Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

The Perils of “Preferred Peers”

On Catholic campuses that aspire to Top Ten or Top Twenty status in publicity sweepstakes like the U.S. News and World Report college rankings, one sometimes hears the phrase “preferred peers.” Translated into plain English from faux-sociologese, that means the schools to which we’d like to be compared (and be ranked with). At a major Catholic institution like the University of Notre Dame, for example, administrators use the term “preferred peers” to refer to universities like Duke, Stanford, and Princeton, suggesting that these are the benchmarks by which Notre Dame measures its own aspirations to excellence. Continue Reading »

Announcing New Multimillion Dollar Aid-for-Adjuncts Grant

In what is being hailed as a revolutionary solution to the overpopulation problem of adjuncts in higher education, the Bench Foundation has announced a multi-year program called Aid-for-Adjuncts. The program is the result of a ten-year study of the rapid proliferation of part-time instructors in college, university, and seminary classrooms. For the first time, administrative centers will be established across America, helping school officials formulate proper guidelines for the use and abuse of adjuncts. Continue Reading »

My Women’s Studies Seminar

When I started graduate school in English in the early 90s, I thought that a certificate in Women’s Studies would widen my training and help my career. My university happened to have a famous professor in the field, a pioneer in academic feminism who had created one of the first graduate degree programs in Women’s Studies. A tough, learned woman with exacting standards, she did not suffer fools or histrionic students lightly. She was also a conservative. Continue Reading »

In the Wake of Heroic Theology

In 1997 Avery Dulles was asked by Commonweal magazine to respond to a disputed question: “How Catholic is the Catholic Theological Society of America?” The impetus was Cardinal Bernard Law’s charge that the CTSA, the largest and most prestigious association of Catholic theologians in the United States, had become little more than a “wasteland” of dissent against official Church teachings. Continue Reading »

Filter Tag Articles