Fewer Tenured Professors in Years to Come

By Bridget King

Of the 16 new staff members hired by Catholic University this year only two were on the tenure track which signals an unwanted shift in University policy for some.
Tenure is prestigious rank given to professors that, along with the increase of stature, provides a level of job security, as tenured professors can only be fired if the university that employs them is able to present evidence that the professor is incompetent or behaves unprofessionally.
Tenured professors can also be dismissed if the department that employs them is to be closed or the school itself is under extreme financial difficulty. According to the National Education Association (NEA) only 2% of tenured faculty is dismissed annually.
The process of becoming a tenured professor is difficult and requires months of work.  During a certain time period of academic review, called the “probationary period,” universities and colleges can choose to not renew faculty contracts and terminate faculty without any reason or cause.
Throughout the course of the “probationary period,” senior professors, as well as administrators, have the right to review and judge the work of new employees that are teaching within a university. The chosen senior professors and those in the administrative staff will then decide whether or not to recommend tenure to a given professor.
A survey conducted by the NEA states that in a typical year, about one in five probationary faculty members were denied tenure and lost their job. If recommended tenure, one must apply to be sure they are on the tenure-track.
According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, in 2011 there were approximately 385 full-time professors at Catholic University. Of these 385, approximately 219 were already tenured and 112 full-time professors were on tenured-track. This report also stated that 54 professors were not tenured.
Universities typically rely on part-time or temporary non tenure-track faculty to teach undergraduates. This means that no more than one-third of university faculty members are tenured. Research universities rely on tenured professors for research and other scholarly writings.
If a professor or faculty member is tenured, they are still accountable for their work. At many academic institutions, professors and faculty members are evaluated for things such as promotion and increase in salary. However, if there is any indication of incompetence or unprofessional conduct, tenured faculty members may be fired.
The shift away from hiring tenured faculty leads some to conclude that Catholic University is shifting from its traditional role as a research institution and into a role more congruent with that of a state school. These types of universities, although responsible for the education of many students, publish few scholarly works, compared to  a research institute.
As we continue the year and gain more faculty and staff at Catholic University, changes to the University hiring policy will become more apparent.

Plans for Center for Teaching Excellence Fall Apart

By Grace Woo

In April of 2015, the position “Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning” was created and offered to Diane Bunce, a Chemistry professor who taught at the Catholic University of America for thirty years. However, Bunce chose to resign in mid-July of the same year.
The goal of the new Vice Provost’s office was to “improve and maintain the quality of teaching and learning at The Catholic University” said Bunce.
Bunce was interested in utilizing the University’s faculty to research the difficulties students encounter and effectively intervene to better both the learning experience of the students and the teaching experiences of the faculty, graduate teachers, and post-doctorial fellows.
The genesis of this project can be found five years ago in the University’s report to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Every ten years, many institutes of higher learning perform thorough self-evaluations in order to gain the approval of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education organization, which reviews and evaluates hundreds of universities. One of the many proposed improvements was a Center for Teaching Excellence.
In April of 2015, the Interim Provost, the Very Reverend Mark Morozowich, set into motion the plans to realize this goal. Bunce was offered the newly created Vice Provost position, and in May 2015 she accepted the job.
Bunce then began setting out a five-year plan for the Teaching Center with the Interim Provost. Bunce, who earned the title of the “Patrick O’Brian Chemistry Scholar” during her time teaching at Catholic University, began to devise concrete plans for improving and refining the teaching skills of the educators on campus.
When the new Provost, Andrew Abela, took office on June 1, he reevaluated the direction of University improvements. Abela had not been involved in the planning meetings between Vice Provost Bunce and Interim Provost Reverend Morozowich.
“The activities for the Center are on hold until we are able to identify a source of funds for it,” said Abela.
Bunce decided to resign from her position in mid July and retire from the University as well.
Bunce was not the only one disappointed in the new direction the Provost chose to pursue. Phillip Henderson, a First Year Experience LC instructor and English graduate student, feels lucky in his department but concerned for his fellow teachers. “Between FYE and the training in the English Department, I’m fairly taken care of,” explained Henderson.
Henderson’s specific position in the University allows him access to a variety of resources. However, he is concerned that the situation is “worse for non-FYE teachers.”
Other faculty members also expressed their concerns. An emphasis on teaching quality and a concerted effort to maintain excellence is what makes a university great, and also what makes its reputation.
Reputation draws committed undergraduates, dedicated faculty, and scholarly graduate students. If Catholic University cannot sustain a competitive level of teaching, it will continue to lose students and faculty to other institutions that are proactively committed to cultivating academic excellence. It has become a common practice for institutes of higher learning to establish centers like Bunce’s proposed office. Those new to teaching can gain confidence in their skills, and established professors can stay up to date on new teaching technologies.
There are no current plans to restart the Teaching Center project at this time.

