, the Presidio community will have opportunities to provide feedback, ask questions, and learn more about Redlands.

The Presidio degree programs will continue with their same names without the term “Graduate School” – future students will, for example, continue to be Presidians. In addition, there will be an organizing body for all Presidio degrees, known as the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Redlands School of Business & Society.

If you are graduating in May/June, you will earn a Presidio diploma. If you are graduating after June 30, 2023. You will earn a University of Redlands diploma with the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions name noted on it.

Yes, Presidio alumni will also become part of the University of Redlands alumni community. They will have access to Redlands’ alumni benefits, such as lifelong learning, networking, and wellness activities. In addition, Presidio staff will continue to support alumni engagement in partnership with the PGS Alumni Association and the BGI Community Association.

Most Presidio faculty will be invited to continue teaching their courses for Redlands and may have opportunities to teach other classes for the university.

Like now, an academic leader will oversee the Presidio degree programs.

The agreement with the University of Redlands is a financial necessity. The alternative to the partnership is the full closure of the school. Across the U.S., many smaller schools (including those much larger than Presidio) are seeking mergers or consolidations to ensure financial viability.

Presidio has been independent for less than a decade, and has during that time weathered financial ups and downs. We believe that joining with the University of Redlands is the best way to provide our students with the level of stability and support they deserve.

This alliance with the University of Redlands will enhance the educational and student support experience. It also is not possible to provide students with the level of stability and support they deserve without joining with a larger university.

Presidio solicited proposals from numerous institutions, selecting the University of Redlands as the best match for offering its distinguished programs. The board led a confidential and thorough process to carefully select the optimal partner for our community and future.

Additional FAQs About the Partnership

Is the idea of a merger new? How long has this been considered?

Presidio has engaged in multiple relationships with other schools over the past two decades, including Alliant University, Pinchot University/Bainbridge Graduate Institution, and Amity University. When our funding partnership with Amity concluded, we considered our enrollment trends, program diversification, and fundraising capabilities, along with our strategic priorities to improve the student experience. Unfortunately, there simply was not a path forward for an independent Presidio as we have run an operating deficit even as we have increased fundraising in recent years. When our funding relationship with Amity ended in 2021, the board determined a new type of partnership was needed.

As alluded to in our announcement, compared to other offers we received, we were and are inspired by the alignment of our values with both the University of Redlands and their School of Business & Society. We are also impressed with the additional resources that will be available for our students and the beautiful campus in Marin. After a thorough and diligent review process, we are confident that the University of Redlands is the right partner for Presidio’s future.

No, Presidio is not closing. While Presidio Graduate School will cease to operate as an independent institution, Presidio’s name, mission, and degree programs will continue through the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Redlands.

Presidio was not sold; as a 501c3 nonprofit organization, we do not have owners. This partnership is a merger in which Presidio Graduate School, including all of our assets and liabilities, becomes a part of the University of Redlands.

The University of Redlands is a private non-profit university established in Southern California in 1907. The University is comprised of several schools offering more than 40 undergraduate and 23 graduate programs. The University includes its beautiful 160-acre residential campus in Redlands, CA, several regional centers across Southern California, and its bucolic Marin campus, acquired in 2019 through its merger with the San Francisco Theological Seminary.

The Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions will be housed within the School of Business and Society and operate on the Marin campus in San Anselmo, CA – as does the U of R Graduate School of Theology.

You can learn more about the University of Redlands at Redlands.edu.

The merger is not final until our accreditor WSCUC and the Department of Education approve it. These processes are currently underway and expected to progress without significant issues. WSCUC is expected to conduct a visit in the spring and approve the merger during its June 2023 commission meeting.

The merger is expected to be official as of July 1, 2023. At that time, Presidio Graduate School will become the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Redlands. The home of the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions will be the Redlands Marin campus in San Anselmo. While the initial stages of the legalities of the merger have been worked through, the process still requires approval from the Department of Education and the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) which is underway.

A merger necessitates a great deal of confidentiality as the two parties determine whether such a match can be viable. Aside from the Board, only a few individuals from both schools were included in discussions on an as-needed basis. Both schools had to adhere to confidentiality requirements as the details of the partnership were negotiated through attorneys and experts in higher education mergers. In the absence of students being directly involved in this decision, Presidio’s leadership captured and shared student priorities from our strategic planning process with the University of Redlands, and we will be welcoming student engagement going forward on the many details to be worked out.

There were a number of priorities from our strategic planning that have helped form the basis of our partnership with Redlands and will continue to shape our collaboration going forward. Some of our top priorities include (1) increase full-time faculty; (2) make scholarship opportunities available; (3) prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion; and (4) engage in thought leadership. These priorities, and the others identified, are all part of the University of Redlands culture, and our partnership with the U of R will allow Presidio to progress in these critical areas identified by our community.

