San Francisco-based Presidio Graduate School, a national leader in sustainability-focused graduate education, plans to merge with the University of Redlands and be housed on the Redlands Marin campus commencing in summer 2023.
“We are thrilled that the University of Redlands, and especially its School of Business & Society and Marin campus, will become the new home for Presidio’s degree programs,” said Elizabeth Maw, president, Presidio Graduate School. “The additional resources that will be available for our students, the beautiful campus in Marin, and our shared values around creating purposeful leaders make Redlands the right partner for our school’s future.”
The University of Redlands School of Business & Society will establish the Presidio Center for Sustainable Solutions and assume responsibility for Presidio’s academic programs, including its distinguished sustainability-focused MBA and dual MBA-MPA. The Presidio programs will retain their current faculty, focus on environmental sustainability and social justice, and unique, path-breaking curriculum.
The Presidio Center will be housed on the University’s 20-acre Marin Campus at San Anselmo, which is the home of the San Francisco Theological Seminary and located 15 miles northwest of downtown San Francisco. Coincidentally, the University of Redlands Marin Campus is the original location of the first iteration of Presidio (World College West) when it opened in 1973.
All classes will continue to take place online and through periodic low-residency, in-person meetings at the Marin Campus. Presidio Center students will have access to support services, notable guest speakers, and community activities that have always been part of Presidio’s educational experience.
Prior to the completion of the alliance, which is expected to take place at the end of June 2023, the University of Redlands and Presidio Graduate School will conduct collaboration sessions with their respective faculty, staff, students, alumni, and supporters to discuss the agreement and listen to ideas for ensuring a successful future for Presidio’s mission and programs. Finalization of the agreement is subject to approval by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior College and University Commission, which is expected to occur before the end of June.
“When we joined with the San Francisco Theological Seminary in Marin in 2019, we saw its great potential as a location to offer programming that engages the community in societal issues and concerns. This opportunity with Presidio Graduate School, which has been at the forefront of crafting distinctive educational programs aimed at impacting business, the environment, and society, is a perfect match for us. We are devoted to carrying on their visionary mission and bringing new opportunities to our community,” said University of Redlands President Krista L. Newkirk.
“Last year, we intentionally changed the name of our School of Business to the School of Business & Society to both represent who we are now and to continuously challenge us on who we want to be. Part of that ambition involves strengthening Redlands’ offerings in environmental sustainability,” said Thomas Horan, dean, University of Redlands School of Business & Society.
“This partnership fits hand-in-glove with our goals for the school and for our Marin Campus. Presidio’s mission and its excellent sustainability and social justice curriculum is a highly valued complement to our own mission to empower our students to impact business and society positively, and environmental sustainability is a key aspect of this broader mission,” Horan continued.
Early in 2022, Presidio commenced discussions regarding its future and continued viability. Ultimately, the Presidio Board of Directors determined the right path forward was to join a larger university, as it had during the first 12 years of its history as a graduate school. After reviewing proposals from numerous institutions, the board selected the University of Redlands as its appropriate merger partner.
“This merger is the right long-term solution for Presidio, providing stable financial backing for our programs while improving our student experience,” said Presidio Board Chair Suzanne Farver. “The board carefully evaluated our opportunities, and we were unanimous in our choice of the University of Redlands. Our mission of educating change-makers is a wonderful fit with the Redlands’ strategic vision, and it will enable our continuing commitment to our students, alumni, and the greater community.”
Presidio and the University of Redlands have collectively chosen to announce this agreement months before the official change-over in order to allow for transparent discussions about how to make the partnership succeed. Through a series of town halls and information sessions, both groups will solicit the input of their stakeholders, including students, staff, alumni, trustees, and donors.