colleges

In the Culture of Death, Abortion is a Sacrament

The feminist writer Florynce Kennedy once said, “If men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.” She didn’t give the left enough credit. Abortion has become a kind of “sacrament” because women can get pregnant. Abortion has morphed from a taboo tragedy to a constitutional right: a sine qua non of the Democratic Party, [...]

On a New Generation of Campus Disorders

This fall has looked like the 1960s redivivus on many university campuses, with campus demonstrations, building occupations, strident demands, and student confrontations with, and even the toppling of, university officials. In the 1960s, the Vietnam War was the main trigger of the protests, and now it’s racial issues. Unhappy realities of higher education itself have [...]

Will Public Subsidies Burst the College Bubble?

When governments want to encourage what they believe is beneficial behavior, they subsidize it. Sounds like good public policy. But there can be problems. Behavior that is beneficial for most people may not be so for everybody. And government subsidies can go too far. Subsidies create incentives for what economists call rent-seeking behavior. Providers of [...]

Banning Racial Discrimination is Discriminatory

It's racially discriminatory to prohibit racial discrimination. That's the bottom line of a decision issued last Friday, just before the Fourth of July weekend, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The case was brought by an organization called By Any Means Necessary to overturn a state constitutional amendment passed by a [...]

The Feds Are Now Campus Hall Monitors

When I was growing up, it was widely believed that colleges and universities were the part of our society with the widest scope for free expression and free speech. In the conformist America of the 1950s, the thinking ran, few people dared to say anything that went beyond a broad consensus. But on campus, anyone [...]

New Government Scrutiny for ‘Catholic’ Colleges

Increasingly, Catholic colleges and universities are struggling to find sure footing when it comes to the rocky terrain of proving their Catholic identity. For many of these institutions, the days of being able to shrug off outside scrutiny may be gone. On May 26, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) found that one Catholic college [...]

Graduation 2011

Two years ago, I wrote a column for this site titled “Graduation 2009.” As I come to the end of this scholastic year, I would like to return to the same topic: What do college graduates learn before they graduate? Depending on the student and the faculty, the answer ranges from “not much” to “an [...]

The ‘Education’ Mantra

One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words. One of those words that many people seldom look behind is "education." But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling. [...]

The End of Men?

The July/August issue of The Atlantic has a provocative lead article entitled "The End of Men," by Hanna Rosin. Bound to raise some hackles, it's a well-written, fascinating, worrisome piece that looks at women's growing dominance in the West and considers whether the modern, post-industrial world is actually more suited to the female:  Man has [...]

A Magnificent Restoration

When Daniel Coit Gilman became the founding president of Johns Hopkins University in 1875, he called for a policy of intellectual freedom based on the principle of "open academic discourse" liberated from "ecclesiastical and political control." He wasn't opposed to religiously affiliated universities per se, but he criticized abuses of academic freedom and unwarrantedrestrictions on [...]

The State of Catholic Higher Education

The Notre Dame commencement scandal was of such crucial significance to the Church and the renewal of Catholic higher education that it dominated much of the summer. But as students complete their first full month of studies and my colleagues at the Cardinal Newman Society wrap up the second edition of our Catholic college guide, [...]

Civic Engagement 101

  When public school began earlier this month, some parents were wary of the idea of President Barack Obama's likeness appearing on Orwellian viewscreens in their children's classrooms. While the presidential address might have captured the banality of Big Brother's compulsory public health announcements, the speech itself contained little that was politically alarming.   Of [...]

Newman and the Ideal of a University

A Notre Dame Professor Explores Its Pertinence to His Own Institution When he was sixty-three years old, John Henry Newman published a memoir, the Apologia pro Vita Sua (1864), which very soon achieved the status of a classic of autobiography. In it he recalled with special poignancy his arrival at Oxford nearly a half-century before [...]

Allocution to European Jesuits Engaged in the Worker Mission

Let me first of all thank you for welcoming me J among you. I was glad to receive your invitation because I have a strong desire to know the Worker Mission, not only from without, but also — even if two days cannot suffice for it — from within. I want to convey to you [...]

Faith and Freedom

The synthesis of the responses of 110 presidents of Catholic colleges and universities to the proposed Vatican schema on such institutions covers a wide range of points. [See “Catholic College and University Presidents Respond to Proposed Vatican Schema,” Origins, April 10, 1986.] Abounding with references to “cultural pluralism,” “academic freedom,” “ecumenical realities,” and “Catholic character,” [...]

The Catholic College: Death, Judgment, Resurrection

Why don’t we put a moratorium on abstract discussions of the nature of the Catholic college and instead take a good look at what is actually happening on Catholic campuses? Ideas can be debated forever but they have consequences, and Catholicity or its lack can be determined more easily by looking at what happened day-by-day [...]

Common Wisdom: In Search of Liberal Education

Our family has taken up a new pastime — the search for a college. As our oldest child prepares for college, we have recently completed a series of tours of the schools on our son's "list." We covered some ten schools, colleges with beautiful campuses, no campuses, and in-between cam­puses. Three were Catholic schools; the [...]

Keeping the “Catholic” in Catholic Colleges

Many Catholics in the United States and Canada are concerned about the future of our colleges and universities. They know that many of them have ceased being Catholic in any real sense — though they may retain an honorable religious name — and that most of the others are succumbing to a greater or lesser [...]

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