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Bunnies Fire Back

All my Catholic academic friends are infuriated by what’s happening at Mount St. Mary’s, a small Catholic liberal arts college in Emmitsburg, Md. Former TAC blogger John Schwenkler, who once taught philosophy there, tells the shocking tale. Excerpt:

Mount St. Mary’s in Maryland, a low-profile Catholic university, is suddenly the focus of heavy national publicity. “Drown the bunnies,” (Let’s get rid of academically weak freshmen), announced as a policy by the school’s president, Simon Newman, attracted  attention, but when the bunny-drowning strategy was followed by the firing of two people, one a tenured professor, a small, curious story blossomed into large national headlines.

Wait … drowning the bunnies? Shoving the weak overboard? At a Catholic university? The student newspaper broke the story that school president Simon Newman was going to secretly use a survey of freshmen students to force out 20 to 25 of them he deemed least likely to succeed — this, to bolster MSM’s retention numbers. There’s more:

Yet when my good friend Gregory Murry, an untenured history professor at Mount St. Mary’s who helped administer the survey objected to the endeavor, President Newman told him to stop caring: “This is hard for you because you think of the students as cuddly bunnies, but you can’t. You just have to drown the bunnies … put a Glock to their heads.”

Naberhaus and Egan were fired for helping to reveal this callous attitude toward student welfare and Murry’s job is apparently in jeopardy, too.

Crux reports that after over 6,000 people nationwide signed a digital petition demanding the fired professors’ reinstatement, Newman sent out an e-mail defending his actions to parents of MSM students. Newman, by the way, had never run a college before, but as an MBA holder, had lots of experience in the world of … private equity finance.

Yes. They hired Gordon Gekko to run a small Catholic liberal arts college in rural Maryland. And now look.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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