Monday, January 02, 2006

Vertical construction to start in January on Ave Maria campus

Courtesy Naples Daily News
December 30, 2005
Soon the 5,000 acres of land between Camp Keais and Oil Well roads will be bustling with activity.
"In January, vertical construction on the new campus and town is scheduled to begin," said Ave Maria University President Nick Healy. "Soon you'll finally be able to see something besides clouds of dust."
The first building to be complete isn't very glamorous, Healy said, but it does mark the beginning of a journey to create a permanent home for Ave Maria University and town.
The first building to be erected is expected to be the central plant, with the library and town center soon to follow, said Barron Collier Cos. President Paul Marinelli.
The campus will occupy about 1,000 acres of the 5,000 acres set aside about five miles southwest of Immokalee for the university and community. It's a significant increase from the 12 acres the temporary campus occupies in the Vineyards in North Naples, Healy said.
"There will be room for substantial increases," Healy said.
If the student population continues to grow at the rate it has been, the university may need to use the room to expand sooner than expected.
When school started at the temporary campus in August 2003, campus officials estimated that 100 students had enrolled.
This year, the university estimates about 400 students are en rolled, and Healy said he expects about 550 students to be enrolled in the university for fall 2007.
"Everything will be much larger," Healy said.
Fall 2007 will mark the first year students will be at the permanent campus. It's also when Healy expects that the majority of people will begin moving into the new faith-based community.
The town will offer several op tions for people who want to move to Ave Maria town, Marinelli said. Residential properties have not been put on the market yet, but Marinelli said his company has received several thousand inquiries about the residential properties.
Marinelli said he expects the first of the residents to move to the town in spring 2007.
One place people will be able to live is in the town center, Marinelli said. The six-building complex will house retail space on the ground floor, while condos will occupy the space on the floors above.
"It will be comparable in quality of those on Fifth Avenue South," Marinelli said.
While it will not be mandatory for faculty and staff members to live in the community, Healy said, he expects many will make the move. Healy said he expects about 1,000 families will have moved to the community by the end of 2007.
While construction began in January, the official groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Feb. 17, 2007.
The ceremony originally was scheduled for early in November, but was rescheduled after Hurricane Wilma hit Oct. 24.
"We didn't think it was seemly to have a big celebration while others were struggling," Healy said.
Instead, officials canceled the lavish ceremony and donated $50,000, which had been set aside to pay for the ceremony, to the Guadalupe Center in Immokalee.
While the groundbreaking ceremony won't be as large as originally planned, Healy said, the excitement of the event will still be in the air.
"If anything , we're in season now and a lot of people who may not have come down in November will be down here in February," Healy said.
The February groundbreaking is just the first of several events planned for February, Healy said.
The month is expected to be busy with conferences and the university's first art festival.
On Feb. 8 and 9, community members are invited to the "John Paul II and the Holy Land" conference. The conference will bring together Christian and Jewish scholars to discuss Pope John Paul II's work regarding the Holy Land.
"It's an all-star conference," Healy said.
Healy said the keynote speaker for the event will be George Weigel, Pope John Paul II's biographer.
Religious leaders from across the country are expected to flock to Ave Maria University for a pastor's conference Feb. 21-23. It will feature Bishop Thomas G. Doran of the Dicocese of Rockford, Ill., as the keynote speaker.
The most exciting event may be the university's festival of arts, Healy said.
The three-day festival, scheduled for Feb. 24-26, will feature the performing arts, music and visual arts. Students will perform an original play, and author Michael Novak will be among the speakers. Novak has written more than 25 books, most of which have dealt with modern theological issues. Novak's work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The New Republic.
But what may be the highlight of the three-day festival is the art auction, Healy said.
"We're going to auction off the use of a Renoir," Healy said.
"Whoever makes the highest bid can display it wherever they want for the year they purchased it for."
Healy said all of the details have not been ironed out for how the auction will be handled, but that university founder Tom Monaghan has volunteered to auction off the use of the painting.
The festival of arts fits in with an artistic theme the university has planned for its lifelong education classes this winter. Many of the classes have to do with the role art will play within the university and town.
But with all of the changes happening to the permanent campus, students who are attending Ave Maria University have little to worry about when it comes to changes to their temporary home, Healy said.
"I think our curriculum is pretty well set," Healy said. "We may be expanding, but we won't be adding any new majors."
There won't be any changes to the interim campus, either, Healy said. Instead, all of the attention will be placed on creating a permanent home for the university.


