An Open Letter to LMU President Timothy Law Snyder
Dear President Snyder,
We welcome you to the Office of President. We are excited to work with you and help you to enhance the distinctive mission and identity of LMU as a Catholic university. In this spirit of cooperation, we would like to call to your attention issues of great importance to us as LMU alumni, donors, parents, faculty, and concerned friends. As reported in the LMU Faculty Climate Survey, of the 392 professors who took the survey, only twenty-four percent (24%) identified as Catholic. In Ex corde ecclesiae, Pope St. John Paul II indicated : “the number of non-Catholic teachers should not be allowed to constitute a majority within the Institution, which is and must remain Catholic.”
LMU’s Proactive Publicity Committee Final Report states, “We are institutionally committed to Roman Catholicism….and seek to ensure that Catholicism is ‘pervasively present and effectively operative.'” But the Faculty Climate Survey found not pervasive Catholicism but a “majority secular liberal point of view” at LMU. As the New York Times indicated, “Students said there were few reminders that they attended a Catholic university at all, aside from the glistening white church at the center of campus or the occasional cross on a classroom wall.”
We respectfully request that you take action to hire more Catholic faculty and keep track of the religious identity of newly hired faculty.
Thank you for considering our requests.
To support this effort to preserve the Catholic identity of LMU,
please sign here and circulate this petition. We also welcome you to include your own comment.
It is a source of shame and sorrow for me that my LMU has lost its faithfulness to the Catholic Church and the Catholic Faith. I have reduced my giving considerably as I cannot justify supporting a secular institution that misleads the public that it is Catholic. The only reason I give at all is I’m a season ticket holder, but I would bet dimes to dollars our teams lousy condition can be traced to the loss of grace LMU suffers.
As of last year, my wife and I will no longer be donating to LMU and have eliminated them, for now, as beneficiaries of our Living Trust. When we are convinced that the “tide has turned” in regards to LMU, embracing Catholicism in a meaningful way ie hiring Catholic faculty without reservation, shame or veiled excuses, we will consider reinstituting our support.
We, as the extended LMU community, implore you to consider the future of our University as a Catholic Institution. You MUST factor in the spiritual component of each faculty applicant as you move forward in building a strong Christian LMU staff, which is committed to preserving our University as a beacon of moral certainty in our flailing world. This can only be accomplished by ensuring that each faculty member a 100% committed to this goal as an individual, personally and professionally. We will be praying for you, as this means that YOU will need to select carefully each member of the staff moving forward, to preserve LMU’s integrity as a leader. Thank you in advance for your consideration and leadership in this most imperative matter.
Shockingly low number of Catholic faculty. Please do the right thing and make hiring Catholic faculty a big priority.
Agree that a minimum of 50% of faculty – and even staff, should be practicing Catholics. In addition, LMU should actively maintain an equitable distribution of those who identify as Republican, Democrat, Libertarian and Independent. Just as LMU believes the student body should be diverse (country, state, nationality, race, gender, etc.) – so should our faculty.
At this time in history, we need strong people with Catholic knowledge, convictions and background to be able to defend, support and teach our Catholic principles to coming young people and new generations. We are seeing what the lack of strong, dedicated belief systems are doing for our faith and country. Please be responsible in giving a place where these beliefs may be nourished and strengthened by insuring your teachers are of the highest and finest of Catholic caliber.
I pray for the day that your core curriculum (required) will include at least 6 classes of 3 units in scholastic philosophy, in addition to some Catholic theology classes. Since you became LMU the catalogue of core classes looks like UCLA. So, why not send my grandkids there?
My daughter is a National Merit Scholar, but I could not even have her apply to LMU because it lacks the Catholic identity I want in a higher institution. Young people need much guidance in this difficult world. They need a solid formation in the Faith so they may have strong marriages and strong families to help build a better society.
I value my Catholic education at LMU greatly, and hope future generations will be able to equally benefit from the opportunity to study at a genuinely Catholic institution of higher learning, especially since there are only a limited few Catholic universities in So. California.
When I attended LMU in the late 80’s early 90’s I knew then it was a Catholic institution that was left leaning, but I could live with the minor shift. Over the years however it has become nothing less than a humanist institution deceptively under the ever so thin veil of Catholicism, terribly sad.
