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Catholic Education Daily


In Response to Catholic College President Survey Leaders Stress Catholic Identity

A Catholic News Service story features comments from various Catholic university presidents stressing the importance of promoting Catholic identity on campus.

"We are very clear in our specific mission distinctiveness" to promote the Catholic identity of the school, said Thomas Keefe, president of  University of Dallas, one of four college presidents interviewed by Catholic News Service in response to the findings of an Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities study, "The Catholic College and University President."

"Catholic presidents need to be intentional" about their school's Catholic identity and they cannot expect it to just happen on its own, said Rosalie Mirenda, president of Neumann University in Aston Pa., near Philadelphia.

The survey of college presidents found that while a majority of presidents at Catholic institutions were Catholic (114), a larger number of Catholics (135) presided over other four-year institutions. The survey also found that a higher percentage of presidents at Catholic institutions (16.4 percent) have come to office with little prior experience in higher education.

Fifty-nine percent of presidents of Catholic colleges said that the constituency that represents their greatest challenge is faculty.

"We take as part of our mission to transmit to our students the benefit of the Catholic intellectual tradition and ... to be supportive of the religious development of all students," Franciscan Sister Margaret Carney, who is president of St. Bonaventure University in New York, told Catholic News Service.

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