At 11:23 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

Okay, let me get this straight:

They're LEASING a Renoir? Talk about gauche.

But considering the artist's preference for appearance over substance, I guess it's sort of appropriate.

At 9:35 AM, Blogger T$M said...

Speaking of auctions, Sothebys hosted "From the Cellar of Marge & Tom Monaghan" last month (Dec. 3, NYC). He sold-off some of his great Bordeaux & Cabernet Sauvignon (my favorite) to benefit AMU. $1,603,375 worth! Is the man's generosity boundless or what? In the press release, Sotheby's said "Highlighting the offering from the Cellar of Thomas S. Monaghan was one Imperial of 1989 Chateau Paetrus, which sold for $30,550, a record for an Imperial of 1989 Chateau Paetrus at auction, well over the high estimate (est. $10/20,000), to a US Private Collector." Other bottles went for $27,000-$24,000. Look it up.

Two bottles could easily cover one faculty member's salary. If I were Tom, I would have popped a cork in front of Charlie Rice at the last Board meeting and said "I pick my teeth with guys like you. Bub bye." But, I'm old school.

There was no statement about whether the auction winners must return the empty bottles to Tom.

Of the sale, Monaghan said "I'm doing it as a Spiritual Sacrifice - that is, I'm giving up one of my greatest enjoyments."** Whatta' guy.

It was once calculated that the average personal income earned by Tom Monaghan for each day of his working life was $75,000. That's per day! And I'm not ashamed to say that he earned every penny. Some of you academic types need to go read "Pizza Tiger", his biography. It is proof-positive that anyone CAN be wealthy if you're just willing to work hard enough. I know this, as a Catholic businessman/philanthropist myself. The problem today is that people want handouts instead of working.

(**piece this together... too long for one line)

At 11:37 AM, Blogger gulfside said...

I appreciate the link to Monaghan's interview. I find this article refreshing. Most of what is posted here is ruthlessly critical of Monaghan. Though it will be difficult for bloggers to have anything critical to say about these articles, I'm sure they will find something.

Tom Monaghan IS personally giving up his own personal freedom to spend his money on things he enjoys for the success of AMU. If anyone feels they must be critical of him, quite likely it is because they are not willing to make the same self sacrifice for AMU. The want to get paid what they want... They want to teach where they want... They want to move when they want...

A bit different than wanting "to help as many people get to heaven as I can."

At 12:13 PM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...

"it is because they are not willing to make the same self sacrifice for AMU"

Gulfside, you're utterly deluded if you think that the depth of Monaghan's 'self-sacrifice' (ie. over a few bottles of sinfully overpriced wine) is the same as, say, faculty. People may applaud his $1.8M wine sale, and it may feel painful to Monaghan, but dare I say that both have more to do with excessive worldly attachment than true 'sacrifice'. He should try raising a Catholic-sized family off of the $40,000/yr he paid his PhD's at AMC.

Mr. Monaghan once said "The reason God created us was to earn heaven, so we could be with him, and my goal is to help more people get to heaven." (Guardian Newspapers, 2/10/2003)

Earn heaven? Is our devotion just another 'investment' to get something?

This whole notion that anyone can 'earn' $75,000/day through self-made knuckle-busting work and sheer will power is a bunch of American crap-o-la. It is utterly contrary to our faith, yet many Catholic conservatives promote it. I'd like to have t$m and Mr. Monaghan spend a day with me in neurology clinic; they'd have a better appreciation for how fair life really is to the hard working.

Heaven forbid if AMU is inculcating this mindset into our youth.

At 12:36 PM, Blogger L. von Shtupp said...

gulfside said:
Tom Monaghan IS personally giving up his own personal freedom to spend his money on things he enjoys for the success of AMU.

Remember that Monaghan is Chancellor of AMU, the school's highest administrative position. The wine that he sold gives him pleasure. But his money is going right back into his hand, as Chancellor, to again spend at his pleasure, to be part of what many consider a tribute to himself.

He enjoys wine, and he certainly enjoys being Chancellor. Where's the sacrifice?!

To give the proceeds to some children's hospital not under his control... that would be a true gift. But where's the virtue in giving back to yourself?

