The following is an editorial from the June 3 issue of The Providence Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of Providence, R.I.
Recently, Brown University President E. Gordon Gee announced a three-year initiative to combine the study of values into the university's curriculum. It marks the first step toward bringing the study of human values, such as social justice and morality, into the curriculum. The curriculum would provide Brown students an education in the elements of a “good” life.
Brown University was founded in 1764 as a Baptist college. But, over the course of its long history, it has become increasingly secular in its outlook and curriculum.
Brown is one of the most prestigious universities in the nation where many future world and national leaders are educated. It is a rather sad commentary that values were not part of the current curriculum. The new program of studies of human values comes at a time when many in the elite world of academics have jettisoned traditional values, instead promoting a “value-free,” politically-correct education.
President Gee is to be commended for this new and innovative program whereby undergraduate students will be taught moral standards that will enable them “to discern and champion the necessary elements of a good life and just society.”
Not unlike Brown University and other Ivy League institutions, some Catholic colleges and universities have also divorced themselves from the philosophies of their founders.
Under the guise of academic freedom and diversity, many of these Catholic colleges have systematically reduced the Catholicity of their institutions.
Catholic values must be at the core of any Catholic academic curriculum; it cannot be displaced in the name of political correctness. The lesson of Brown University is one to which Catholic Universities across the country would do well to attend.