Listening Tour Report
THE THREE-PHASE SIX-STEP APPROACH
Engage, Evaluate, Explore, Equip, Establish, and Execute for Success.
During the first year of my presidency, it is critical to lay the groundwork for building and gaining trust through broad stakeholder engagement. To ensure shared contributions, accountability, and success, I have committed to a three-phase (assess, develop, and implement), six-step framework (engage people, evaluate data, explore resources, equip teams, establish a plan, and execute tools) as follows:
During Phase 1, my top priorities were to engage people and evaluate data. I have heard your heartfelt expressions of pride, pain, possibilities, and priorities for Pacifica. After absorbing and evaluating all the data, some clear aspects emerged about what the Institute does well, what needs improvement, and how we can work collaboratively to create a shared vision. Phase 1 of this transition process was completed on January 12, 2023, and I will share the findings in this report.
Next, in Phase 2, we explore resources and equip cross-functional teams to build capabilities, capacity, and alignment to prepare for phase three. To ensure collaboration and open communication, there will be an emphasis on building high-performing teams, deepening trust between individuals and departments, and building a culture of belonging and respect where employees feel empowered and energized to innovate solutions that support our path forward.
Finally, in Phase 3, we will establish a five-year strategic plan with your goals, aspirations, and ideas and execute tools to give it life and keep all stakeholders informed, engaged, and inspired. To successfully achieve these three phases, every one of us—the Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, learners, community, and alumni—must recognize our role in the success of Pacifica. Working together at our highest level will be the catalyst to achieve our vision. I’m excited to start the strategic planning process in the summer of 2023. Celebrating individual and team contributions that display personal accountability, trust in others, financial stewardship, and healthy community partnerships elevates our capacity at Pacifica to renew our focus as a learner-first institution. We will track, measure, and communicate our impact through dashboard reporting, regular updates, and an annual impact report.
PHASE ONE: THE LISTENING PROCESS
All successful change is deeply rooted in the success of the people in the organization.
Over my first 100 days, I heard from 500+ staff, faculty, learners, alumni, and the community through
informal listening sessions, town halls, an online form, personal interactions, group discussions, and
meetings. Throughout my soulful tour, I posed the following questions to each audience:
- Pride: Where does Pacifica have key advantages and momentum?
- Pain: What areas need further development, and what issues do we need to address?
- Possibilities: Looking ahead, what are our greatest opportunities?
- Plan: Suppose a headline is written about Pacifica in five years—what would you want that
headline to say?
- Priorities: What is one thing we could do to make Pacifica better?
KEY MONTHLY HIGHLIGHTS
Recognizing the importance of timely communication, accountability, and transparency, below is a summary
of key activities to advance Pacifica’s strategic plan goals:
- Shared my intent to build and gain trust through my 100 Days of Listening, Learning, and Connecting tour.
- Facilitated virtual staff and faculty listening sessions and meet and greets.
- First introduction to 200+ learners, community members, and alumni at the Welcome Reception and Portals to the Imaginal conference.
- Engaged with alumni, the community, learners, and staff during the Grace, Grit, and Gratitude gala honoring our founder, Dr. Steven Aizenstat.
- Conducted one-on-one interviews and reviewed and assessed resumes, performance reviews, strategic plan progress reports, and job descriptions with all direct reports to get to know the senior staff members better.
- Toured Pacifica’s campuses and met with incredible grounds and housekeeping staff to understand their work and the history of our sacred grounds.
- Greeted 25+ Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-Psychologies learners and faculty.
- Facilitated reparative discussions with faculty leadership to repair and build trust.
- Launched a new Office of the President and CEO web page to increase communication and transparency.
- Appointed Dianne Travis-Teague, Senior Director of Alumni Relations; Rica Toribio, Vice President of Enrollment; and Nick Sabatino, Chief of Staff, to the executive leadership team.
- Initiated re-occurring individual meetings with the executive leadership team, faculty, and key staff.
- Engaged in bi-weekly check-ins with the Board Chair.
- Submitted the WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) interim report to ensure compliance review from accreditors.
- Launched Eye on Pacifica monthly video with institutional updates to improve communication and transparency, resulting in over 500 views.
- Facilitated the review, assessment, and dashboard reporting of our existing five-year strategic plan to the Board of Trustees and in partnership with the President’s Council, staff, and faculty leadership.
- Welcomed 100+ Depth Psychology with Specialization in Integrative Therapy and Healing Practices and Jungian Psychology and Archetypal studies learners and presented my appreciation of depth psychology and a vision of what’s possible after graduation.
