Preparing for the future at University of Dallas?

Preparing for the future at University of Dallas?

A reader sends along this tidbit from the blog of “D Magazine” in Dallas about rumored changes at the well-known Catholic school University of Dallas (which also happens to be my wife’s alma mater.)

The little Catholic university on the hill has been afflicted by a number of bad decisions lately, such as wasting money to compete with SMU for the George W. Bush Library (hel-lo, where did Laura Bush go to school? And isn’t W a Methodist?). But in its search for a new provost, there is very good news. Among the candidates for the post is Thomas Hibbs, the well-known Aquinas scholar and current dean of the honors program at Baylor. If there is a man to get UD back to its mission and to attract the kind of talent that will restore its reputation, Hibbs is the man.

Considering his (somewhat dated) biography in that second link, he sounds like a good man on the right track and perhaps the right man for the job. The provost, as described by UD in the first link, is the chief academic officer for the school who has oversight over the hiring of faculty. This is especially pertinent now that many of the longest-serving faculty members are approaching retirement and so new hires now will have long-lasting effects.

The challenges facing UD go back further than the Bush presidential library competition, back to a somewhat disastrous presidency earlier this decade. Tim Drake wrote two articles for Catholic World Report on the problems in 2001, “Raid or Rescue?”, and 2003, “Hope for the future in Dallas.”

(Interesting anecdote: Some of the photos used to illustrate the earlier article were Melanie’s from her time there, but I got them from her through a mutual friend who is also a UD alumna. I hardly knew Melanie at all at the time and was one of my first interactions with her. Funny how things work out.)

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli