Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Optional Activities

Patrick Deneen
Patrick Deneen, Associate Professor of Government at Georgetown University,  had some stinging criticism of the Jesuit university, saying that Georgetown “increasingly and inevitably remakes itself in the image of its secular peers, ones that have no internal standard of what a university is for other than the aspiration of prestige for the sake of prestige, its ranking rather than its commitment to Truth.”


Deneen wrote that the school’s  Catholic identity “has increasingly been cordoned off to optional activities of Campus Ministry.” He writes of his experience:
In the seven years since I joined the faculty at Georgetown, I have found myself often at odds with the trajectory and many decisions of the university. In 2006 I founded The Tocqueville Forum as a campus organization that would offer a different perspective, one centered on the moral underpinnings of liberal learning that are a precondition for the continued existence of liberal democracy, and one that would draw upon the deep wisdom contained in the Catholic humanistic tradition. I have been heartened and overjoyed to witness the great enthusiasm among a myriad of students for the programming and activities of the Forum. However, the program was not supported or recognized by the institution, and that seemed unlikely to change. While I did not seek that approval, I had hoped over the years that the program would be attractive to colleagues across disciplines on the faculty, and would be a rallying-point for those interested in reviving and defending classical liberal learning on campus. The Tocqueville Forum fostered a strong community of inquiry among a sizeable number of students, but I did not find that there was any such community formed around its mission, nor the likely prospect of one, among the more permanent members of the university. I have felt isolated and often lonely at the institution where I have devoted so many of my hours and my passion.
Link (here) to read the full story at the Cardinal Newman Society


Anonymous said...

What a crybaby. He can teach the courses he wants and he runs an organization of his design. Sorry the institution isn't one of your sole making. Maybe if he taught few classes on Leo Strauss. . .

L40 said...

Good man. Covering up ''IHS'' for this anti Catholic admin visit was proof of where things are there. Time to choose folks. This guy did.

Anonymous said...

Oh, did he resign as a matter of principle? I missed that in the story.