- Written by Tyler Hendricks
The third regular meeting of the UTS Board of Trustees took place beginning at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, September 29, 2007 at the Barrytown campus.
Board Vice-Chair Dr. Michael Jenkins, at the request of Chair Dr. Chang Shik Yang, presided over the meeting. He called the meeting to order asked Board Secretary Dr. Hugh Spurgin to offer the opening prayer. In addition to the current Trustees, Trustee Emeritus Dr. David S. C. Kim attended as well as key administrators.
Dr. Yang noted the Board’s appreciation of the spiritual leadership being provided by Dr. Hyun Jin Preston Moon, representing the Founder. He called UTS to serve as the “headlights” of the Unification movement, working closely with the field leadership. He challenged the Board to support this mission. Dr. Hendricks led a discussion on the development of an interfaith culture. Dr. Hendricks referenced that décor, worship space and enhanced sensitivities are important, noting the recent Yehezkel Landau workshop for faculty and staff and the planning to provide a similar workshop for students.
Dr. Jenkins underlined the importance of the interfaith culture in relation to the MEPI and other work of the Universal Peace Federation. He noted that Christianity has a unique role to play in the global task of interfaith peacebuilding, and that America provides a relatively successful model as a pluralistic society. Mrs. Smith reinforced his appeal with reference to a new openness to religious dialogue at the UN. Dr. Wilson reported that UTS is discussing interfaith training for MEPI participants. Mr. Balcomb suggested adding Trustees from diverse religions. Mrs. Zahedi suggested hiring professors of other religions from local colleges as adjuncts.
Dr. Guerra also reminded the Board of the impressive history of UTS as a center for ecumenical dialogue, and challenged the school to document that history. Dr. David S. C. Kim indicated that he would provide access to his substantial archive on the subject. Interfaith and Field Education Director Mr. Antal reported on three items. The May interreligious intensive, one of the students being Ms. Chipo Muzurewa, who matriculated this Fall. Mr. Mugyo Choi was accepted in the CPE program at Westchester Medical Center, an interfaith program. Mr. Choi is the first Barrytown student to achieve such a placement. Mr. Antal is preparing a student for an internship placement in Israel for field education over the winter break. Dr. Yang and Dr. Jenkins indicated their desire to help with this program. Bishop Billings lauded UTS’s interfaith direction, called the Board to promote it and advance the articulation of what it means. Dr. Guerra and Mrs. Smith suggested that the Board convene another retreat to discuss the subject at length.
The Chair of the Marketing and Recruitment Committee reviewed the results at the Barrytown campus, noting the FTE uptick and expanded diversity. Dr. Winings presented Rev. Hardaway’s report on enrollment, noting that we need to help candidates overcome negative pressure based on prejudice against the Founder, and we have a strategy to do so, including participation in a KISS-FM Madison Square Garden event. Dr. Jenkins encouraged deeper work with the ACLC, and Dr. Hendricks reported a recent “summit” meeting with new director Bishop Ki Hoon Kim and NY-NJ ACLC leadership, which set forth several action steps.
In the Development arena, Dr. Hendricks reviewed his written report. Dr. Jenkins called for suggestions of specific causes to which to donate. Ideas included a stipend to free faculty for research and publications, an academic chair, and increasing administrative capacity to free faculty from administrative duties. Dr. Jenkins encouraged partnership between UTS and the Family Federation Education Department.
The Trustees repaired to the new dining room for its official opening . During the lunch, individual Trustees sat with students to get to know them. Dr. Hendricks introduced the Trustees to the students, and the new students stood and introduced themselves. This was followed by remarks from Dr. Yang and a closing prayer by President of the Student Council, Kenji Toyomura.
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