ERIC Number: ED370522
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-21
Reference Count: N/A
The Return to Catholicity: A Department Chair's Perspective.
Ward, Steven A.
This paper describes the experience of a non-Catholic Chair of a Communications Department during the University of Portland's (UP) on-going "return to Catholicity." The papal statement "Ex Corde Ecclesiae" on Catholic institutions and a recently completed UP strategic planning process intended to focus the university to be mission-driven rather than market-driven have heightened the importance of Catholicity at the university. Among responses was an effort, ultimately defeated, to actively recruit Catholic faculty members. Catholics and non-Catholics on the faculty argued against the proposal on legal and academic freedom grounds. A review of the Communications Department's academic programs is described followed by an administration response to the resulting report. The administrator questioned why the report did not mention the department's contribution to UP's Catholic mission. This interchange raised the question of the long-term compatibility of the department to a Catholic institution's mission as defined by the Pope and bishops. Finally the paper describes the nuances and difficulties of interpretation for an institution-wide memo announcing that faculty's presence was expected at a closing baccalaureate mass. It is concluded that discussion about the nature and role of Catholic colleges will continue in Catholic educational institutions. (Contains 12 references.) (JB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catholic Bishops; Catholic Church; University of Portland OR
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Speech Communication Association Convention (Miami, FL, November 18-21, 1993).