Openly Gay Professor Leads Catholic Identity Instruction for New Faculty
Thirteen years ago, Marquette’s Chair of Catholic Theology Dr. Patrick Carey recognized that an increasing number of new faculty at Marquette were not Catholic and/or had no meaningful understanding of the Catholic faith. Believing, we presume, this was a deficiency at a Catholic university, Carey sought to address the problem by establishing a Faculty Seminar in Catholic Identity. The stated goal of the Seminar was “to introduce new faculty to Catholic intellectual traditions and commitments in higher education in order to enable them, via their research, teaching and advising, to carry on and strengthen these traditions and commitments.”
After Carey’s retirement in 2014, the Faculty Seminar in Catholic Identity is said to have fallen into disarray. Various cobbled together iterations followed, and now the program is being reconvened through the University’s Center for Teaching and Learning. The role of this Center is essentially to teach the teachers, or, in academia-speak, to serve “as a catalyst for promoting a culture of pedagogical excellence at Marquette University. Rooted in Ignatian pedagogy and the scholarship of teaching and learning, we advocate innovative teaching and the use of student-centered technology while partnering with faculty as they prepare Marquette students to be agents of change for a global community.”
Sounds harmless enough. Complicating things, however, is the fact that the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning Center, Dr. Shaun Longstreet, is openly homosexual (see photos and links below) and a proponent of gender-fluid theory (see image to the right).
Marquette, it would seem, has no problem with this. In fact, we have learned the administration has charged Dr. Longstreet with redesigning the Faculty Seminar in Catholic Identity (now to be called the
“Faculty Seminar on Jesuit Higher Education” … hmm), with leading the seminar until a permanent instructor can be hired, and with selecting and hiring that permanent instructor. This instructor will also head up a new entity at Marquette called the Catholic Jesuit Higher Education Cooperative. In this role, “the successful candidate will have the opportunity to recreate a new space in the campus imagination around the values of Catholic Jesuit Higher Education.” What that means is anyone’s guess, but it’s a safe bet it has nothing to do with actual Catholicism.
As with a previous post regarding an openly gay Marquette instructor, our intent in writing this is not to malign Dr. Longstreet. He is likely a highly qualified instructor and is doing the work he is paid to do. Our issue–THE issue–is with Marquette. Why would a Catholic university put a person who is openly living and teaching in a manner the Catholic Church recognizes as gravely sinful in the position of leading a program specifically designed to educate faculty about Catholic identity and how that identity should influence Marquette’s curriculum, culture… and students?
Possible explanations range from 1.) the administration is unaware of the situation, 2.) the administration doesn’t take Marquette’s Catholic identity all that seriously, or 3.) the administration is actively trying to destroy Marquette’s Catholic identity.
Given the trajectory of events over the past several years and particularly lately, we’re prepared to accept any of these explanations, none of which reflect at all well on Marquette’s competence or integrity.
In a recent letter to parents explaining why they will be increasing tuition next year by $2,000–one of the largest tuition increases in the school’s history–the university claimed it was increasing the faculty salary pool in order to acquire “world-class faculty.” The letter also thanked parents for the sacrifices they make to invest in their children’s education.
Well parents … it’s your call. What kind of faculty do you want forming the hearts and minds of your children? If you’re comfortable with faculty indifferent to or contemptuous of Catholic teaching, we recommend you save yourselves tens of thousands of dollars by sending your children to a public institution instead of an over-priced Catholic-In-Name-Only university.
And Marquette … you claim you are hiring for mission. What mission would that be exactly?
Dr. Shaun Longstreet:
- Member of the LGBT and Allied Faculty at Marquette University.
- Board member of Marquette’s Center for Gender and Sexualities Studies
- Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shaun.longstreet
- Images from Dr. Longstreet’s Facebook page:
- Twitter profile (now deactivated) Note “queer fella”
- Linked-In account (now deactivated) Note again, “a queer fella”.