Thursday, August 5, 2010

Administration Is Seeking To Curtail Religous Freedom On Catholic Campuses

The CCU president also warned that regulation could result in “politicization of higher education” as various interests try to press for requirements adopting or repudiating certain curricula, teaching methods and policies.The proposed rules  
“almost guarantee that states will have to cope with noisy arguments over teaching methods, degree requirements and culture wars over textbooks, evolution versus Intelligent Design, phonics versus whole language, campus ROTC, climate change, family policy, abortion, race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.,” he warned. 
While institutions already face such controversies, Armstrong acknowledged, the proposed rules weaken the “crucial” presumption in favor of each institution’s academic freedom and autonomy. Substantive regulation, in his view, adds an “explicitly political step” Armstrong asked for an extension of the comment time by 60 or 90 days to allow further study and response of the regulations. In a Tuesday phone interview, CNA spoke about the proposed rules with Cynthia Littlefield, director of federal relations at the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU). She explained that the AJCU defends the interests of Jesuit institutions “to preserve the uniqueness of our mission and academic integrity and the way we operate it.” Commenting on the new Department of Education proposal, Littlefield said, “as innocent as they may appear,” they merit consideration because of their possible impact.
Link (here) to the full CNA
Link (here) to Fr. James Schall. S.J. article on the President's controversial "Blanked out IHS" speech at Georgetown.

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