I want to express my personal sympathies and support for the sentiments and concerns expressed by the international students and their domestic colleagues who are standing in solidarity with them. In auditing the IPO, the consultation could have been broadened to include views of international students. Even as the out-going director of IP, my views were hardly solicited and when I volunteered them, they were not taken into account. I shared my concern with President Van Dyk that in auditing the IPO, International Programs should be made more, not less, visible. Our commitment to God’s changing world and to the global church has to be reflected not only in catchy slogans, but in our actions and institutional programs.
It is clear that most, if not all the changes outlined in the President’s letter of 01/31 have to do with budgetary constraints. International programs is therefore seen in the larger context of the difficult financial situation as one of those low hanging fruits to be absorbed into other outfits. The real elephant in the room that we need to address is the low cash flow. Cost cutting and budget tightening is certainly one but not the only or most effective way of addressing the challenge. Raising more funds is surely another way of alleviating the situation. And whose principal responsibility is it to raise funds for the seminary? Does somebody or some people also need to be given some benchmarks to meet? It is only fair that we hold everyone to the same standard of scrutiny and accountability. Thanks!
John Azumah, PhD