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Why Can't Catholic Colleges Hire for Mission?

source: http://m.ncregister.com/blog/matthew-archbold/university-requires-diversity-pledge.-so-why-cant-catholic-colleges-hire-fo#.V5loW_krKJB

Posted by Matthew Archbold on Monday Jul 11th, 2016 at 9:58 PM

Newly hired staff and academics at a large public university are reportedly required to sign some kind of pledge to "diversity and inclusion."

The College Fix reports:

The University of Cincinnati has rolled out a new policy that requires faculty and staff applicants pledge their commitment to “diversity and inclusion.”
The policy comes at a university with a stated goal of hiring more “historically underrepresented” employees, a benchmark spelled out in its “UC Affirmative Action Plan” that calls for more African American, women, and other “traditionally unrepresented” employees campuswide. “As of July 1, the University of Cincinnati will request a Diversity and Inclusion statement of all applicants for faculty and staff positions,” the university recently announced. “Faculty and administrative/professional applicants will be asked to submit a personal statement summarizing his or her contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion and leadership.”

Funny, I thought academics refused on principle to be beholden to oaths of fidelity to anything but their own sacred consciences. Guess not, huh?

But this brings to mind the question of why can the University of Cincinnati have this pledge but Catholic colleges and universities can't hire for mission. Is the secularist mission of "diversity" more worthy than the aims and goals of the Catholic Church? In one report on Catholic Identity, Loyola Marymount University Professor Chris Kaczor was quoted as saying that he believes some think it's illegal to hire a teacher based on his religious beliefs.

Catholic University of America's Office of General Counsel wrote of this issue:

How preferential hiring mixes with equal opportunity law, even at a religiously-affiliated university, is a complex question. A common point of confusion is the idea that because equal opportunity law prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, an employer may not exhibit a preference for someone of a certain religion. Many people do not realize that an exception exists for religious employers, including religious educational institutions. Both the United States Constitution and statutory law support this First Amendment right for religious educational institutions to hire members of their own religion on a preferential basis.

Precisely because of this confusion (some willful, some otherwise) the percentage of Catholic professors at many major Catholic universities like the University of Notre Dame and the aforementioned LMU have plummeted.

But the willingness of academics to sign oaths lies in stark contrast to the unwillingness of so many professors at Catholic colleges and universities towards the Mandatum. The Mandatum can be procured by a professor from a bishop and affirms that the professor will teach in accord with the magisterium of the Church. Outside those colleges and universities named in The Newman Guide, most Catholic college professors eschew the Mandatum. The argument often used against it is that they need to be beholden only to the dictates of their own conscience and to truth no matter where it leads (as if truth and Church teachings were somehow mutually exclusive.)

It will be interesting to see if pledges to diversity will become common. I suspect that the more popular these oaths to "diversity" become, the pressure on Catholic colleges to conform will increase. Maybe they don't know what "diversity" actually means.