Wo. There’s a thing called Project Sycamore. Its project is to rescue Notre Dame University from the dreaded
It explains about the project in more detail on the secularization page.
The University should not compromise its academic aspirations in its efforts to maintain its Catholic identity.
Notre Dame Faculty Senate
April 9, 2008
The fading of the Catholic presence on the Notre Dame faculty is the most important issue bearing on the increasing secularization of the school.
Accordingly, we discuss it in detail elsewhere on this web site, where we list the most important sources upon which we base our analysis. Here, we provide a brief overview:
History demonstrates that the secularization of a religious college or university is the product of the secularization of the faculty. While the outward signs of religious practice typically continue well after the faculty has been transformed, in the end only traces of that religious identity remain.
At Notre Dame, this process of faculty secularization is well underway. Indeed, the shrinking of the Catholic proportion of the faculty has proceeded so far that Notre Dame can no longer lay claim to the robust Catholic character of its past and to which it continues to aspire. While Notre Dame’s Mission Statement declares that the school’s Catholic identity “depends upon” the presence of a solid majority of Catholics on the faculty, only a slender majority of the today’s faculty call themselves Catholic. And when that number is reduced to account for merely nominal and dissenting Catholics, it slumps well below 50%.
It is this attenuation of the Catholic character of the faculty that accounts for such symptoms of secularization as The Vagina Monologues, the annual homosexual/lesbian film festival, the promotion by a women’s faculty organization of a host of pro-abortion organizations and the hiring of more lesbians and homosexuals, and the other signs of secularization that we identify in this web site. Prominent now among these signs is the enthusiastic support accorded by a large majority of the faculty to the University’s honoring of President Obama at the price of a major disjuncture between Church and Notre Dame and the disaffection of countless numbers of alumni and other Catholics everywhere.
It kind of looks to me as if they’re confusing “Catholic identity” with “Republican identity” or perhaps “homophobic identity.”
The future of Notre Dame as a Catholic institution, then, depends upon a decisive reversal of the hiring policy of recent decades. The barrier is the faculty, to which hiring has in recent years been largely committed, for a solid majority believe hiring should be based primarily, if not exclusively, on secular values. As the Faculty Senate put it last year: “The University should not compromise its academic aspirations in its efforts to maintain its Catholic identity.” Those “aspirations” now include securing the recognition of Notre Dame by secular academe as a top tier research institution, a goal that is, in the short term, in undeniable tension with according priority to securing the University’s Catholic identity.
So they’re saying the university should not try to get the best scholars, but instead should get the most Catholic scholars.
Now that sounds authentically Catholic.