Dear Editor,

Like many others I remain seriously concerned about the proposed decision. I have exchanged with both presidents about the issue, voicing my concerns as a junior faculty member that joined CSB/SJU three years ago in large part because of its healthy shared governance practices. And I dearly appreciate the sensitive concern that both presidents personally showed by quickly reaching out to me.

I find myself looking at this conversation with a Benedictine perspective. Still a newcomer to our community, I do not pretend to have a full understanding of Benedictine thought and practice. Nor have I fully integrated its insights into my life. Such study and formation takes many years—almost certainly a lifetime. But I can say that careful reflection is called for here. Listening, respect, and careful stewardship all take time. To be sure, there are moments for swift action. The defense of the helpless and vulnerable is one that immediately comes to mind. But this decision is not one of those moments, it seems to me. And if approved, it will create obstacles for the stability and community of CSB/SJU. With that in mind, I am hopeful that boards will pause at this critical time. When one sees that one’s community is under stress and at risk in a significant way, there can only be great strength in a decision to change course. In this case, that new course would be to postpone the vote and invite further conversation.

Sincerely,
Jason Schlude
CSB/SJU classics professor