On the third and final day of the Kircher Network General Assembly of Presidents and Deans, the final plenary sessions took place in order to analyze the various subject matters that had been brought up in the previous days and give answer to the questions posed by the Assembly to give new directions for the future.
Various amendments to the Statutes of the Kircher Network were submitted to the consideration of the Assembly regarding the network’s council, they all were approved. The three candidates proposed to join the Board were ratified by the Assembly, making now the Council a 5-member structure where Gonzalo Villagrán, Annick Castiaux and Jacek Poznański SJ are joining the President, Philip Geister SJ and the Executive Secretary, Susana Di Trolio.
The event could be summarized in three main ideas: it was a space of analysis of the Jesuit context of higher education where the importance of critical thinking was highlighted as well as the need for innovation in a secular world and safeguarding for our students; a space of discussion fostered by the previous analysis and the presentation of the annual report of the network aiming at drafting the strategic priorities for the following years; and a space for decisions, three main strategic priorities were extracted from the previous days’ discussions: regarding teaching, it was identified as a priority the developing of joint lifelong programs; in terms of internationalization and sharing resources, it was proposed the development of a program of sharing the expertise of Jesuit professors between institutions by having them doing short stays for teaching around the network; finally, it was also extracted the importance of strengthening the identity and mission of the network by creating a group of Ignatian Pedagogy higher education and organizing short and hybrid training courses on Jesuit Identity and mission for faculty and staff. On the occasion of the gathering, it was celebrated a Theology Symposium with the presence of the deans of the faculties of theology and philosophy.
The Assembly will meet again in 2023 in Bilbao at the University of Deusto.