IAJU Board and the chair of the Task Force with Fr General, Arturo Sosa, SJ at the Jesuit General Curia, Vatican City.


From the 18th to the 20th of February, the Jesuit General Curia in Rome welcomed the first IAJU Board meeting. The Board, leaded by the Chair, the Secretary of Higher Education and represented by two members of each of the six Regional Associations[1], met to discern and discuss the priorities for Jesuit Higher Education.

The IAJU working groups were also well represented by the chairs of the 6 task forces[2] who were invited to join for part of the meeting and present their proposals and projects, to the board, for the next years.

The meeting began trying to stablish a clear picture of the different regions. Board Members worked on presenting the status of the six regions, the strengths and weaknesses of our very diverse body of institutions but also the opportunities and threats that we have ahead. It was the sense of the room that discernment and global collaboration will empower institutions to achieve a greater and wider mission. It was shown that many of our institutions already have programs of outreach, in each of the priority areas, that show real promise of advancing the IAJU agenda

At the same time, Task Force Chairs worked together to refine the proposals that were going to be presented to the board and to identify overlapping topics and collaboration opportunities between projects.

The second day, task force chairs presented their different proposals to the board. The proposals involved a great array of initiatives and projects such as the generation of curricular and co-curricular resources, gatherings of experts and students, international conferences, global cross-disciplinary research projects, faculty formation programs, creation of international networks and more.

The chairs also presented their reflections on the newly released Universal Apostolic Preferences and their general link and overlap between and among IAJU set priorities.

The Assistant for Discernment and Planning Office, John Dardis, SJ joined the group and presented an explanation of his work on leadership development and training, which is developing in collaboration with two Jesuit Universities.

Fr. General’s then visited for an hour with the Board, offering his overview of the Universal Apostolic Preferences and commenting on how he sees universities and the intellectual apostolate contributing to them.  The preferences, he stressed, are not about a sector, but all the sectors ought to reflect and consider how they might advance these preferences.

The efforts towards cultivating a culture of safety in the Society and its institutions was also part of the agenda. The new project manager John Guiney, SJ, met with the board to discuss the different ways in which we can help his work within our higher education institutions.

The ultimate goals of the meeting were to get a pulse of the realities that our different institutions and regions are facing, to continue advancing the IAJU agenda and to refine and promote one or more projects in each of the six priority areas. The sense of the group was positive about all that had been accomplished during these days in an environment of depth and discernment.


[1] IAJU Board: Fernando Ponce, SJ, Ernesto Cavassa, SJ, Linda LeMura, Michael Sheeran, SJ, Johannes Eka Pryatma, Jose Ramon Villarin, SJ, Philip Geister, SJ, Jaime Oraa, SJ, Kizito Kiyimba, SJ, Francois Kabore, SJ, Joye James, SJ, Abraham Enthenkuzhy, SJ and Michael J. Garanzini.


[2] Task Force Chairs: David Kaulem, Mary McFarland, Nancy Tuchman, David McCallum, Pedro Walpole, Elias Lopez, Dorian Llewelyn and Ignacio Garrido Cruz (Assist.)