“CHAPLAINS” film Premier’s at Edward J Pryzbala Center

By Stephen Fasulo II

On Thursday, September 10th the documentary film produced by Journey Films, “CHAPLAINS,” premiered in the Great Room of the Edward J. Pryzbyla Center.
The film, helmed by Martin Doblmeier, is about the lives of chaplains and the lives they positively affect through their profession.
A chaplain is a member of a religion that is attached to a non-religious organization. The film was shortened half its length at the event to allow a question and answer period from the Army Chief of Chaplains, Father Paul Hurley, who has served for twenty years, most recently in Afghanistan.
The film describes the daily interactions between chaplains and people serving prison sentences, police officers, military servicemen and women, and families of children in hospitals. Doblmeier, preemptively answered the question among many minds, and told audiences he decided on the subject matter because he found the subject fascinating. Doblmeier was pleased with the reception of the film at the event.
“Something that caught me off guard was the expanse and depth of what they do, despite the way culture has put religion under fire,” said Doblmeier. The trials of what these chaplains undergo is thoroughly explored in the film, and the chaplains featured provide religious counsel to soldiers, prisoners, and grieving families, but also help recreate lives and bridge social gaps in cultures.
“I did this film to inspire others to serve as chaplains,” said Father Paul Hurley. “This film is revealing to people like me, who do this every day, but seeing the results, you realize how important it really is.”
The number of military chaplains has been cut in half from 400 to 220 in the last 14 years.
“Part of the reason the numbers have decreased is that we’ve hit the demographic curve, a large amount of military chaplains were born in the peak of the baby boom, and now most of them have just reached the age limit of the military,” said Vocations Director of the Archdiocese for the Military Services, Father Aidan Logan.
“Documentaries can sometimes have problems getting out there, so publicity is key,” said Jen Quintana, the Production Manager for Journey Films.
According to the filmmakers, there is a large amount of events showing the film in the future.
“If I was called back to Boston tomorrow, I would be thankful for working with so many other chaplains of other faiths, as it has bolstered my own faith,” said Hurley.
The message that the crew and the subjects of the film wanted to convey was the necessity for an underappreciated profession,  and that there is a place for a religious movie in today’s culture.

Born in the USA

With the 14th anniversary of September 11th comes a national day of patriotism. We adorn our homes, classrooms, offices, and shops with decorations of red, white, and blue, wave flags, and chant the Pledge of Allegiance.
With that patriotism, the question lingers somewhere in the cosmos of what exactly makes someone or something “American.”
Is it our cowboy mentality? Is it our fascination with guns? War? Standing up for what we see is right? Or our rights?
America is a place where women can vote, and are entitled to an education. America is the birthplace of The Catcher in the Rye, rock and roll, jazz, motown and rap music. America is a country that is not even 250 years old, and its citizens will fight to their deaths in defense of the reputation of “greatest nation on Earth.” Which is it, obviously.
Is it our vast regions? From our beautiful  beaches and breath-taking mountains, to our dry deserts and concrete jungles?
We have the City that Never Sleeps! We launched the first space shuttle! We’re God’s country! How do we like our tea? In the harbor, of course! Others call it “imperialism,” and we like to call it “Manifest Destiny.” Who is our King? Elvis Aaron Presley!
God bless our cowboy mentality. Even to this day, at High Noon, fifty-somethings peek our their windows to see whether or not Gary Cooper got the bad guy.
Our favorite drink is Coca-Cola, and our idea of alcohol is moonshine. We like our Star Wars, and we were the hub of the Sexual Revolution. We have our Bob Dylan writing “Positively 4th Street” in Washington Square Park, and we are the home of Hollywood and Vegas, baby.
We drive Mustangs, Harley Davidsons, pickup trucks, and ride bulls. Thanksgiving is our holiday, the teddy bear is our favorite toy, Mickey Mouse is our icon, Hershey is our chocolate, and don’t let anyone fool you: we have the real football.
Our sex symbols are Marilyn Monroe and Farrah Fawcett. Theodore Roosevelt riding a moose seems normal to us, and no, we never lost a war!
Dr. King is our idol of equality, and we still hang posters of Muhammad Ali in our dorm rooms.
Two words for you: John Wayne.
What is it though that makes all of these very different things “American?” What does apple pie, Microsoft, and Beyonce have in common?
Being “American” is a tapestry. It’s woven with complexity and turns out beautiful.
Whatever  being “American” is may never be clear. What is clear, though, is it’s in the hearts of every single one of us. Every time we get in a car and drive across the country, we’re reminded of our vasteness. We need to take planes and trains to get to the other side of our nation in practical time.
Like any good ol’ American would say, we truly are the greatest nation on Earth. Events like 9/11, Pearl Harbor, and the Great Depression, while devastating to each and every one of us, only proves our strength even more with our ability to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and strike back, even harder.

