BCLA Dean – Time for LMU to Hire For Mission!

Dear President Burcham:

I want you to know how disappointed I am in the two finalist candidates recently announced for the position of Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.  

The fact that both candidates worked for Planned Parenthood, and that one of them joined in issuing a statement praising the redefinition of marriage in California, indicates something is very wrong. The search committee was either insufficiently diligent in checking facts or it lacked sensitivity to Catholic values in qualifying applicants for this most important position.

The departments of Theology, Philosophy, and Pastoral Studies are ‘mission critical’ to the University, and should not be overseen by someone whose views are incongruous with the Catholic Faith. The failure of this selection process demonstrates the urgent need to reform the method of qualifying candidates for academic and administrative positions. 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.

President Burcham, make adherence to genuine Catholic principles the New Diversity at LMU!

Please re-start this selection process and ensure the new Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts demonstrates a strong record of furthering Catholic mission and identity so that LMU will be, in the words of Pope Francis, an “uncompromising witness…to the Church’s moral teaching.”



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57 thoughts on “BCLA Dean – Time for LMU to Hire For Mission!

  1. If pro-abortion candidates work in leadership positions for pro-abortion entities, and if pro-abortion candidates work in leadership positions for pro-life entities, where do pro-life candidates work?
    Perhaps the better question is:
    What criteria disqualified pro-life candidates from the leadership position at a Catholic/Jesuit institution which is dedicated to the protection of innocent

    • If LMU no longer supports the teachings of the Church and indeed supports by employment those who are in direct opposition to our faith, why call itself Catholic at all? If a Catholic institution cannot or will not be sincere in it’s mission then why would one think they would be honest in any other aspect of someone’s education?

    • As a fellow alumnus from Loyola High School ’75 and LMU ’79 I could not agree more with my fellow classmate. My wife and I have been Presidential Associates for many years and had included LMU in our Living Trust as a major beneficiary. I cannot financially support an institution with a broken moral compass. Academic “freedom” and ” honoring diversity” at the price of abandoning clear moral imperatives such as the sanctity of human life is not only regrettable but will not be tolerated. My Jesuit education and values impel me beyond words to take action.

    • I (and I believe many from the LMU community) have received an email from the Office of the Vice President for Mission and Ministry. Upon reflection and consideration of the contents of that email, I am compelled to respond. Perhaps I have not clearly articulated my concerns. I will do so here.
      First, I wish to emphasize my tremendous respect for Fr. Caro. I have found myself aligned with his position on many issues, including recently in the struggle to eliminate LMU’s participation in funding abortion through an employees’ health plan.
      On the recent appointment of the BCLA Dean we are, however, on different sides of the aisle.
      I do not oppose the present appointment because the appointee does not share “our Catholic faith.” I know many agnostics and atheists who are committed to protecting innocent human life. I do not oppose the appointment because of the appointee’s academic accomplishments. I am in opposition to the appointment because I have heard no statement affirming the protection of innocent human life. Instead, there is a record of either opposing the protection of innocent human life or promoting the opposition to innocent human life. This is not acceptable for a leadership position at a Catholic institution.
      I am aware that it has been brought up that one organization was only “sponsored” by Planned Parenthood. What is that supposed to mean? Does that erase the fact that Planned Parenthood is this nation’s greatest abortionist? Are you not aware of their claims of providing health services while the number of innocent lives that are aborted continue to rise at an astronomical rate? I am also having a difficult time distinguishing between “working for” versus “doing work for.” Does it really matter? The work done was to increase the efficiency of the organization through better communications . Including abortion services or referrals?
      The second affiliation is with a pro abortion political organization.
      If these organizations are different today from an earlier time, why is there no released statement offering a clarification, explanation, or change of position?
      Regarding the time factor, I don’t see the significance. The appointee listed the participation with/for these organizations 7 years ago not more than 20 years ago. Since the appointee included this information, is it not reasonable to conclude it is accurate and representative of the appointee’s sensitivities or orientation?
      If not the matter could be resolved with a statement of clarification, explanation, or change of position. But I have seen none.
      It seems as though LMU’s position is to agree to disagree over the issue of abortion . . . while life goes on . . . except for the innocent human lives that are ended.

