Saturday, January 12, 2008

2008: Same old story at Ave Maria U

The past couple of weeks haven't been good at Ave Maria "University," as three law professors at AMU quit in disgust. Two just this week. And in yet another twist in the ongoing war of nerves between Tom Monaghan and Frank Dewane, the Bishop of Venice, Florida, a planned consecration of a building that's supposed to be the campus "Oratory" was cancelled. (Many in the neighboring town of Naples have joked the chapel is shaped like a salmon steak. It really does, although I kind of like the avant-garde design; at least I would if Monaghan was playing by the rules.)

This really has become a running joke. On top of possible obstruction of justice charges for using the campus server back in Michigan to hide child pornography stored by a priest; and wrongful dismissal charges for several professors and the chaplain, the attrition is a sign of weakness and not strength.

The problem remains Monaghan himself, who seems hell bent to waste the billions he made when his pizza chain went public to run an institution that's as much a temple to his own glory as Fox News is to Rupert Murdoch. Monaghan is an embarrassment to Catholics, both conservative and liberal. It's way past time for the US Department of Education to put an end to the pretense, and deaccredit the place.

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