It is a wacky sort of money-laundering approach to philantropy.

At 3:30 PM, Blogger Anakin Aquinas said...

LOL that was funny gulfside. Thanks for the laugh this afternoon, it was a slow day.

The founding faculty each went a year without pay to get the school started. bet their families loved that.

At 3:31 PM, Blogger mrbooks said...

Gulfside, how can you even compare the "sacrifice" of a multimillionaire with the little guy who got stiffed? It's absolutely ludricous on your part to say the underpaid staffer (well under $30k) who either must make a move he/she can't afford or look for new employment - not because of any deficiency on his/her part, or because the "company" hit hard times, but just because TM changed his mind. In the case of AMC, changed his mind yet again, so that the staffer now has to look a year sooner than expected.

AMC was thriving before it was aborted. Then a string of mind changes ensued. It was thriving after the decision to abort was made. So far, the transition has involved one change of mind after another until no-one at AMC - faculty, staff, or student - has any faith that any proposal coming from the administration will actually be implemented.

Methinks you're feeling sorry for the wrong guy!

At 4:31 PM, Blogger T$M said...

Thank you, golfside.

Like you, Monaghan's critics (the employees) also strike me as insolent whiners when insisting on a certain salary, or the subjects they're qualified to teach, or when they move their family across country. He shouldn't tolerate that impertinent harping about salaries not being enough to support a large family or live in Ave Maria Town (as if Immokalee is that far to commute every day). I say, teach what Tom tells you to teach, take what he charitably gives you in your pay-bucket, and move when Tom tells you to move, or get out. That's old school, I know.

How's that bluegrass tune go? - "Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die." Tom can't help you get to heaven unless you're willing to die.

At 4:41 PM, Blogger gulfside said...

Gosh, you guys really hate Monaghan don't you...

I hope all that hate keeps you warm at night.

At 5:24 PM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...


There is a long long way between criticism of a person's behavior - particularly when using that person's own words and actions to document the behavior - and "hate", which you must know is a mortal sin deeply offensive to God.

Disagree with us, fine. Try to defend the indefensible, fine. But don't accuse us of hate.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger HeWhoMustNotBeNamed said...

Woah now Gulfy. I've yet to meet the blogger who actually hates Mr. M. As I've noted elsewhere, anger may or may not be legit, but it's a world away from hate, and it's wrong to attribute that sin to people airing honest disagreements.

I've been reflecting a lot lately on the best attitude to maintain towards Mr. M and those who implement his desires. I know he tries to be holy- he is a daily communicant, is almost constantly invoking prayers, and I know from first-hand conversations and observation that he does make sincere sacrifices, usually fasts, to add to his prayers. He is not evil, and I don't hate him.

That said, I've often been angry with him in the course of my time with AMSL. He views AMSL as his, and it's not. It is not a component piece to be sold, traded, dissolved, or franchised in furtherance of any of his other investment plans, no matter how noble. It is a school built in large part with his money, by the students, alumni, and especially the faculty, which constituencies have all to greater and lesser extent sacrificed their lives, fortunes, and honors to build Ave Maria into what we dream it will be. In large part, we have achieved that dream, thanks in part to Mr. M's money, and thanks largely to the blood, sweat, tears, and prayers of those who have staked everything on this place that we have come to love. None of us signed on to "follow [Tom] wherever he may go, ooh ooh, there isn't an ocean too deep, etc." We signed on to Ave Maria School of Law, an ostensibly independent Catholic law school. Tom, whether he gives another penny or not, needs to recognize that this is a law school - not a piece of his empire. He's helped to establish a great Catholic law school - and he can be proud of that. He does not, however, have the right to do what he will with that school to futher his other investment schemes, be they spiritual, financial, or otherwise.

The BOG needs to reaquaint itself with this fact as well- my main beef with them is their view that the school is utterly beholden to Tom for its existence, and that therefore resistance is futile. They're not bad people either- in fact, they're some of the best sort of people a man could hope to know- but they've been utterly cowed by Mr. M's admittedly short temper and great sacks of cash.

My practical prayer for the school is that the Board be let alone to make independent judgments about the best plan for the school, without the specter of thunderbolts being thrown from the "Chancellor's" office at the top of the 120-ft. crucifix, and that the BOG then seize the opportunity to exercise its indepenent judgment, taking into consideration the input of the faculty, alumni, and students who all have a share in the future of the school.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

Yeah, what hewho said.

