skip to main content

The Idea Of A University


NEW YORK: Inspired by the sesquicentennial this November of John Cardinal Newman’s landmark text, “The Idea of a University”, Vice President for Academic Affairs John C. Hollwitz, Ph.D., has invited 15 faculty members from various disciplines to serve as Newman Fellows during the 2002-2003 academic year. “The Idea of a University” has deeply influenced how we think about liberal learning,” Hollwitz said. “For 150 years, Newman challenged successive generations of students, faculty and scholars. The book’s sesquicentennial provides an opportunity for us at Fordham to think about how he challenges us as well.”

The fellows will lead the Fordham and Marymount communities in a year-long dialogue about the implications of Newman’s views of liberal education for Fordham in the 21st century. Each fellow will participate in one of several public panel discussions on The Idea of a University. Hollwitz hopes that Fordham’s faculty, students and staff participate in these discussions. “I hope that the Fellows program will provide an opportunity for us as an intellectual community at Fordham to discuss and debate two sets of issues first, about how the ideals of a renowned 19th-century Catholic educator resonate today, and also about what we would say in response from the vantage of a radically dif-ferent world,” said Hollwitz.

According to Hollwitz, Newman feared that universities would become collections of academic specialties that would each consider itself as a “universal empire” independent from others and intolerant of important relationships to philosophy and theology. Now, a century and a half later, some feel that this is very nearly what has happened at many institutions of higher education in the United States. “It’s important to affirm that a university is foremost a community across disciplines and not merely a collection of autonomous academic silos,” said Hollwitz. “Studying and debating Newman’s challenge is one way to do that and I can-not imagine a better place for such a discussion than a school like Fordham.”

The 2002 John Cardinal Newman Fellows are: Michael Baur, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy; Mary Bly, Ph.D., assistant professor of English; Diana Bray, Ph.D., professor of chemistry; Mark Chapman, Ph.D., associate professor of African and African American Studies; Sr. Kathleen Connell, R.S.H.M., professor of history, Marymount College; Everette Dennis, Ph.D., Distinguished Felix Larkin Professor, Schools of Business; Jeanne Flavin, Ph.D., associate professor of sociology; Jairo Fuertes, Ph.D., assistant professor of education; Rita Guare, Ph.D., associ-ate professor of education; Joseph Pearson, Ph.D., assistant professor of theology; Penelope Roach, Ph.D., professor of sociology and coordinator for international studies/business, Marymount College; Clara Rodriguez, Ph.D., professor of sociology; William Treanor, J.D., dean, Fordham Law School; Peter Vaughan, Ph.D., dean, Graduate School of Social Service; and Frederick Wertz, Ph.D., professor of psychology.


Comments are closed.