Being Catholic

A College President Speaks

Editor's note: Frank Macchiarola, who served as president of St. Francis College in Brooklyn from 1996-2008 and as New York City public schools chancellor from 1978-83, died on December 18, 2012. Commonweal's Margaret O'Brien Steinfels spoke with him in 1997. The interview appears below.



What are Catholic colleges doing about their Catholic identity? How will they react to the Vatican’s insistence on a juridical relationship between school and local bishop? Commonweal asked Frank Macchiarola, lawyer, professor, civic figure, and president of Saint Francis College, Brooklyn (and a 1962 graduate). Macchiarola became president in 1996 after thirty years in academic posts at City University of New York, Columbia University, and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. He also served as chancellor of the New York public school system from 1978–83. Lively, articulate, and candid, Macchiarola launched immediately into answers to these questions during an interview on September 5 in his campus office in downtown Brooklyn.

Frank Macchiarola: When I...

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About the Author

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages and blogs at dotCommonweal.