I haven't seen any posts that express hatred for Monaghan. Some disagreement is more vitriolic than others, but I outgrew getting any pleasure from making fun of people I can't hurt years ago. And in a contest between him and me to determine who was a better follower of Our Lord, Monaghan would win all votes, including mine. I'd stuff the ballot box for him. So what? He's not infallible. He doesn't claim to be.

Since T$M keeps talking about "Pizza Tiger", I'll mention that it's an interesting book--I read it two years ago. Monaghan shows himself to be a pretty decent guy. (Of course, as an author, he's no Charlie Rice, but Rice is a high standard to hold anyone to.) In his book, Monaghan states that he's capable of mistakes. Some of us think that moving the law school to Florida would be a mistake. And it's better to have dissent about his plan (although at times the dissent is admittedly hyperbolic) than to nod with a weak little 'yes' and go along with a bad plan. Sometimes not rocking the boat is charity. In this case, it would be gutlessness. I hope I see Mr. Monaghan in Heaven. Assuming I get there, I'm confident he'll have a higher place of honor than I do. And moving the law school to Florida is just a bad idea.

At 11:30 PM, Blogger gulfside said...

msy and hewy,

As one who has no strong opinion regarding AMSL moving, this all sure looks like hate to me. It's the old, anyone who agrees with TM or comes to his defense is against me, and I will chew them up and spit them out.

Justify it... explain it... condone it... sure seems like hate of one who won't do exactly as you wish.

At 12:11 AM, Blogger HeWhoMustNotBeNamed said...


I'm not sure which "faith tradition you embrace" to quote Al Gore, but if it's any version of Christianity, you're sorely in need of a refresher course in basis definitions of terms.

Hate is an inclination of the will. It is not an emotion, a feeling, or something that makes you feel icky when you see people do it. It means setting your will in the direction directly opposite that of charity. As Christians of various stripes, we're all universally bound by the truth that to direct your will thusly at another human being is a sin- we're commanded, in fact, to incline our wills to love- first for God, then for our fellow man.

Anger on the other hand is an emotion. Scripture teaches that it is in fact not confined to the human realm- in fact, Scripture is full of accounts of the anger of God. God's anger is always righteous. Often the anger of men is not, but sometimes it is. When provoked by injustice, it is in fact a good thing- an appropriate response to wrongdoing.

Like I said, I don't know where you're coming from, and if its from outside the Church (any Church) then I hope you'll take this chance to educate yourself about this rather significant distinction, (which, by the way, is not limited simply to the Church. Check your dictionary- hate and anger are not even vernacular synonyms).

At 1:05 AM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...


Way back when, I knew someone whose ultimate answer for every argument was, "You're not being very charitable." Never mind that the only thing this person knew about charity was how to spell it; that was the final answer to everything.

You seem to be employing a similar tactic, in a varied way. By accusing those who oppose the move of being in an "anyone who agrees with TM or comes to his defense is against me" mindset, you imply that anyone who argues against TM hates him and those who supports him. Heads you win, tails they lose.

So, politely, and without any hate at all, may I ask: Exactly how do we disagree with Mr. M. without automatically being labelled by you as hating him?

I'll take you at your word as not having any strong views about the move. So I'll tell you that I won't be much affected by the move myself. The only reason I'm weighing in with my opinion is that I've spent three years getting to know the people involved. Some of them post to this board, and some aren't as anonymous as they might like to think. For the most part, though, these are both faculty members and former students who were given to understand that they'd be a part of building something excellent in Ann Arbor, Michigan-- right in the back yard of the U. of M., and home to a significant portion of losers who have nothing better to do than to call whatever NPR program is on at the moment to bitch about how Bush stole the election of 2000, and so it's his fault that they can't get a date.

Those people who came to AMSOL were going to build something, right in the face of all the people who couldn't wait to see a bunch of religious wackjobs make fools of themselves. Only something went wrong...the wackjobs made fools out of the people who expected them to fail.

Monaghan invested his money, and he earned every penny he put down. But the people his money backed invested their livlihood, their careers, their futures. At the time the law school started, pundits sniggered at Monaghan risking all that cash, because that's what's important in this country. Hardly anyone mentioned those poor schlubs who were risking their livelihood to actually go there, because none of them made six-figure salaries, and that's not sexy enough to sell papers. Now, all the papers can write about is the money being sunk into moving the school...who gives a shit about the people against it?

