PSR announces hiatus for PANA Institute
August 7, 2009
The PSR faculty, the executive committee of the board of trustees, and the administration have announced the suspension of operations of the PANA Institute for six to twelve months in order that PANA can re-emerge as a financially and structurally sustainable center. This period of discussion, revision, and evaluation will begin August 21, 2009. One painful effect of this decision is that current PANA staff members will be laid off on August 21.
The administration and the PANA oversight committee began meeting in the early spring to address PANA’s financial situation, which has deteriorated as grant funding has dried up in the current recession. One major donor was unable to complete a sizeable pledge to the PANA endowment; fund-raising has slowed considerably.
As of June 30, 2009, PANA’s cumulative general operating deficit was $303,429. The fact that this deficit is growing every day is the reason for the staff layoffs. “We will do all that we can to support PANA staff as they seek other employment,” said President Bill McKinney.
McKinney has acknowledged a failure to intervene more effectively in regard both to the financial situation and to internal conflicts that have emerged within the PANA community over its possible future. “One of the goals for the re-visioning process,” he says, “must be to identify mistakes that have been made as well as to build a renewed PANA that can avoid such mistakes in the future.”
McKinney said that he and PSR’s dean, working with the faculty, the board, and other stakeholders, will initiate the process of revisioning and restructuring PANA. PSR’s API faculty will play a key role, and an outside consultant may be brought in.
“The PSR faculty, board of trustees, and administration are united in wanting a vibrant and sustainable PANA,” said Dean Mary A. Tolbert. “PANA is an essential element of PSR’s vision of progressive Christianity, and we are determined that a renewed and vital PANA Institute will return to full health and programming within the next year.”
Questions and answers about the PANA announcement