Controversy marks LMU search for liberal arts dean

Loyola Marymount University logo.

Controversy has broken out over Loyola Marymount Univesity’s search for a new dean to head its Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts.

Members of the group “LMU Renew” have mounted a campaign to oppose the two finalists for the positions — both of whom, said the organization, have long histories of advocacy for positions that are contrary to official Catholic teaching.

The candidates are Dr. Ramón Gutiérrez, an American history professor at the University of Chicago, and Dr. Robbin Crabtree, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University, a Jesuit institution in Connecticut.

LMU officials say no final decision has been made.

“The selection of a new dean for the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts is an on-going personnel matter and something we do not want to debate in public,” said Celeste Durant, LMU director of communications and media relations. “Of course, integration of our mission and identity is always part of our consideration in the search process, especially for senior positions such as a dean.”

Crabtree served on the advisory board and media relations committee for Planned Parenthood of Putnam County in Indiana from 1991-1993, and Gutiérrez has served as a consultant for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America on the topic of Hispanic attitudes toward sexuality.

“It is amazing that both of these candidates have worked for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States,” said a statement on the website of LMU Renew. “And one of the candidates [Gutiérrez] has also endorsed legal efforts to redefine marriage.”

LMU Renew is an alliance of students, alumni, faculty, donors, and other LMU supporters who seek to strengthen LMU’s Catholic mission and identity. In the fall of 2013, LMU Renew opposed the university’s decision to wait until Jan. 1, 2014 to discontinue an HMO plan for employees which covers elective abortion and contraception. (The organization’s website is http://renewlmu.com/.)

Dr. Christopher Kaczor, LMU philosophy professor, called the associations of Crabtree and Gutiérrez “problematic, in light of Planned Parenthood’s opposition to Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life, chastity, and other areas of sexual morality.

“It seems to me that the person who oversees these parts of the university needs to be someone very much committed to the Jesuit understanding of faith and justice, which includes defense of the unborn,” said Kaczor.

LMU has not announced when a decision on hiring will be made.

 

Catholic News Agency contributed to this story.


Voices

History’s restless heart

Father Ed Benioff

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless till they rest in you.” So said Saint Augustine, who was a man of many gifts, but more sins. He was at the same time a spiritual seeker and a spiritual slacker.  

 

The Holy Father visits the Holy Land

Events

January 2015
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

January 30, 2015

  • Friday, January 30

    Casino Nights, Dinner: 6-8 p.m., Casino and Dancing: 7 p.m.-2 a.m., Casa Lopez, 325 South A Street, Oxnard. $50, 21 & over only. Call Edith for tickets, (805) 377-0968.

    Mass and Healing Service, Praise & Worship: 7 p.m., Mass: 7:30 p.m., Mary Star of the Sea Church, 877 7th St., San Pedro. Healing service following Mass. (310) 833-3541.

    “Faustina: Messenger of Divine Mercy,” 7 p.m., Holy Name of Mary Church, 724 E Bonita Ave., San Dimas. A live multimedia drama with a modern message of mercy. $20 suggested donation. For tickets and more information, Holy Name of Mary’s church office, (909) 599-1243 or email sacredheartssb@ymail.com.

    St. John Bosco Bicentenary Symphony Concert, 8 p.m., Saint Dominic Savio Church, 13400 Bellflower Blvd., Bellflower. Conducted by Dean Anderson, featuring harpist Lucas Cantor. $10. (562) 920-7796.

     

The Tidings - Home Delivery 300x100

Get our news by email

C.S. Lewis Great Divorce 300x250
Bob Smith BMW 300x250
Bob Smith Toyota 300x250
Bob Smith Mini 300x250