Initially after graduating from LMU, I donated to the classics department exclusively for about five years. However, since becoming a mom in 1992, I have told countless parents to not send their children to LMU. It is not a Catholic University! I am not a proud graduate of LMU. As a theology major I was shocked back in 1984 to be told by my New Testament professor that he was an avowed atheist.
LMU doesn’t come close to meeting the Ex Corde Ecclesiae standard nor that of the bishops in their Application of Ex Corde (a majority of Catholic faculty “committed to the witness of the faith.”) And studies show that the secularization of the faculty results in secularization of the culture of the institution, that is, the loss of authentic Catholic identity.
My father and brother went to Loyola U. before it joined with Marymount. My niece and Nephew recently graduated from LMU. They never said anything about a Catholic foundation there and in fact spoke of all the things that were not Catholic, including professors inaccurately speaking about the faith, or mocking it.
I have been so saddened to hear of the ongoing struggle for LMU to keep a Catholic identity. So many stories over the years. It doesn’t stand as a beacon of truth. Two of my children, in the past few years, were accepted to LMU and offered generous scholarships. However, they and we felt the education would not be solidly Catholic and they made other choices. It is a tragedy that many people, Catholic and non-Catholic, have been mislead by believing it is a Catholic institution and then being exposed to beliefs that do not reflect the truth of the Catholic Church. As a result, some actually go down the wrong path. This is wrong and so unfair, when some are denied the truth that they expected. Our Catholic leaders really need to get a handle on this.
I agree that as a Catholic institution, formed out of the religious values of the Jesuit and Marymount tradition, we must seek to preserve our unique identity.
I do not think that it should be a main hiring criterion, because certainly there are many qualified and talented non-Catholic professors that can and do contribute greatly to LMU. However, by hiring more Catholic faculty and staff, it is one way to ensure that the values we hold as an institution are not just preached about but shown through lived experience.
Dr. Snyder, let’s hire more Catholic professors!
We must save the Catholic identity of Loyola Marymount University. Please hire more faculty to reflect values commensurate with the Catholic magisterium. Students deserve a truly Catholic option.
Now more than ever we must regain and our Catholic institutions that have been so poorly served these past few decades. I think of the original effort and sacrifice put into building LMU by faithful Catholics of years gone by. If those same faithful contributors only knew how far LMU has fallen they would no doubt be scandalized. Let’s help rebuild a faithful Catholic higher education here at LMU. We owe it to the next generation.
I came to LMU for its mission statement above all else. I hope that throughout my undergraduate education here it is upheld, and strengthened by future generations of students, faculty, and alumni. This school’s commitment to education of the whole person and service of faith should stay true to the Jesuit tradition. They are what make LMU unique amidst many secular, liberal, public universities! Please create opportunities for greater representation of Catholics in our community.
The number 24 percent is appalling for this ONCE very catholic university!! Do the right thing….support our faith with Catholic professors!!!!
Please keep LMU Catholic. That tradition is vital in this sectarian age!
At my daughter’s and niece’s graduations in ’13 and ’15, take a look in the videos at the invocation. They don’t dare mention GOD!!!!
A Catholic university should be a beacon of the Catholic faith.
Thank you for taking note of this serious issue. Loyola Marymount has been recognized in the past for its strong Catholic identity which has certainly faded over recent years. We send our children to this school to enhance their faith as young adults and if this is not the hallmark of the school then there is no reason to choose LMU over some other public institution. Please focus on your Catholic identity in all aspects of the school, especially where professors are concerned.
I want LMU to be identified as a great “Catholic” University not just a great university
I can’t believe there aren’t plenty of well educated Catholic teachers that could fill the LMU faculty. It IS a Catholic university!
LMU must not only maintain the Catholic tradition, LMU MUST PROMOTE IT! Christ’s Gift of Salvation is not to be ignored or hidden. IT IS TO BE SHARED AND PROMOTED! If not LMU, WHO WILL DO THIS? UCLA? USC? These are fine academic institutions, BUT LMU has a higher and, yes, more difficult calling! Let’s pray for the strength and wisdom to answer that calling.
My LMU education is a wonderful epoch of my faith journey, but I am saddened at the lack of Catholic identity or even the recognition that Catholic identity is important! I now teach at a Catholic high school and many students know of LMU…I wish I could recommend my alma mater without warning students that their Catholic Faith likely will not be nourished while they are in school!