Questions and Answers
When will the implementation begin?
Implementation begins immediately. Please see the timeline for the complete rollout over the next five years.
How was it determined which new initiatives to recommend?
The Historical Audit Recommendations Task Force, which included trustees, faculty, administrators, students, and alumni, led a deliberative process to provide opportunities for the campus community to discuss and respond to the audit report. The task force hosted more than 25 events, meetings, and conversations on the campus in the previous academic year. The task force received over 100 responses from students, faculty, and alumni, including a thorough response by the Association of Black Seminarians. Feedback gathered from these responses was incorporated in the recommendations presented to the Seminary’s board.
How much will it cost to implement the action plan?
By the time of full implementation, annual program costs will be more than $1 million year after year. To sustain these initiatives in perpetuity, $27.6 million will be reserved in the endowment. Additional resources will be devoted to community engagement initiatives as these partnerships develop.
How did the Seminary determine how much of its funds to allocate toward the action plan?
The Historical Audit Recommendations Task Force began not with a dollar amount, but with consideration for the actions that would be substantial and have lasting impact in our community, based on the feedback received from many members of the Seminary. After the list of recommendations was finalized, the cost of the initiatives was determined to sustain the new initiatives year after year.
How will we be updated on progress of the action plan?
The implementation committee, which includes members of the faculty, student body, trustees, administration, and alumni, will ensure accountability to the action plan as outlined in the timeline. The committee will report progress to the Board of Trustees and the Seminary community and will provide annual updates that will be published on slavery.ptsem.edu.
How many doctoral fellowships will be offered?
One new doctoral fellowship will be designated each year and will last for the duration of the student’s five-year doctoral program. At full capacity, there will be a total of five active fellowships at a time among all doctoral students.
How many new scholarships will be offered?
Up to 10 Francis Grimke scholarships for master’s students will be offered to entering students each year, for a total of 30 active scholarships at a time.
What will the new scholarships cover?
Each Francis Grimke scholarship covers a student’s tuition plus an additional $15,000. These scholarships are renewable annually through the student’s degree program.
How was the amount for the scholarships chosen?
The primary purpose of offering the Francis Grimke scholarships is so that a Princeton Seminary education does not contribute to the disproportionate debt burden of students from historically disenfranchised communities. This substantial aid will cover tuition and direct costs of attendance. The Grimke scholarships will be among the highest scholarships that Princeton Seminary offers.
Why may some of the scholarships be awarded to those who are from the broader historically underrepresented community, rather than given only to those of enslaved ancestors?
Current federal nondiscrimination guidelines and case law permit educational institutions to focus but not limit scholarships to particular racial/ethnic groups. Within the context of the Seminary’s complete financial aid program, the Francis Grimke scholarships will focus on African American students to the extent permitted by these guidelines.