Monday, May 18, 2015

The Soul of the University I


The Core Curriculum and the Nature of a University
Francesca Aran Murphy, a professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, writes in the June, First Things,"A curriculum, especially its core courses required of all students, is an educational institution’s constitution.

I would go farther.  A university's core curriculum (AKA, general education requirements) defines the university. Thus a battle over its core curriculum is a battle for the University's soul!

A Christian liberal arts university's core curriculum has two important and interrelated implications, one intellectual and one economic.

Intellectual
A core curriculum evidences what the university believes it is.  A grab bag of vague choices bespeaks of a university that does not know who it is.  It reflects the politics of the moment when it was constructed rather than the idea of the university, to borrow John Henry Newman's phrase. A well constructed core curriculum constitutes an integral understanding of what that particular university is.  It is evidence of a self confident self awareness.


Economic
A university that has no clear understanding of what it is and what it is for will fail in the marketplace for students and donors.  In an increasingly competitive market, there is little reason to pay substantial sums for a pig in the poke.  If a university's core curriculum is a Chinese menu of cookie cutter courses that are indistinguishable from its competitors, families would be very rational to send their students to get those same courses at a community college and the university will see its margins fall into the red.  Ultimately it will fail.

Stay Tuned 
Professor Murphy's article is well worth a thoughtful and prayerful reading even if you are at a Christian liberal arts university that is not Roman Catholic. She asks some troubling questions which must not be shirked. Look to this space for more comments on her insightful piece.

Monday, March 09, 2015

Sunday, March 01, 2015

More Argentine Tango!

This video was published on July 8th, 2014: This shows Ciccio Aiello & Sofia Galanaki, 1-3, International Istanbul Tango Festival 2014, Prischepov TV - Tango Channel, Tango in the world, http://pris—Āhepov.ru, archive video, tango.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Argentine Tango Street Dancers

Muy bien: and then there is this unforgettable performance by Sebastian Arce & Mariana Montes at the Palais Ferstel, Vienna:

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Jindal on Jihadism: Straight Talk and American Exceptionalism are Alive and Well in Louisiana

On this video Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Mary Kissel speaks with Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on the death of American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller, and his formula to fight Islamic terror:

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Receiving Comminion in the hand.

Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider on Communion in the Hand 

Is Reverence important to receiving the wucharist? What does the early church witness to?