  2. The resolution of situation will leave no doubt as to whether LMU is a Catholic Institution or not.

  3. The primary mission of a Catholic University, as well as all the Church, is to save souls! Parents have a right to expect that when they, in good faith, send their children to Catholic Universities, as well as all Catholic schools, that their children will receive proper Magisterial Catholic teaching in all areas, particularly faith and morals and science… this includes total affirmation and teaching of the Sanctity of all Human Life from Conception, i.e., when the mother’s egg and the father’s sperm meet and a precious unique human being, a baby, is made,in the Image and Likeness of God, i.e., Imago Dei… UNTIL when God, alone, the Author of Life calls us home! Catholic Magisterial teaching includes affirming the Family… i.e., the Sanctity of Marriage between one man and one woman and this is what must be taught in ALL Catholic Universities and ALL Catholic schools! This includes LMU!
    It is imperative in your quest of hiring a BCLA Dean that the individual is in accordance with all Catholic Magisterial teaching! Unfortunately the two finalist candidates recently announced for the position of Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts do not appear to fit this criteria. It is perplexing to me, as a Catholic, that although LMU professes to be a “Catholic” University that this is not reflected in your actions. I pray that you will continue your quest for a BCLA Dean and hire a person who is in accords with the Magisterial Teaching of the Catholic Church.
    Joana Elvira Livoti

    • As a mother of six seeking Catholic Colleges that truly identify with the Catholic faith, I appreciate your comments here and also pray that LMU will support Magesterial Teaching of the Catholic Church and their own mission by hiring more appropriate candidates.

  4. If a Catholic University will not provide Catholic leadership in accordance with the doctrines of the Church then the college is no longer Catholic. This being the case, there is no need to send our children to the school as it provides teachings no different than those offered by publicly funded schools. There is no longer any need to support the institution as it has forfeited its singular identity which gave purpose to its existence. What happened to the Jesuit mission to defend the faith of Jesus Christ and his vicar the Pope at any cost? If this Jesuit School abandons the precepts of the Church then the people of the Church will abandon the school. We don’t need false teachings.

  5. Makes me sadder and sadder. That PPh employees even applied without stating that they had done wrong in working for PPh. Abortion is killing. Hiring them is a SIN.

  6. If a University does not fully embrace the teachings of the Catholic faith, it should no longer be called, referred to or label itself a “Catholic” university. Misleading our youth…would be better to have a millstone around your neck.

  7. I urge you to pick a true Catholic that holds to the teachings of The Roman Catholic Church
    Thank you.

    Patrick Edward Murray
    Xavier University, Cincinnati Ohio
    Class of 1980

  8. I signed an online petition for notre dame to not allow b.h. obama to address the crowd. And these two candidates are not worthy, nor is this justice to give either one of them a position at a Catholic college anywhere.

  9. Praying daily LMU will hire only Pro-life candidates for teaching and administrative positions….. for the LMU students’ truly Catholic education. What’s the point of sending our grandchildren to a university that is Catholic in name only. Definitely, the money spent for LMU’s tuition would be money wasted. Praying for LMU and all Catholic schools.

  10. Fr Lorenzo Malone is my great uncle. He would be saddened by your potential hires with pro abortion backgrounds. This is not the Catholic way. Why let the devil enter the school?

  11. The University is moving further away from the core beliefs of Catholicism by considering these two as candidates. Do their beliefs disqualify them from working within a university framework? Of course not. But the leaders within LMU should strongly reflect Catholic teachings in thoughts and deeds. From what I have read, these two do not.

    It is rather ironic that they are being considered as leaders for the “Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts”, a school named after a saint of the Church.

  12. It is our collective duty to zip up things at LMU, put an end post-haste to the candidacy of these two shortlisted individuals for the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, and re-center our efforts to attract new or previously looked-over candidates who will labor on the hill in sweet harmony with Church and true, comprehensive Christian moral teaching. . . . We and our alumni dollars will walk if we receive anything less than a satisfactory response to these demands. Guaranteed.

  13. It is said, and correctly so, that we teach by example. Few occupations are more demonstrative in this matter than the teaching profession – a profession that experiences an almost daily exposure to young people. It is not a casual exposure. Students know the faculty. Why then do we not limit our hiring to staff that are supportive of the teachings of the church?

  14. LMU faculty should be replaced from the Search, interview and recommendation process for new hires.This, and previous examples prove that they place the teachings of Margaret Sanger, Barack Obama and Planned Parenthood ahead of the Moral Guidance of Catholicism NOW is the time to re-instate The Jesuit Fathers in this critical Management function.This faculty clearly rejects the best candidates (60 in this case).

  15. As chairman of Sycamore Trust (www.sycamoretrust.org), an organization of Notre Dame alumni, family, and friends dedicated to the strengthening of the Catholic identity of the university, I have made an extensive study of the secularization of originally religious schools. The key is the composition of the faculty and those holding key positions. Unless committed Catholics dominate on the faculty and hold key positions, there is scant hope that the institution will remain authentically Catholic. The position here in issue is one of the most critical. To fill it with a candidate such as one of these would signal an utter disregard for the Catholic character of the University.

  16. As a proud alum of a Jesuit university (Rockhurst University – Kansas City, MO), and a current member of the Archdiocese of St. Louis curia, I know first-hand that Catholic identity is of utmost importance. We cannot continue to allow our institutions to let the one, true faith slip into the annals of history.

