Sad and foreboding news indeed from the University of Saint Thomas in Houston: The administration has threatened within weeks to ‘reorganize’ or ‘close’ both the English and Philosophy departments, citing ‘financial’ considerations, an unheard of, and, at face value, manifestly unjust situation. The University of Saint Thomas is not only one of the few holdouts in the move to streamline everything in the modern university into a functional S.T.E.M. focus (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), turning students into zombie-esque automatons of limited education, but is also one of the very, very few that still maintains a Thomistic-Aristotelian emphasis, the perennial philosophy, so necessary as a propaedeutic to theology, and, well, to a life well lived.
This brief story (more will be forthcoming, I am sure) signifies the overweening power of administrators, and the monetary motivation of so many centres of higher learning. I suppose a whole house cleaning is in order, a re-appraisal of what ‘university’ is meant to be, how it is meant to be run, what students are meant to learn and how to be formed.
We, of course, face these questions here at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College. Yes, just the other day, we were given official permission to use the title ‘college’, as now a degree-granting institution. And have no fear: Philosophy and theology (as well as literature, history and other subjects) are safe and sound, orthodox, founded on the ‘hard steel’ of Thomism, vibrant and clear, which provides students a solid basis with which to face all the modern questions and issues, as they forth into the world.
I could wax on, but will wax off for now, and pray for all those faculty members at UST, whose livelihoods and teaching careers are now uncertain.