Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Report from the LTSP Board of Trustees - Spring 2013

Communication to the Seminary Community:
Decisions and Recommendations of the Board of Trustees of
The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, April 22-24, 2013
  • The Dean of the seminary was awarded an Endowed Chair.
  • A balanced budget proposal for the year 2014 was approved.
  • The Board learned that LTSP meets all the standards required at this time by the Middle States Commission of Higher Education.
These were among the highlights of the spring meeting of the Board of Trustees held on campus April 22-24.
In a joyful celebration with the seminary community, the Board participated in the chairing of the Rev. Dr. J. Jayakiran Sebastian as he received the H. George Anderson Chair in Mission and Cultures. The Dean's chairing lecture was entitled "The Always-Generous and Ever-Ready Church." For a complete pictorial, written, and video account of the ceremony, visit LTSP.edu. Don't miss it!
The Board approved a balanced budget for fiscal 2014, beginning July 1, 2013.
It approved a process to explore the sale or development of some of the perimeter properties that the seminary owns.
It approved a second reading of the seminary bylaws that restructures the Board and established term limits for members of the Board. Six members whose terms expired were thanked for their distinguished service at a special luncheon and the community Eucharist. They are Lynn H. Askew, Dr. Addie J Butler, the Rev. Rolf Hedberg, Sonja Hegymegi, the Rev. Dr. Marjorie H. Keiter, and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Krommes.
The Board elected the following retiring and former board members to emeritus status: Lynn H. Askew, Dr. Addie J Butler, John Heck, the Rev. Rolf Hedberg, Sonja Hegymegi, the Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Krommes, Dr. Earl Marsan, Carl Phelps, Bishop Roy Riley, and Dr. Nelvin Vos.
The Board learned with pleasure that the draft report of the recommendations from the focused visiting team to the Middle States Commission of Higher Education indicates that LTSP meets all the standards. The Board thanked the Rev. Louise Johnson, Vice President for Mission Advancement, for her leadership in the successful outcomes, and all who worked so hard on the report and the visit.
In various committees, the Board also assessed the outcomes of the four goals of the strategic plan and heard a summary of goal four, which is the new "Flexible, Affordable, and Relevant" curriculum. 
The Faculty sabbatical reports and applications for sabbatical were approved.
Upon the recommendation of the Faculty, the Rev. Dr. John Nunes was elected as the St. John's Summit Visiting Professor for the spring semester 2014. Dr. Nunes is the President and CEO of Lutheran World Relief. He attended the Urban Theological Institute at LTSP and has helped to teach the O. Frederick Nolde Human Rights course.
The Board approved 85 LTSP candidates for graduation on May 21, 2013, pending completion of their requirements.
The Board also rejoiced in the exciting outcomes of Project Sponsor, a new initiative of LTSP led by Don Johnson, Vice President for Student Development. This initiative has a goal to minimize two of the most significant obstacles facing those considering a seminary education. One is the issue of student debt; the other is helping students sustain the confidence that their efforts to prepare for public ministry will truly lead to their helping church members grow in faith.
The Board also made a motion to thank all those who participated in the President's Evaluation, and the Board is taking the information under advisement.

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