Malloy addresses faculty, sets new goals for Generations
By TIM LOGAN
In his annual address to the faculty Tuesday, University president Father Edward Malloy outlined several broad themes affecting Notre Dame but discussed few specific goals or proposals for the school's future.
He called on the faculty to work with his administration to keep bringing Notre Dame closer to the elite of American universities.
"We are closer to realizing our goal of being not only the preeminent Catholic university in the world, but also a great Catholic university," he said. "I'm confident we can do it together."
The bulk of his speech reflected on the themes he pledged to address when he took over the University's presidency in 1987. These themes were Notre Dame's institutional self-definition, its distinction as a Catholic school, the unique nature of its residential community, the University's tradition of service and the importance of academic freedom.
Malloy spoke to the faculty about improvements in the quality of teaching,
"I feel very positive, personally, about the progress we've made with regard to teaching," he said. The University has added an average of 10 full-time faculty positions each year since he took over.
He also said Notre Dame would continue its efforts to improve and expand its research programs.
"I don't think we can pull back," he said. "Too many people have invested too much from their resources."
Malloy noted that, up to now, most research has been conducted in the Colleges of Engineering and Science. Funding dollars will be spread more evenly in the future, he said.
The president also discussed the Catholic character of Notre Dame, calling it the University's "greatest strength." At the same time, however, he repeated his opposition to the proposed implementation of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II's 1990 apostolic statement on Catholic higher education.
The implementation would require that Catholic university presidents take an oath of fidelity to the Church and that Catholic theology professors receive a mandate from the local ecclesiastical authority.
Malloy did say, however, that the University needed to hire Catholic faculty members who understand and value Notre Dame's mission and understand its religious nature.
"[If this doesn't happen] I think, over time, the challenge of us sustaining what we are will be much more difficult," he said.
The president said Notre Dame must strive to maintain its active residence life environment in order to maintain the quality of students' learning outside the classroom.
"We cannot lose that commitment to the residential nature of this university," he said.
The University must also uphold its traditions of service learning and academic freedom, he said.
One specific the president discussed was the success of "Generations," a fundraising campaign which the University hoped would raise $767 million by early 2001. The campaign passed that goal during the summer and, according to the most recent figures, has topped $820 million. Malloy said the campaign would continue.
"Can we reach $1 billion? Who knows, we'll try," he said. He said the excess funds would go to areas in the university that are still underfunded.
Faculty members had mixed reactions.
"It was a nice overview," said Tom Nowak, professor of chemistry and biochemistry. "But I'm not sure of what the real goals are.
"I wish there could be a little more substance," he said.
Others see the president's annual address not as a specific statement on policy, but more of a rallying call for the faculty.
"This is a pep talk at the beginning of the academic year," said Leonard Chrobot, adjunct professor of economics. "The specifics are laid out in different documents during the year."
Malloy gives this address each year during the fall semester.
All News Stories for Wednesday, October 6, 1999