Given all that, how do you accuse anyone of hatred? There's a difference between hating someone and just being pissed. Ask St. Paul, who made a point of mentioning that he bitched out St. Peter in Galatians 2:11. (At this point, I ferverently wish to state that I'm not trying to start the old let's-see-who-can-Scripturally-outquote-who game.)

As an endnote, I see that another poster has answered gulfside's post in a far more cultured voice than I could ever hope for. Maybe I can get the Tolstoy award for using the most words to say something simple. And hewho: it's "as I said," not "like I said." For God's sake, man.

At 4:09 AM, Blogger Anakin Aquinas said...

gulfside, u said

"Tom Monaghan IS personally giving up his own personal freedom to spend his money on things he enjoys for the success of AMU. If anyone feels they must be critical of him, quite likely it is because they are not willing to make the same self sacrifice for AMU. The want to get paid what they want... They want to teach where they want... They want to move when they want... "

how is that not questioning the motives, integrity and moral character of the faculty and others?

At 4:39 PM, Blogger gulfside said...

well folks,

As a law student who gave up a good income and relocated his family halfway across a continent to pay AMSL for a law degree, I find it difficult to sympathize with the Monaghan bashers. Yes, I could feel resentment toward the faculty as I walk an extra city block past a bunch of empty "faculty" parking spaces in this Michigan winter, knowing that I am paying their salary, and many of them insist in keeping AMSL here instead of warm Florida. I could feel resentment in knowing that I chose to uproot my family for this strong Catholic legal education, and some of you who are faculty believe in AMSL so little as to be unwilling to move to Florida if it is called for. However, my Catholic faith tells me that I must respect your life situation and speak with humility and respect.

But when I am on the receiving end of pompous, condescending questions about my "faith tradition" I can only respond by saying that even an idiot can see the day by day, minute by minute attacks on Tom Monaghan (particularly by mscience) are not productive dissagreements. Instead, they border on slander and wreak of hatred, yes hatred.

One of you asked how you can disagree with TM without being labeled as "hating" him. Productive disagreements focus on the merits of an idea, not on the character of an individual. Your arguments paint a portrait of TM as a control freak, dishonest in that his gifts are not really gifts, an unrealistic dreamer, an idiot for wanting to move to hurricane land to create "Catholic Jonestown," etc.

So I ask you as well educated folks, are you really so nieve as to think this is not a hateful attack on a good man with good intentions? Are you really so nieve that you didn't know that you were dealing with a Catholic lay institution under the control of a primary benefactor when you became affiliated with Ave Maria?
Are you really so nieve as to think that you can continuously spew this hatred over the internet and not anger some people with your hatred.

I think it was Abe Lincoln who said, "If you don't have anything good to say about a person, then don't say it." If you continue to attack the man instead of the message, you can expect opposition to your view to increase.

TM could have a massive stroke today, much like Sharon in Israel, and then you would likely have your way. You see, God is in control, not TM, or you, or any human being. I submit to God's will. I have been and I am still willing to move my family where ever I will find faithful Catholics teaching law. Can you say the same? Or are you cozy sitting behind your computer bashing Monaghan?

At 4:43 PM, Blogger Anakin Aquinas said...

gulfside, if you submit to God's will, maybe God's will is for people to question Monaghan's practices because maybe God doesn;t want the school to move to Florida because it is turning people in Ann Arbor back to Christ.

At 7:59 PM, Blogger HeWhoMustNotBeNamed said...

Well brother,
I do apologize if my comment seemed pompous. I hope you'll take my word that it was intended simply an acknowledgement of the fact that I know nothing about who you are or where you've come from, and as such was an attempt to avoid going forward in an arrogant assumption that we're all working from the same playbook. Apparently that attempt didn't work out.

As to the meat of your point, you're still wrong about definitions. Setting aside for the moment the argument over whether anger at Mr. Monaghan is justified or not (I'm quite willing to concede that your position is sincere and may, in the end, be proved correct), the fact of the matter is that all that can be deduced from commentary on this blog, strident or otherwise, is anger, not hate.

So, since we are all working from the same playbook, I offer this, which I hope may edify us all:

Catechism: (Glossary)
"Anger: An emotion which is not in itself wrong, but which, when it...hardens into hate, becomes [a cardinal sin]."

