For over fifty years Leo Rugiens has known and admired the University of Dallas. He has known priests and laity who have graduated from UD and they have all proven the benefits of their education at UD by their character and contributions to the Catholic Church and to society. It is therefore alarming to learn that UD is undergoing a crisis in its management. There is evidence that a struggle to further secularize what has been one of the most outstanding liberal arts college/university in the United States.
The process of secularization is nothing new in the field of higher Catholic education. We have seen college after college, university after university, surrender their control by clergy dedicated to ideals of higher education expounded by John Henry Cardinal Newman (soon to be declared a saint, please God) to lay boards of trustees. There is nothing wrong with having a high percentage of members of a board of trustees be lay, as long as they are motivated by the same ideals which the Church has held to be foundation of Catholic education. All too often lay boards bring a too secular mentality to the administration of a college or university and the result is that what was an outstanding Catholic institution becomes indistinguishable from a state college or university.
There is no better example of this than the University of Notre Dame which is currently experiencing a crisis due not to lay members of its board of trustees so much as to the secular mentality of its President. His toleration of changes on the campus, such as the staging of the play, The Vagina Monologues, gradually led him and his predecessor to defy the rules laid down by the United States Conference of Bishops and bestow honors on CINO (Catholics in Name Only) persons such as Ted Kennedy, Mario Cuomo, and now, even, Barack Hussein Obama.
Here is a quote from a private letter from a member of the faculty of the University of Dallas:
"What is this thing with the Chancellor? Is it true that the
bishop has either been ousted from this role, has resigned, or has
abdicated his responsibility? Why Berry, an administrator with so
little knowledge and experience of UD? Is he even Catholic? Do the
charter and bylaws even allow for a non-Catholic chancellor? What will
be his duties, powers, and responsibilities in this novel
configuration of the school's leadership?"
Here is something from the Blog of the Dallas Morning News which throws some light on the situation at the University of Dallas. The Blog is managed by Rod Dreher on the OPINION page.
Leo Rugiens invites all who love and cherish the University of Dallas to log onto the website of that Blog and offer supportive comments which hopefully will gain the attention of Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, Bishop of Dallas.
You can be sure that the Bishop reads the Rod Dreher Blog. You can also write to Bishop Farrell.
The Most Reverend Kevin J. Farrell
Bishop of Dallas
PO Box 190507
Dallas, TX 75219
HERE IS WHAT ROD DREHER WROTE ON THE
DALLAS MORNING NEWS BLOG:
Lazarus out at University of Dallas
1:56 PM Tue, Apr 07, 2009
University of Dallas president Frank Lazarus is retiring. I know he is not thought by many in the UD community to have had a successful tenure at the school's helm. I wonder what this means for the university's future. Any thoughts among UD folks?
There was also this interesting tidbit from the UD press announcement:
Cruse said that on Sept. 1, interim leadership at the University will be vested in two highly regarded administrators: Robert Galecke, currently executive vice president, who will serve as interim president, and Dr. Bill Berry, currently executive vice president and provost, who will serve as interim chancellor.
Hmm. I thought the current RC bishop of Dallas is always UD's chancellor. Did Bishop Farrell step down, or is this a miscommunication, or my misunderstanding? Anyway, the Lazarus years: good, bad or so-so? Tell me.
Posted by Pete @ 9:50 PM Tue, Apr 07, 2009
Thanks for posting that and for the request for comments. Lazarus' view of the University, shared by many of his trustees, does not match that of the students, alumni, and the majority of the undergraduate faculty. Lazarus and his crew wanted to change UD to be a regional, mediocre school with a focus on career training. In actuality, UD has always been one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. It also managed, in the Constantin and Braniff schools, to rigorously pursue the truth while not apologizing for being Catholic.
Lazarus could and would have done a lot more damage were it not for his incompetance (same goes for the trustees). God willing, the new President will bring in people who understand what makes UD unique. Should that happen, UD will enjoy enormous fundraising success and will be able to leverage their growing national reputation. The students and faculty remain as the very top among their peers.
God speed to Dr. Lazarus. I wish him a wonderful retirement. I just wished it happened a bit sooner, and that Dan Cruse and Joe Neuhoff would follow his example by resigning from the Board of Trustees.
Posted by Pat @ 6:36 AM Wed, Apr 08, 2009
As a longtime University of Dallas insider, I would add to Pete's comment that the fundamental crisis is the intellectual mediocrity and the greed for power of Cruse and Neuhoff. If you have seen them in the same room together as I have, you will note that Lazarus is weak and is bullied by Cruse. The faculty have suffered, powerless, under the burden of this situation during all of Lazarus' tenure.
One of the many ironies of UD is that it has a first-rate Graduate School of Management, but the university itself is chronically mismanaged. Having seen the board of trustees in action close-up, I can report that it is a dysfunctional organization with only a tiny circle that makes all the decisions while the other board members serve as window-dressing. Cronies of former Bishop Grahmann, Cruse and Neuhoff try to run the university like a family enterprise. Cruse and Neuhoff arranged for themselves waivers from the term limits imposed on all other UD Trustees. While other trustees come and go and never are allowed to get much of a grip on the real power of "governing" -- if that's the right word for it -- the university, Cruse and Neuhoff have held on to seats on the board for 25 years.
Healthy institutions set term limits on directors and trustees and do not allow situations such as what UD is stuck with in Cruse and Neuhoff. Only when they are gone can healing begin. What does it take to get them out?
It is tragic that Bishop Farrell seems to have abdicated both his legal and moral responsibilities for governing the university.
Posted by Pat @ 7:12 AM Wed, Apr 08, 2009
A University of Dallas professor, who has ample reason to fear the vindictiveness of Dan Cruse, has sent me the following in a note:
"What is this thing with the Chancellor? Is it true that the bishop has either been ousted from this role, has resigned, or has abdicated his responsibility?
"Why Berry, an administrator with so little knowledge and experience of UD? Is he even Catholic? Do the charter and bylaws even allow for a non-Catholic chancellor? What will be his duties, powers, and responsibilities in this novel
configuration of the school's leadership?"
report as objectionable
Posted by Former Trustee @ 8:05 AM Wed, Apr 08, 2009
A quote from the University of Dallas Bylaws as of May 2004. Section 2a:
"The voting ex-officio members shall be the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dallas (“Bishop”) who shall hold the title Chancellor of the University..."
Barack Hussein Obama aka Barry Soetoro
is a USURPER
because he is not eligible to be President of the United States
because he is not a Natural Born Citizen
as required by Article Two, Section One, Clause Five
of the United States Constitution regardless of
where he was born (Mombassa, Hawaii, Chicago, or Mars)
because he was not born of TWO PARENTS
BOTH OF WHOM WERE UNITED STATES CITIZENS
at the time of his birth. His father was a subject/ciitizen
of Kenya/Great Britain
and his mother was too young to pass on her citizenship
according to the law in effect when he was born.
Check it out:
His usurpation cannot be corrected by Congress,
it can only be corrected by his removal
by an amendment to the Constitution.