Strategic Directions

Drop Shadow

Catholic Social Teaching: Strategic Directions Workshop, February 8, 2005

[pdf file for printing]

Theme: Build awareness and understanding of the Catholic intellectual tradition of social thought.

General Questions:

  1. Which of the ten themes should we focus on to enhance USD’s Catholic identity?
  2. How can we bring these themes to the classroom? to the workplace?

Discussants: Msgr Dan Dillabough (discussion leader), Cathy Johnson (recorder), John Loggins, Lance Nelson, Alberto Pulido, Sr. Virginia Rodee, Rudy Spano, Ed Starkey, Greg Zackowski.

Summary of Major Ideas

Catholic Social Teaching has broad ecumenical appeal and constitutes a set of ideals that could help to define USD’s Catholic identity, yet many on campus are not informed. We must intentionally educate the campus about the meaning and value of these themes as we systematically integrate them into our operating policies. The challenge is putting principles into practice. We can begin with the theme, ‘Common Good and Community’:

The human person is both sacred and social. We realize our dignity and rights in relationship with others, in community. Human beings grow and achieve fulfillment in community. Human dignity can only be realized and protected in the context of relationships with the wider society.

1. Begin the educational process at faculty and staff orientations.
  • Build on USD’s mission and history to introduce the fundamentals of Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Create mentoring programs to pair new hires with knowledgeable peers.
2. Make Catholic Social Teaching a part of the rhythm of campus life.
  • Will require both funding and commitment.
  • Provide incentives—giving release time to faculty and staff for growth would create an example for students.
  • Investigate ways to incorporate an understanding and commitment to Catholic Social Teaching into the faculty tenure process in conjunction with the fourth criterion.
  • Develop codes of conduct for staff and for students.
  • Build fundamentals of Catholic Social Teaching into staff performance evaluations.
3. Inventory current programs to see which already incorporate Catholic Social Teaching.
  • Highlight programs that are already strong and identify areas that need more work.
  • Determine issues of concern that can unit the campus community.
  • Based on the inventory and areas of concern, intentionally build a more systematic institutional program.
4. Expand the focus to other themes.
  • ‘Economic Justice’ begins with internal concerns and expands to global solidarity.
  • ‘Promotion of Peace and Disarmament’—A clear focus on peace and a platform to address this issue will provide opportunities for dialogue between military and religious.
  • ‘Stewardship of God’s Creation’ would have a strong ecological appeal to students.