CCC 2303: Deliberate hatred is contrary to charity. Hatred of the neighbor is a sin when one deliberately wishes him evil. Hatred of the neighbor is a grave sin when one deliberately desires him grave harm."

"Mortal sin: A grave infraction of the law of God that destroys the divine life in teh sould of the sinner, constituting a turn away from God. For a sin to be mortal, three conditiosn must be present: grave matter, full knowledge of the evil of the act, and full consent of the will."

Now, you're obviously quite entitled to believe that those who question Mr. M's judgement are wrong, to object to the manner of criticism, and even I suppose to be angry at what you perceive to be unjust attacks on a decent man. However, you can not fairly attribute to anyone who's posted here the mortal sin of hatred, for even disregarding the fact that you know not the heart of a single person on here, and thus the true inclination of their will, but nobody on this blog has ever even evidenced the material requirement of mortal sin- nobody has ever wished Mr. M ill, let alone grave harm. I'd say most of us, but I'll confine my comments to myself I suppose, have been quite sincere in our repeated clarity that we do NOT wish him or anyone else ill, and simply are distressed by his/their judgement. For my part, I pray, not for condemnation, but for wisdom for the leaders of the school, and humility for myself.

At 9:54 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

Nicely done, hewho.

So there's no further confusion, I'm the pompous one on this board. And I second the above comment. While some of us disagree with each other, I hope that we can do so with Christian charity.

(Okay, I'd write more, but I've got to figure out how to work my VCR so I don't miss any more episodes of "Stacked.")

At 4:35 PM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...


The fact that you "could feel resentment" about AMSL faculty parking closer than you, or your grossly uninformed and superficial belief that AMSL faculty are resisting the Florida move because they "believe in AMSL so little" says more about you than the AMSL faculty, or myself as a former AMC faculty. The way you persist in the accusation of 'hatred' is also more reflective of you than us, and certainly not in keeping with your belief that you "speak with humility and respect".

For any AMU, AMC, or AMSL faculty to express -any- public disagreement with Monaghan or the Board is to be fired. It was in my AMC contract. Staff who were fired on 1-day's notice had to sign a non-disparagement clause to have -any- kind of severance pay... and in that clause, the person agreed to pay for any and all fees associated with the investigation of mere -suspicion- of making any disparagement against any entity receiving AMF funds (ie. "Al Cresta talks too much"). One weekend of work by Monaghan's lawyers can put you & your kids in the bread line. Those are pure pathetic facts (many others can, and have, been cited). To brush these off is to be an enabler of those violations of human dignity.

You're using your willingness to go to Florida as the measuring stick for the appropriateness of Monaghan's management. That is an incredibly narrow, and dare I say 'self-centered', criteria. Time after time, I've seen people turn a blind eye to what's happened because they didn't think it affected them directly or because they wanted something from Monaghan (ie. scholarship money, a job, an administrative position, funding for their pet project, business contacts, etc).

There is a big difference between sacrificing for the community's mission/calling and sacrificing for the whims of one man. To do so for the latter is, as you like to say, naive.

At 6:40 PM, Blogger gulfside said...

a couple clicks above, I wrote:
"As one who has no strong opinion regarding AMSL moving, this all sure looks like hate to me. It's the old, anyone who agrees with TM or comes to his defense is against me, and I will chew them up and spit them out."

Mscience, in one post has called me:
1. uninformed
2. having superficial beliefs
3. not speaking with humility and respect
4. an enabler of violations of human dignity
5. incredibly narrow
6. self centered
7. turning a blind eye
8. wanting something from Monaghan
9. sacrificing for the whims of one man

He said of Monaghan:

1. he fires those who disagree with him.
2. deprives others of freedom of speech.
3. uses lawyers to put people and their kids in the bread line.
4. violates human dignity

I ask you honestly, do you (the creators of this blog) really think this is going to win the hearts and minds of students, alums and faculty to your cause?

At 7:44 PM, Blogger HeWhoMustNotBeNamed said...

Well, I for one would not expect that any description of you, honest, favorable, or otherwise, will convert anyone to the cause,such as it may be. Which begs a question: what, exactly, is the cause to which you object?

The tone of your posts doesn't seem to be focused simply on the tone in which others speak (now kids, be nice, etc.). Rather, you seem to object to criticism of Tom per se. This is troubling.

For my part, I've not signed on to a cause of any sort- other than the cause embodied in the mission statement of AMSOL, to which I willingly and earnestly pledged myself. That pledge mentioned nothing about Tom at all, let alone about following him without quesiton. My criticisms have been just exactly that- my criticisms. Though I don't presume to speak for anyone but myself, if there's any secret meetings for "the cause" going on, I've not been invited, and I've yet to even see "the cause" defined.

In one sense, this debate seems to be shaking out along the lines of whether people accept that Mr. Monaghan's vision is sufficient to arbit the will of God as it relates to all ventures Ave Maria, and those who think that Mr. Monaghan as a single man is not the correct arbiter of what is the will of God for Ave Maria.

Some (seemingly yourself among that number) seem to offer the view that becuase Mr. Monaghan has committed great financial resources to the enterprise that he is entitled to do with it what he will, and that to question his right to do so is a sign of 1) lack of committment to the school (your accusation), 2) lack of humility to before the will of God (your accusation), and 3) a desire to see the school come to harm (Dean Dobranski's public accusation).

Others (here comes my side) have offered a critique of this model, noting that 1) Mr. Monaghan committed a lot of money, 2) A whole lot of people committed their lives, entire fortunes (try a year with 7 kids and no salary), reputations, and future careers to the school, 3) Mr. Monaghan's enormous financial contribution did not purchase a business component for him- it was LEGALLY a charitable donation to an independent corporate entity. Therefore, 4) Mr. Monaghan does not have the right to move, close, sell, or otherwise dispose of the school for the benefit of is other investments, and that 5) his attempt to do so has resulted in injustice to a number of good Catholic men and women.

So maybe we can argue about this, rather than whose a "hata'" : Does Mr. Monaghan's great financial generosity entitle him to demand that the school accomodate itself to his investment plans? Does criticism of his belief that he is so entitled constitute a lack of humility/charity?

At the end of an admittedly long post, I'll close wiht the following thought: those of us who have been critical really need to take to heart the implications of the fact that those involved in the current decision making, from Mr. M. to Dean D. to the whole BOG, are sincere Catholic men and women, to whom we owe the benefit of the doubt, until proven otherwise, that they are acting with integrity and charity, with what they sincerely and honestly beleive to be the best interests of the school at heart. When that sinks in, I think some tempers will cool (mine has), though many criticisms may survive that refining fire (some of mine have).

Likewise, those who to this point have characterized the critics as "dissidents" and "paranoid cranks" who wish the school harm or its administrators evil need to step back and consider the fact that the critics are also universally sincere Catholic men and women who are also trying to do what they honestly and sincerely believe is in the best interest of the school they love, and for which they have sacrificed so much. Charlie Rice and the founding faculty of this school are not dissidents and cranks, to to characterize them and others who offer serious critiques of the mode of governance at the school does them and us all a grave injustice.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

mscience isn't the only poster to this board, Gulfside. And when you accuse him of hate, and he denies it--seems to me he'd know better than you--you keep insisting that it's hate. And all of us are in your "chewing up and spitting out" category, based on your analysis.

Hewhomust takes issue when you lump all posters as hating Monaghan, despite the fact that disagreement with him is the only criteria you ask for to say that someone is full of hate. And when you get a politely worded response from hewhomustetc., it's "pompous and condescending." Not to mention that you haven't addressed hewho since he apologized to you for offending you--"hurting your widdle feewings" is the correct term, I think.

I don't like asinine screen names, so I don't bother with one. And mscience has identified himself. I neither know nor care for the identities of you or most of the other posters on this board. I criticize rudeness when I see it, no matter what side it comes from. If anyone thinks that makes me hypocritical, good. Our Lord stated that for all their faults, hypocrites should be listened to.

You're out of line, pal. You might want to unwad your undies and not clench so much, it'll help the elastic band to last longer. And if you've been angered by the posts here, then I wish you success in whatever branch of law you undertake and advise you to stay away from any type of litigation. Judging from your posts, you haven't got a thick enough skin for it.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger gulfside said...

You have got to be kidding... "hurt my widdle feewings???!?" This is degenerating into territory where I refuse to go.

All I have said is that your "criticism" of TM is severe enough to appear as insult and hate. For this, I have been insulted and attacked. This blog is pointless and is creating enemies.

I've been insulted enough, and I refuse to participate in it. Good bye and good luck.

At 9:16 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 9:34 PM, Blogger J. T. Corey said...

Ditto on the good wishes, pal. Although I'm a little surprised by the comment about being insulted. I hadn't even shifted into third yet. Feel free to send any personal criticism to the e-mail address in my profile.

At 1:01 AM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...

Well, I hope that prior to finishing law school, gulfside is able to distinguish between challenging specific beliefs/positions as being uninformed/superficial VERSUS making personal insults.

As usual, he had no response to the facts I described concerning Monaghan's employment policies. He complains about the conversation not being constructive, but never adds any additional facts to counter mine.

Mr. Monaghan DOES, very clearly, threaten to "fire those who disagree with him". His contracts, along with an administrative approach that disregards proper academic governance, DO "deprive others of freedom of speech". His non-disparagement clauses DO use lawyerly threats of financial devastation to curtail free speech. [For goodness sake, look what Fr. Fessio recently did to New Oxford Review through Ignatius Press, a personal business that is wholly unrelated to Ave Maria anything]. These people CAN behave ruthlessly, and their policies DO violate human dignity. Again, I'm talking about specific behaviors and not levying charges against their person.

Gulfside said "this is degenerating into territory where I refuse to go." After being so unrelenting in accusing me of sheer "hatred", I don't know what could take things lower.

The important point is to get back to understanding the actions and problems that jeopardize the stability & mission of AMSL, and discern an appropriate response by the AMSL community.

At 10:06 PM, Blogger SGF said...

What did Father Fessio do to NOR?

At 8:10 AM, Blogger mSCIENCE said...

After submitting my first article (unsolicited) about Ave Maria & Mr. Monaghan to NOR, the NOR editors were gracious enough to contact Fr. Fessio and ask if he'd like to reply. In the end, NOR published 2 articles defending Ave Maria & Monaghan, one from the President of AMU (Nick Healy) and the other by Fr. Fessio. Letters, both for and against Monaghan, were also published in NOR. At least one thing can be said about NOR (even if you disagree with what you see in there) - they give people the ability to defend their positions.

NOR's long-standing editorial policy is that, in a series of exchanges, the author who started the exchanges has the option for the last word. So I responded to Fr. Fessio in the March 2005 issue.

Fessio wanted to pen another article in NOR. The editors said that it would have to be in the form of a letter due to their policy, and also due to plain 'ol readership burn-out on the issue. Fessio was irate and refused.

Instead, Fr. Fessio instructed people at his for-profit business, Ignatius Press, to yank all of NOR's ads out of all IP publications (to break their contracts), to cancel all remaining NOR list rentals reserved for IP, to prohibit NOR from renting any IP lists, and to ban NOR from any future IP advertising.

Keep in mind that (a) IP has absolutely nothing to do with Ave Maria, (b) that Catholic publishers live/die by sharing lists and ad space, (c) that this created a significant financial strain on NOR and (d) that NOR was nice enough to *invite* not one, but two, articles from Fessio & AMU. And it isn't as if Fr. Fessio couldn't publish Monaghan-defenses in the large web and print holdings of IP (ie. Catholic World Report - CWR).

Interestingly, in June 2005, Adoremus Bulletin (of which Fr. Fessio is on the Executive Committee) suddenly rejected NOR's list rental request. Hmmm.

So, that's how Fr. Fessio plays... use his for-profit business, as the publisher of the Holy Father, to damage a faithful orthodox mom-and-pop publisher because he couldn't get his way. Fessio will advertise in the dissenting "America" magazine, but not orthodox NOR.

In my articles, I document similar bullying behavior (within Ave enterprises) on the part of Fr. Fessio, a man who I once had great admiration for. This vengeful behavior is, to me, part of AMU's darkness; an intent bent on crushing anyone, even other faithful orthodox Catholic people and projects, who refuse to give AMU all that AMU wants. The disrespectful treatment of Charles Rice, and the willingness to destabilize the entire AMSL community, are symptomatic of this inclination.

The reason why I am unconvinced by arguments that Ave administrators are "just trying to do what they think is best" is because "what is best", in their eyes, is the "success" of Monaghan and AMU even at the expense of the rest of American orthodox Catholic higher education and media.


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