I just finished reading a very good Dallas Morning News article on the University of Dallas by Rod Dreher. I’m reluctant to post this link, however. Not because what Rod said isn’t true, but because it is all too true. I love the University of Dallas, truly I feel that she is my alma mater, my nurturing mother. And right now she’s in a fight for her very identity. No one likes to have their family’s dirty laundry aired in public. And yet, perhaps more public scrutiny will help to achieve a course correction. I don’t know.
I agree with what George Weigel has to say:
George Weigel, one of the country’s most prominent Catholic public intellectuals, sent two of his children to the Irving university. He contends that all college marketing today is niche marketing.
“UD’s clear niche is to offer the highest quality Catholic liberal arts education,” says Mr. Weigel. “If UD promotes that aggressively, it will have absolutely no problems attracting students or endowment.”
The effort to remake the University in the image of Notre Dame, Boston College, Georgetown and other big Catholic schools is doomed to failure. UD can’t compete in that market. Her future, if she is to have one at all, is in becoming more herself, clinging to what makes her unique, not watering down the core curriculum. If the university’s leaders would only have faith in the vision of her founders and aggressively promote who she really is, I think she can be a glorious thing. She’ll never be a big school, nor should she be. But she can be a great school. I hope and pray that UD will continue to be “a sign of contradiction to our rootless modern society.”