How to See a Symphony Without Paying a Dime

By Maria Rodriguez

1. Millennium Stage – Kennedy Center

Started in the year 2000, the Millennium Stage offers free performances every night at 6pm, including Easter and Christmas.

Previous acts have included Bobby McFerrin and Grammy Award winning hip-hop group Arrested Development.

This fall the Millennium Stage presents artists as part of the Kennedy Center’s skateboarding and Jazz festival.

With events ranging from up-and-coming comedians and world class dancers to student choruses and opera singers, there is something for everyone at this one-of-a-kind stage.

Catch the special performance at 8pm on September 23rd in honor of the Pope’s visit. The NSO will perform with a famous mezzo-soprano and a 10-year-old jazz prodigy.

The performance is free, but tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed in the Hall of Nations starting at 6pm. For those who aren’t able to grab one of these coveted tickets, the performance will be broadcast on screens in the Grand Foyer.

Check out the full schedule for upcoming events online.

2. Garden Court – National Gallery of Art

If you perfer a turn of high culture,  check out the concerts put on by the National Gallery of Art.

The Garden Court, located on the upper floor, stays serene year round with its indoor greenery and fountains.

Chamber music is at the fore of the programmed events, with string groups and piano performers making regular appearances.

The National Gallery also has their well-loved series “Jazz in the Garden” on Friday nights in the Sculpture Garden through September 27th.

Be sure to grab your ID and sip sangria while grooving to sweet Jazz beats.

Field Hockey Sets the Bar High with a Win

By Jimmy Cassidy

The field hockey team at Catholic University got off to a winning start in their 2015 fall season on Tuesday night, defeating the nationally-ranked Messiah Falcons, 2-0. The low scoring affair featured two of the top teams in the nation, and a rematch of a NCAA tournament matchup from a year ago. Messiah was beaten then in the second round of the NCAAs, and they could not get revenge on Tuesday evening at Cardinal Stadium. After two straight trips to the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament, the Cardinals were voted #8 in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll, the highest preseason rank they have received as a program. CUA was also picked to finished first in the Landmark Conference by conference coaches. The high hopes were put to the test as Catholic had to face the #13 ranked Messiah.
The 2-0 victory brings to mind the great defensive effort and goalkeeping that must have
went into to holding two powerful teams to a very low number of goals. 2014 Landmark First-Team All Conference goalkeeper Analisa Scott deserves a good deal of credit. The junior goalkeeper saved every shot she faced to get the impressive shutout victory. It was an important season opener victory that should encourage the team and coaches.
On the win, sophomore Rachel Day said “It was extremely important for the team to get off to a good start for the season to prove just how successful this season can be. Messiah was a strong opponent but we focused on supporting each other with communication, making cuts,
and getting open for passes.”
It only took two first half goals to get the win for the Cards, and they came in the first 21
minutes of the contest. After a penalty corner for CUA, sophomore Marisa Martinelli broke the tie and scored the first goal of her season in the 18th minute. Just three minutes later, Day notched the second goal as insurance for the Cards’ eventual victory. Both goals came from the
stick of senior Haley Wright, whose two assists were crucial in the offensive attack.
After more out of conference action, Catholic will kick off Landmark play at home against Elizabethtown College on Saturday, September 26th at 1 PM.