- Led faculty, learners, and staff through multiple reparation conversations to repair and build trust in the Clinical Psychology Department.
- Communicated winter attendance and health/safety policies to support safe in-person teaching and learning.
- Established an executive leadership team consisting of Chief Officers, VPs, and a Sr. Director and engaged Don St. Clair of McIntyre & St. Clair to facilitate a leadership retreat using the DISC-based Five Behaviors® Team. This process takes teams through team dynamics on five dimensions and then provides a workshop to improve trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results.
- Connected with 70+ staff during our Winter Wonderland festivities to boost employee morale, and infuse fun into our great work.
- Engaged 100+ learners and alumni during a virtual listening session.
- Facilitated a leadership development workshop to build healthy relationships and team trust and as well as encourage bonding.
- Met with 300+ thought leaders during the Chamber of Commerce business network breakfast and community awards gala event elevating awareness of Pacifica.
- Implemented a 90-day work plan to improve student experience and organizational performance.
- Listened to the leadership of Pacifica Online, Alumni Association, Board of Trustees, and OPUS Research.
- Volunteered during the annual Unity Shoppe telethon to help needy families in Santa Barbara County regain their dignity.
- Launched the “Holiday Quiet” period to promote employee wellness and morale.
- Reviewed and assessed departmental SWOT analysis to get a clear and realistic view of Pacifica’s internal environment.
- Achieved 100% return to on-campus attendance for residential sessions.
- Reviewed the 2021 Diversity Equity and Inclusion report with Dr. Tolu Wuraola, JD, Ph.D. of Magnitude and Bond Consulting, LLC.
- Issued a Pacifica presidential statement, including faculty and staff reflections, honoring the life of Martin Luther King, JR, on all social media platforms.
- Launched monthly Teamwork Thursday virtual staff meeting to increase staff and faculty engagement.
- Participated in the WSCUC interim report panel review with four executive and faculty leadership.
- Initiated partnerships with National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity and Stevens Strategy to support key Omnibus Resolutions.
- Attended the Depth Psychology and Creativity with Emphasis in the Arts and Humanities program graduate presentations and engaged with 30+ attendees.
- Met with the Diversity and Inclusion Council lead, Dr. Fanny Brewster, to understand the history, progress, and future endeavors of the Council.
- Appointed Dr. Loraine Devos-Comby, Ph.D., as interim Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Director of Institutional Effectiveness.
- Instituted an incident response team to help weather the recent rainstorms and keep our campuses and learners safe and cared for.
- Reached my 100 days leading Pacifica.
SIX THEMES EMERGED
Across every listening, learning, and connecting session, six themes emerged, reflecting your assessment of Pacifica’s points of pride, pain, and possibilities. Your ideas and shared interests will inform our strategic planning process.
OUR BRAND IDENTITY
Over and over, I heard of Pacifica’s allegiance to our motto of “tending the soul of and in the world,” and many said this drew them to the Institute. And just as strongly, many shared their appreciation of the distinct features of our beautiful campuses yet pointed out that location should not be the sole component of our identity. I heard that we need to do more to tell our story and greatly amplify local, national, and international awareness of the value and impact of Pacifica’s differentiators, academic excellence, and key areas of strength in a contemporary way.
LEARNER EXPERIENCE AND SUCCESS
Learner Success is the core of Pacifica’s past, present, and future. There is a shared sense of urgency to think expansively about our administrative structure, accountability, and resources to achieve a learner-first institution that elevates learner experience, engagement, and success. It was pointed out that we need to review and re-imagine our infrastructures to ensure that our processes, policies, programs, and organizational units are harmonized to meet the changing needs of our learners before arrival and continue beyond graduation. I heard that we need a streamlined learner-centered online design that fosters interconnections and interactions between the support, systems, and services. This will enable learners to focus on their ambitions, unleash new talents and achieve their goals.
ACADEMIC INNOVATION AND FACULTY EFFECTIVENESS
Pacifica’s education and research are rooted in the traditions of depth psychology. As champions for evolving academic effectiveness, excellence, innovation, and relevance, I heard that this community wants to see a real expression of effectiveness through transformative program growth, innovation, diversity, equity, and inclusion in our faculty, staff, leadership, learners, alliances, and curriculum. I heard a clear call to action to ensure shared governance is aligned with our values and marked by accountability, transparency, trust, and impact.
ORGANIZATIONAL AND EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT
I heard a mix of passion and frustration around living our values, cultural humility practices, and reinstating holidays and celebrations. These are aspects of the Pacifica culture that many of you expressed missing. There is commitment and a readiness to root out areas where systemic inequities hide zealously, correct them at the institutional level, and infuse inclusion and equity into all we do. It was shared that we need to become a more agile organization to better serve our learners, faculty, staff, partners, alumni, and the community. I heard from many that we still have a lot of work to do to recruit, retain, and develop a diverse campus and diversify our revenue stream.
COMMUNITY AND GLOBAL PARTNERSHIPS
The Lambert campus was brought up, expressing a desire to strategically expand and leverage our location to create a stronger community and better outcomes for our learners, staff, alumni, and partners. It was recognized that many of our alumni are doing important work across various industries locally and globally and are engines for innovative and profitable partnerships beyond our institutional borders. I heard from some of our local community and global partners that they want us to engage in deeper ways to support Pacifica’s mission of delivering a broader, more tangible, and more purposeful impact in our local community and globally.The Lambert Campus was brought up as a potential conduit for expressing and leveraging these interests.
RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
I heard the passion for the extraordinary legacy that has made our institution unique. This included our history, achievements, and innovations. Calls for our expertise, experience, and help are only growing. It was emphasized that this should be carried into our future through groundbreaking transdisciplinary and social research that positions us to imagine, innovate, and impact the world. The point was made that we do not have research priorities. It was suggested that we ensure preeminence research, scholarship, innovation, and collaboration to address societal issues such as mental health, human justice, and climate.
LOOKING AHEAD, WE WILL OUTLINE THIS THROUGH OUR STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS
ELEVATE Pacifica’s Brand and Reputation
- Complete an identity audit on how we are currently perceived and positioned.
- Partner with Pacifica Online (PO), Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association , and Opus Research to integrate goals.
- Lead the development of a new five-year strategic plan.
- Create a unified marketing and communication plan to increase the reputation and visibility of Pacifica.
EVOLVE Learner Experience and Success
- Assess current use of learner outcomes, academic support, and retention in our curriculums.
- Conduct a learner-centric wellness survey.
- Assess and enhance existing programs, activities, and services designed to evolve learner success.
- Develop a strategic enrollment plan to manage recruitment, growth, and retention.
- Realign academic affairs and learner success departments to enhance wellness and growth.
- Create a full-cycle learner-success framework to streamline our processes.
- Enhance learner services and integrate career services functions.
ENHANCE Academic and Faculty Effectiveness
- Conduct a faculty workload and compensation study.
- Lead the design and implementation of a shared governance model.
- Redesign the Office of the Provost through the implementation of key Omnibus Resolutions.
- Launch the 2024 WSCUC Self-Study work plan.
- Reinstate the Academic Senate.
- Assess and revise our faculty handbook.
- Publish regular updates from the Office of the Provost Webpage
EMPOWER Organizational and Employee Development
- Share the 100 Days of Listening, Learning, and Connecting tour with stakeholders.
- Clarify and refine our mission, values, and vision.
- Align departments and programs for efficiency and effectiveness.
- Hire a Chief People, Values, and Diversity Officer.
- Launch an updated employee handbook.
- Develop a framework to diversify and increase sustainable revenue growth.
EXPAND Community and Global Partnerships
- Launch an industry-focused task force to establish, strengthen and cultivate profitable partnerships.
- Acquire funding to expand opportunities for learners and alumni advancement.
- Expand our countywide and statewide presence through innovative programming and partnerships.
- Increase Pacifica’s regional and global visibility and recognition through outreach and partnerships.
- Develop new and strengthen existing workforce development and alumni engagement programs.
- Use physical and IT infrastructure to facilitate innovation, learning, and broad engagements.
ESTABLISH Transdisciplinary and Social Research
- Examine institutional policies, practices, procedures, and structures to deepen self-knowledge.
- Establish a Social and Transdisciplinary Research Task Force.
- Conduct a needs assessment to determine the research gaps to be filled.
- Identify research priorities and funding mechanisms to facilitate the flow of resources to Pacifica.
- Develop a roadmap to strengthen the Institute’s research infrastructure.
NEXT STEPS AND PHASE TWO….
This report was presented to the Board of Trustees on February 20, 2023, and is intended to be presented to the campus community through a Town Hall shortly after. The report will be available and accessible to everyone through the Office of the President and CEO web page.
We will spend March through June in Phase Two and hope to establish our five-year strategic plan (Phase Three) by November 2023.
It is an exciting time for Pacifica as we continue to build upon the successes of the past; celebrate and refine our focus; and champion each other to imagine, innovate, and implement our shared vision for the Onward Expansion of the Traditions, Power, and Advancements of Depth Psychology.