The university is not really Catholic so the fewer people that go there, the better
Yet another woke Catholic university is going down in flames as DePaul University faces a $56 million budget deficit. This follows the enrollment drop and corresponding revenue decrease at the University of Portland, a leftist, pro-LGBT university that is only nominally Catholic.
The campus newspaper reports that the university has begun not renewing or filling professor positions, cutting staff and looking into other ways to slash the budget because “projections indicated DePaul’s expenses will outweigh revenue by $56.5 million in the 2023-24 academic year.”
The Strategic Resource Allocation Committee detailed the cuts that will likely be made – “Cost-saving measures were broken down between faculty, who will need to cut $11.3 million; staff, who are tasked with cutting $28.3 million; and departmental expenses of which $16.9 million will need to be cut,” The DePaulia reported, based on an email from the Faculty Council president.
The paper reported that “more than half of the total cuts for the next fiscal year will come from academic operations that includes faculty salaries, department expenses and student affairs.”
“Between 2017 and 2022, DePaul’s overall enrollment dropped from 22,769 students to 20,917, per data from DePaul’s Institutional Research and Market Analysis,” the paper reported.
It is unfortunate for those quality professors who are now left without a job and for those hard working staff members that helped the school run.
But I cannot say I am fully grieving what is going on at DePaul, given that it has largely abandoned its Catholic identity and interest in open debate on political topics in a process documented by The College Fix going back at least nine years. And when a Catholic university proudly calls its sports teams the “demons,” we know which side it takes in the battle between good and evil.
For example, the university hosts a “Queer Peers” mentorship program where older homosexual students will mentor younger gays, despite the Catholic Church’s clear admonition against living in a gay lifestyle. The theology department did not see any issue with this.
Two professors told me at the time in 2014 that there was no issue between promoting homosexual sexual lifestyle choices and the Catholic Church’s views on homosexuality.
In 2016, DePaul became the first Catholic university to offer a minor in LGBT studies in 2006. Interested students could take classes on “Gay Men’s Health Matters,” “LGQ French History” and “Sexual Justice.
While gay students were free to organize and mentor each other in homosexual activism, conservative students were not so lucky – even if they invited someone to speak who at the time identified as a gay man. After all, the weak leadership at DePaul let Black Lives Matter stage an insurrection of Milo Yiannopoulos’ speaking event in May 2016.
As someone who attended and helped in a minor way with the event, I remember directly asking an administrator if she was going to do anything to stop the disruption – but to no avail. Chicago cops failed to remove the protesters – one of whom tried to hit Milo and turned out to be a daughter of a Chicago Police Department administrator.
The now-former president of the university, Dennis Holtschneider, a Catholic priest, issued a weak-kneed apology that blamed both sides for BLM disrupting the event. Now he is the president of the American Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
The university actually loves to kick the College Republicans – it also condemned pro-Donald Trump chalkings in 2016. Vice President for Student Affairs Eugene Zdziarski sent a campus email at the time that said “many students, faculty and staff found the chalk messages offensive, hurtful and divisive.”
Conservatives of all stripes have never really been welcome at DePaul, at least not in the past decade. The campus banned Ben Shapiro from speaking there just several months after it completely botched the Yiannopoulos event.
But it’s not just Jewish or Catholic conservative external voices that are targeted at DePaul. It’s also internal conservative voices who show support for Israel.
DePaul Professor Jason Hill found that out after he wrote an opinion piece for The Federalist in 2019 where he voiced support for Israel. For all the clamoring about “academic freedom,” his faculty peers had no problem voting to condemn him. His article, according to the professors who hopefully are part of the deep budget cuts, showed “an abuse of his academic freedom.”
So honestly if the whole university shuts down and gets sold to real estate developers it would be a net benefit for both higher education and Catholicism.
I hope the good professors (I think I can count them on one hand) get out of there while there is still time and the smart students leave too. There will be no mourning if DePaul cannot stop its enrollment slide and has to close its doors.
IMAGE: DePaul University/Facebook