Women’s Soccer Off To An Ideal Start

By Jimmy Cassidy

The Catholic University  women’s soccer team kicked off their 2015 campaign in convincing fashion, Tuesday, September 1st, with a 7-0 victory over Hood College.  From the very beginning of the match, the control of the game was dominated by Catholic.  It was a pleasant yet understandable result for the team, who was voted #1 in the Landmark Conference by coaches for the 2015 fall season.  The preseason favorites return 22 players from the 2014 Conference Championship team, including 9 starters.  The victory against Hood was not the team’s first game action, however, as they recently returned home from a 10 day trip in Spain to play a few international friendlies in Barcelona and Madrid.
The tempo of the game was established early by the Cardinals, and possession quickly became lopsided in CUA’s favor.  The ball was on Catholic’s offensive side for a majority of the first half, and the chances at goal were plentiful.  Any potential counter attacks from the Hood Blazers’ forwards were quickly stifled by the formidable back line of Catholic’s defense.  Everything was going the Cards’ way, but it did not show on the scoreboard immediately.  The tie was soon broken with 29 minutes to go in the first half on a goal from junior midfielder Alyssa Fiore.  Fiore cut through multiple defenders before finishing nicely with her left foot to give the Cards a 1-0 advantage. After the first goal, the Catholic onslaught began, and the team put many shots on goal.  Senior Kelly Henderson had two of her shots hit the top of the crossbar and out of play.  Junior forward Lindsay Aleman gathered a cross from Kiera Lyon with 9 minutes left in the half, and finished well for her first goal of the match.  Just two minutes later, sophomore midfielder Andrea Jablonskyj found herself some open space after a few dribbles and fired a strike from way outside the 18-yard box for an impressive goal.  All signs pointed toward a Catholic opening victory with a 3-0 lead at the half.
Jablonskyj noted “After practicing together for quite some time we were all excited to put it together and play another team.  We had a lot of good movement and creativity off the ball which allowed us to create chances to score.”  Catholic made their offseason work evident with impressive first touches and quick passing.  Hood could not keep up on the defensive end, and almost all of their goal kicks were controlled by Catholic to regain possession.
No inspirational halftime speech could have spurred the Blazers to come back from the 3-0 deficit, and it took less than two minutes for the Cards to find the back of the net once again.  This time it was sophomore striker Nia Gomez who found space in front of the goal and dribbled around the keeper to score.  Gomez decided one was not enough when she stole the ball from a Hood defender and buried another shot for a goal with 24 minutes left in the game.  It was then Aleman, the 2014 team leader in goals, who got back into the goal scoring late in the game.  The striker scored two goals in a span of four minutes, including a crafty finish for the hat trick.  The 7-0 lead was plenty for the Cardinals, who spent the last 10 minutes of the game relaxing their offensive attack and focusing on ball movement. Senior goalkeeper Lexi Halperin got the clean sheet victory with 61 minutes in front of goal, and senior Amy-Lynn Friel played the other 29 minutes between the posts.  Hood managed just one shot on goal in the game.
Sophomore defender Riley Hawblitzel played a part in the Catholic defense that shut down any attack from Hood’s offense.  She said “The defense really kept our shape and communicated a lot to ensure that Hood did not get any chances on goal.”
The 7-0 victory is something to be excited about for a season opener.  Anyone who watched Tuesday would say the team looks like it could repeat as Landmark Conference champions once again.  The Cards kick off conference play September 26th against Landmark foe Elizabethtown in Pennsylvania.

Untitled Poem

By Alex Huntley
What I never told you, about me,
I was damaged, far beyond what you could see.
With every wrong I did, and every word you spoke,
I shattered like a glass, my pieces fell where I had broke.
I was calling in the dark, trying to make sense,
But couldn’t figure it out, you were right I’m dense.
With fear rushing through my river, I kept on walking,
I thought about how my existence is utterly shocking.
I thought about the stars, the moon and the sun,
And how I wish I was just done.
I would think the gods would take me out,
Of this sinister game, for I am screwing it with every shout.
But they left me in this fight;
Could they not see my plight?

The Noble Pursuit of Art History

By David Soltis

One of the biggest decisions one must make while in college is what major to pick. It seems as if, in today’s academic world, the goal of college is to graduate with a degree for a major one enjoys, or at least believes is best for him or her, and then to get a job in the field directly correlated to that major. College is seen as an investment one pays today in order to make a sustainable income throughout life. This can be seen in student views on education: dragging their feet to go to classes outside of their major, or always saying the classic line, “when will I ever use this.” Students are mostly only in the things that seem  important for them to be their version of successful. It even seems that colleges have this belief. They accept students who they believe will be successful with that hope that the university will benefit from successful students, preferable in monetary ways.
Success seems to then interfere with what major one will pick. People seem to want to take majors in fields like business, management, or engineering that seem to provide jobs at a relatively easy access and with a certain standard pay and security. Possibly then even limiting many to picking a major one truly does not enjoy. Maybe college should not be for this goal. College is about a pure pursuit of knowledge. Especially in a liberal arts college such as CUA. Part of being in a liberal arts school means understanding parts from all facets of education. This should mean that History majors should still be able to understand math. And then with this idea maybe snickering at the more obscure majors such as Art History or Medieval and Byzantine Studies should end. If liberal arts education was more about  pursuing knowledge and not the end result of competing to be successful in the work world, we would be more united as scholars and not separated by majors. This then would also help to create a professional world that allowed people with all different sorts of majors to hold any type of career. Allowing good, intelligent people to hold good jobs, not just people who have a certificate that says they have studied numbers. Then throughout growing as scholars together, we can find what truly interests us and discover what we truly want to do.
The days where college was for people to pursue academics is over. The whole idea of studying in order find personal enlightenment in order to become a more fulfilled person. There seems to be a limited scope that one can only work in the field.  This concept seems in part to disregard parts of the college liberal arts. This however almost seems to defeat the point of a liberal arts education. Now I know that here at the Catholic University of America there is definitely an emphasis on partaking in many classes outside of ones major.  It is great that college and education is available for so many more people but it seems that this influx of people makes it even more important for people to monitor how they learn, and learn so that they can achieve true academic enlightenment.
So I am going to keep my Art History major. I am going keep my Art History Major because I am doing something that I enjoy and something that I think will make me a better person once I am done with school. This does not mean that I do not think math or science is a good thing and worth to pursue. I encourage everyone to pick something that interests them and something that they will enjoy and understand that success will come from hard work, regardless of what field you are working in.

A Different View of Pope Francis

By Christopher Neyhart

As everybody in the western hemisphere has learned by now, Pope Francis will be visiting Washington DC this month and will say Mass on the steps of the National Shrine. The excitement on campus is understandable, regardless of how likely or unlikely acquiring a ticket to the Mass will be for CUA students. Everybody is looking forward to the Holy Father’s visit. The hype around Pope Francis is incredible.
But it’s not a radical teaching or a change in Church doctrine that has caused this fascination with the Pope. Anybody who has looked beyond the exciting headlines has found that Francis doesn’t want to rewrite the Catholic position on marriage, homosexuality, or any other hot topic. Rather, the Holy Father is simply asking us to shift our attention away from judgment and conviction, and towards charity and love. These values are vital, but nothing new for Christians. What has captured our attention is the Pope’s humility and prayerfulness. It is clear that God is truly in the driver’s seat of Francis’ life.
We have all heard the stories of how he has rejected the more ornate facets of Vatican City for a simple, humble life. Francis famously does not wear the traditional red cape or red slippers. He has used the bus instead of the papal car to get around Vatican City. On Holy Thursday, instead of celebrating the Mass at St. Peter’s, he visited inmates in a Roman prison. These stories have stirred something new in many people.
In the world we live in, Francis’ humility and simplicity are incredibly refreshing. As the school year moves forward, we should remember that those two qualities are key to keeping God at the center of our lives.