Jesuit? Vincentian? Whatever!
The nasty, academic (I know: that’s redundant) squabble between Harvard’s own Alan Dershowitz and DePaul’s (at least until now) Norman Finkelstein has hit the front page of The New York Times‘ “Arts Section” — right next to the ninety-eighth episode of the long-running soap opera, “Don Imus: Shock Jock.”
Dershowitz has been bombarding DePaul’s administration and faculty with e-mails setting forth Finkelstein’s myriad transgressions which ought to prevent him from being tenured.
If The Times’ story merits credence the Dean of Arts and Sciences at DePaul has been persuaded by the Harvard advocate and now opposes granting Finkelstein tenure. This is how Finkelstein explains the reasoning:
Mr. Finkelstein said that the dean of DePaul’s College of Liberal Arts
and Sciences, Charles E. Suchar, explained his opposition by arguing
that “DePaul was a Jesuit school,” and adhered to the values of St.
Vincent. “He claims that my scholarship does not fulfill the Vincentian
value of personalism,” or respect for dignity of the individual.
Leave it to those Jesuits to be in on the action, even when it’s not their school. This only confirms my view that a hermeneutics of suspicion should govern the reading of College “Mission Statements.” That is, if anyone, including deans and faculty,
even bothers to read them.