Upset enough that:
Pursuant to Article X.A of the By-Laws of the Faculty Senate of Santa Clara University (“Senate”), we the undersigned members of the Faculty Senate call for the immediate convening of a Special Meeting of the Senate. The purpose of the Special Meeting is to discuss and, if appropriate, take action in response to the recent announcement by the President of the University regarding the reduction in insurance coverage of abortions.
I think the issue is really about governance, and is far more general than the specific decision on abortion taken. Many faculty (at present 114 out of maybe 300 have signed the petition after less than 24 hours) are very concerned at an apparent lack of communication and transparency and clear direction from the university president. By default, the abortion insurance cancellation is the only “tea leaf” available. The tea leaf appears to signal a move away from the more open shared governance and gradual movement toward secularization. For many faculty, this shared governance and secularization is inevitable: the Jesuit order is declining rapidly in numbers and aging rapidly in population. The pool of Jesuit talent is shrinking at a fast clip. I think generally faculty looking 20 years ahead want to maintain a clear mission emphasizing the moral imperative of social justice (in its many forms) and concern with the spiritual dimensions of human life, with a very strong privileging of Catholic teachings (a questioning privileging, natch). A rearguard attempt to buck the inevitable seems, to many I think, to be counterproductive. No university wants to ride a Ted Cruz horse to notoriety, I think.