  17. Catholic parents are sacrificing to send their children to Catholic universities so they will get a good moral Catholic education. By hiring people, such as this, who have worked for an organization that promotes promiscuity and killing of unborn babies, you certainly are not fulfilling that responsibility.

  18. To the LMU selection committee for the recent two ‘finalists’ for Dean of Liberal Arts:

    I believe Dante’s quote is relevant: “The hottest recesses of hell are reserved for those,who in a time of moral crisis, retained their neutrality.”
    Loyola was a bedrock fo solid Catholic teaching and formation of young men when I left in 1960 to go the medical school. The Jesuits were faithful to the Vatican and did an excellent job in forming us as the Church militant. Their teaching served me well as a specialist in Fertility and Obstetrics & Gynecology at a time when the morality of our country took a very secular turn, as in Roe v. Wade etc.
    I read with lament how LMU has turned away from true Catholic teaching and joined the secular ‘parade.’ I have prayed daily for the ‘Jesuits of today’ for the past 20 years, but alas it appears they are intent in losing all of their Catholic identity; as their selection choices in having 2 candidates with anti-life views and one who also is against the basic unit of our society…the traditional family of a mother & father and children, vie for Dean demonstrates.
    Scandal is a grave sin, so I would hope the selection committee would reconsider their ‘finalists,’ and choose a candidate with tradional Catholic values as Dean.
    As Fr. Richard John Neuhaus stated before he died: The role of clergy and teachers at a Catholic University are three things: “Fidelity,fidelity, and fidelity.”


    Richard M. Thorne M.D. FACOG and Past- president of Oregon Right to Life

    • Beautifully stated by Dr. Thorne. As a Jesuit-educated, totally committed Catholic, I strongly endorse his rationale. As a 40 Days for Life “prayer warrior” for eight years in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic, I have daily seen what what moral havoc that corporation has committed on our women and families. Those proposed candidates are blind to reality and are in deep denial to the teachings of the Church.

    • Richard, thank you for your witness to fidelity. I hope the selection committee and the LMU Board of Trustees take your comments to heart and act accordingly. Bruce Brown, 1961

  19. As a donor, wife of an alumnus, mother of a son (named Jude Ignatius!) who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science & a master’s degree in social justice & urban education from Jesuit universities, and as Respect Life Director for the Diocese of San Bernardino, I urge you President Burcham to reconsider hiring a former employee of Planned Parenthood as Dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.
    Every day our ministry deals with the aftermath of Planned Parenthood’s victimization of women and children: women physically, emotionally and spiritually devastated by abortion experiences, the failure to report girls as young as 12 years impregnated by men a decade or more their senior, the sexualization of our youth. What is it about having Planned Parenthood on their resume that would make a person worthy of leading one of the great Catholic universities of our day?
    Marie Widmann, M.A. Director, Pro Life Catholic Ministries Diocese of San Bernardino

  20. As an alum of Marymount College of Kansas (no longer in existence), I am greatly saddened that a Catholic Institution could even consider such candidates. Our Catholic institutions need to provide Catholic leadership in accordance with the doctrines of the Church. Any teacher or dean of a Catholic Institution has the responsibility to show students and the public by word and deed that Catholic teachings are upheld.

  21. I spend hours every week, on my knees, rosary in hand, in front of Planned Parenthood and on the front steps of City Hall, San Bernardino. I cannot point to any success, I just know that doing nothing would be worse. If my efforts, during the past twelve years, have had any success, your actions in these appointments would wipe it out the first minute. Henry

    • HI Henry. I live in Rialto and would like to join you in your rosaries in future. PLease email me your upcomming schedule for month of May.

  22. Shame on LMU for even considering a candidate for such an important position that has a background with Planned Parenthood. The primary role of a Catholic university must always be to promote Catholic values that are in line with the magisterium of the Church and that offer witness to the Faith to the wider community. While LMU serves a wide range of students of many faith backgrounds and political leanings, there must never be compromise of the primary reason for the existence of the university. It is and must always be a Catholic institution. I’ll pray for those in a position to review these candidates to see the broader implications of their actions in hiring either one.

  23. It’s time (way late) for Catholics to be Catholic. If ever an issue were in the name of CHRIST
    PRO-LIFE IS IT. Decades have passed since Roe v. Wade and we are still killing unborn babies by unbelievable amounts. Lead the way Loyola. Extol life. Exalt pro-life. Send the
    message out that you are truly a Catholic institution. Deny leadership in your university to
    anyone who would think planned parenthood is a necessary evil for our country, our world.

    Red Jacobsen, Temecula, CA

  24. I am on the school board of Our Lady of Malibu Catholic School and will share this information with my fellow board members as well as our Priest. This will be a dealbreaker for many of us with children who will be deciding on which Catholic college to attend several years from now.