Some staff members will be invited to work at the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions in San Anselmo, or perhaps for the University of Redlands at their main campus in Southern California. These details are still being worked out based on the needs at Redlands and the preferences of Presidio’s staff. Staff who do not continue with Redlands will receive many months of notice, as well as financial and career support from Presidio to aid them in their transition to other opportunities.

Yes, we will have a Spring 2023 C39 cohort, and we are actively recruiting.

FAQs for Students

Academics

Will all my credits transfer to Redlands?

Because Redlands will continue offering Presidio degree programs, students who remain continuously enrolled will not see any delays or changes to their degree progression.

All students graduating in Fall 2022 or Spring 2023 will earn a degree from Presidio Graduate School. Until the merger is finalized, University of Redlands cannot confer Presidio degrees.

Until the merger is complete, you can contact Presidio for your official transcripts. After the merger, Redlands will become the custodian of records for Presidio students. Pinchot records will also be held by Redlands. As is currently the practice, records for students who attended during our partnership with Alliant will be held by Alliant.

The Presidio name and current degree program name will be included in your Redlands degree. For example, the current MBA in Sustainable Solutions from Presidio Graduate School will become the MBA in Sustainable Solutions from the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions at the University of Redlands.

Yes, Redlands is accredited by the WSCUC, the same entity that currently accredits Presidio. Additionally, Redlands degree programs in the School of Business & Society are accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). Redlands will seek to have Presidio’s programs recognized by ACBSP as well.

Yes, students will continue to be able to join Residency classes in person at their Marin campus or remotely via Zoom.

Student Life

What is the Marin campus like?

Tour the Marin campus with Presidio President Liz Maw.

There is some bus service available to and within Marin, and we will also be working with students to identify additional alternatives for transportation. Students may, of course, drive themselves or use a ride-share service. More details will be released as they become available.

Presidians can stay at Susanna Baird Hall or the Trinity House & Retreat Center while on campus for Residency. Lodging is anticipated to cost about $50/night for a shared room or $100/night for a single room. As we get closer to the Fall 2023 semester, more details about staying on-site at the Marin campus will become available.

There are short- and long-term living facilities (apartments) at the Marin campus, and Presidians are welcome to explore these options. More information about this will be coming soon.

Presidians will still have Student Representatives and student clubs and organizations.

Most Redlands students are at the main campus in Southern California, which makes joining groups and clubs less feasible. However, opportunities for Presidians to integrate with the larger Redlands community will be regularly explored and evaluated.

No, the merger will not affect commencement. We will continue to work with our Class of 2023 to plan commencement following the Spring 2023 semester.

Yes, students who live or visit Southern California are welcome at the University of Redlands main campus. Presidians will have a U of R student ID and may use any of the resources available to the Redlands graduate student body.

Student Financial Services

Coming soon. Please check back frequently for up-to-date information.

FAQs for Faculty

Can faculty stay on the Marin campus and, if so, what would be the cost per night?

Yes, faculty traveling from outside the San Francisco Bay Area for Residency may stay on campus. More details about this will be coming soon.

Pay rates for 2023-2024 are guaranteed to stay consistent with current pay rates. The intention is to keep these pay rates in place for specialized faculty such as those who teach in Presidio’s programs. However, this is a process the University of Redlands is continuing to work on, and rates are not guaranteed beyond the 2023-2024 academic year at this time.

All classes used for Residency meetings will be equipped to accommodate the hyflex modality.

Presidio faculty will be welcome to apply for full-time and tenure-track positions as they become available at the University of Redlands.

Yes, Presidio faculty may apply to teach other classes at the University of Redlands. The compensation for these classes may vary from their Presidio compensation.

FAQs for Alumni

How can I receive a copy of my transcripts?

Until the merger is complete, you can contact Presidio for your official transcripts. After the merger, Redlands will become the custodian of records for Presidio students. Pinchot records will also be held by Redlands. As is currently the practice, records for students who attended during our partnership with Alliant will be held by Alliant.

The Presidio identity will be retained at the University of Redlands. We will become the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions within the School of Business & Society. Our degree programs will also be branded with the Presidio name.

The Presidio name will still be used for our degree programs at the University of Redlands, and thus will still be recognized. You may choose to keep your affiliation the same or use the updated branding of the Presidio programs at the University of Redlands.

Alumni will continue to enjoy a special Presidio community with Presidio-specific news, updates, events, and more. In addition, alumni will be able to take advantage of additional alumni resources from the University of Redlands.

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