Dear RenewLMU Supporter:
As you are aware, RenewLMU was formed to strengthen the Catholic identity of Loyola Marymount University. That effort encompasses the areas of admissions, speakers at events, governing policy, and most especially, the hiring of faculty and administration.
Not long ago, we had seen hopeful indications LMU would address how it made key employment decisions and put greater emphasis on dedication to Catholic intellectual tradition and identity. Recently the names of the two ‘finalist’ candidates to fill the position of Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts were announced by the Search Committee.
Amazingly, both of these candidates have performed work for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, and one did not even disclose that fact to LMU. Also, one candidate joined in issuing a statement praising the overturning of the definition of marriage (Proposition 8) in California. Neither candidate’s résumé gives reason for confidence they would further “LMU’s mission and identity as a Catholic university”. You may see for yourself on the RenewLMU website how suitable these candidates are. http://renewlmu.com/lmu-looking-to-hire-dean-who-worked-for-planned-parenthood
Among the Bellarmine College’s thirteen academic departments are Theology, Philosophy, and Pastoral Studies. These are ‘mission critical’ disciplines, and should not be overseen by someone whose views are incongruous with the Catholic Faith. Further erosion of institutional Catholic consciousness can no longer be defended as necessary to “achieve diversity”, since divergence from foundational Catholic values has now become the norm.
President Burcham needs to reform the University’s search and screening process to ensure that the new dean demonstrates a strong record of furthering Catholic mission and identity. Only then can LMU meet the challenge that Pope Francis has posed for Catholic universities: to be an “uncompromising witness … to the Church’s moral teaching.”
If Loyola Marymount University is “institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism”, and if the University “takes philosophical and theological disciplines seriously”, then it is time, starting now, to hire for mission.
Let’s tell President Burcham to make adherence to genuine Catholic principles the New Diversity at LMU!
The time is short to affect this critical decision. Please sign our letter to him here and forward this email to others who share your concern for the integrity of Catholic university education. http://renewlmu.com/letter-to-pres-burcham
Philip Zampiello, ’93, Chair