  25. As the president of a Pro-Life Pregnancy resource Center I would be hard pressed to explain to the other board members from non-denominational Christian churches how a professed Catholic institution can hire someone with the history of these two candidates. Why bother to pretend to be a Christian school, let alone a Catholic school? Also, as a professional scientist, a PhD in experimental nuclear physics, how could you contemplate hiring someone as a Dean who is so ignorant of basic biological facts?

  26. This decision shows the confusion in our catholic society, where somebody(apparently catholic by name, not by conviction) can run for a position where it is required to follow some basic life principles. Competitors are confused but, who are posting and supporting them are also confused. I will pray so the truth(Jesus) can prevail and end this confusion in their hearts.

  27. Please hire a qualified Catholic! I agree with so many of the comments already stated. Planned parenthood experience in the resume is a red flag in my opinion; they promote murder! Plain and simple!

  28. As a former student body officer, President of the Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society and donor for many decades, I am stunned at the decision to entertain either of these two finalists. I’ve always admired LMU as a stalwart beacon in a world of darkness — not a vehicle for encoouraging darkness.by diluting its core principles. I hope this decision is reconsidered.
    James Scott, ’57

  29. Loyola lost its Catholic identity years ago when it removed the crucifixes from the classrooms.

    • One can always keep a crucifix hung around the neck or a rosary kept in the ready. The Dean of a Liberal Arts being chosen from two candidates that demonstrate non-Catholic practices or beliefs is a much more concerning choice. Would this new leader be presumed to not set a precedent/influence/outlook for the rest of the LA faculty?

  30. Seriously disappointing that an institution that claims to be Catholic would allow themselves to be run by some one so blatantly against our morals and beliefs. Shame on you!

  31. As an alumnus of LMU and a devout Catholic, I find it contradictory to church teachings to hire anyone who opposes those teachings in a Catholic University. Diversity should not mean “dissension.” I urge you, to not make me and anyone else who attended and loved their LMU experience to be ashamed or regretful of our association with LMU . Please reconsider this inappropriate choice for a Catholic institution.

    Kind Regards,

    Joy Paulson

  32. It is clearly a no-brainer, the qualifying final candidates must ascribe to magisterial teaching at a Roman Catholic University.

  33. Loyola Los Angeles has been on a downhill slide for many years.
    I have heard more than one Catholic parent complain that the child they sent to Loyola, at great sacrifice, lost the faith.
    One Catholic student was recruited–on campus–to join a cult, and is still stuck with those people and has been for many years.

  34. As parents of LMU graduates, we are appalled at the consideration given to these two finalists for the position of Dean of the departments of Theology, Philosophy, and Pastoral Studies at a university we once thought adhered to teachings of the Catholic faith. Do not plan on applications from any of our ten grandchildren.

  35. You will bring shame and scandal with these candidates. How could Loyola lose its way by holding these candidates as leaders for the future ? Poor Leadership by the the President and no moral compass.

  36. So disappointed in your lack of support for Catholic teaching. Wondering why so many graduates are leaving the Church.

  37. Your consideration of either of the two pro-abortion candidates leaves me aghast. Do you call yourselves Catholic, because if you do you are only deceiving yourselves. Please for the sake of many souls yet to come through your doors, and your own, end your gravely misguided consideration of these former Planned Parenthood employees, one of whom entertains the idea that marriage need not be the traditional union of man and woman. I will pray for your enlightenment.
    Colleen Wilson
    Former Respect Life Ministry leader
    Sidewalk Counselor for the Pro-Life cause for 7 years

  38. If we say the we are working with God why are we again God Good Work It Shows In Our Actions . I rather work we God then again God family stay together in the goods and in the bad let defend our catholic teaching.

  39. What I loved best about my college experience at LMU was how my education was encapsulated within a construct in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church, without compromise. It is unthinkable to entertain candidates for consideration as Dean of the College of Liberal Arts who have supported and worked for a ‘Culture of Death’ in their affiliation with Planned Parenthood. Let’s remember “Ad maiorem Dei gloriam” , “For the greater glory of God”. It should be LMU’s mission and responsibility to send out its graduates well formed to ‘Christify’ the world under the guidance and direction of worthy leaderhip, not succumb to secular perspectives on the unimportance of unborn souls! The assignment of either of these two candidates sends the wrong message. Search harder for Catholic candidates who will lead with integrity and in line with Catholic teaching. This position is too important in its impact for the future of the university.

  40. Thank you for your courage to defend what we were formally taught at Loyola. At Loyola High in L.A. we were taught to write on the top of every paper we submitted in our 4 years there the lettera A. M. D. G. Likewise in the late fifties and early sixties the same applied to us at Loyola Univ. Satan has taken over the faculty at LMU!

    Richard M. Thorne M.D.

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