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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Monday, October 08, 2007

More on the Novak Blathering

This point may have already been made in one of the combox discussions, but it bears more attention.

Michael Novak made the astonishing claim that:

Law professors have competence in academic matters, including tenure procedures, but do not have competence in the fiduciary responsibilities and due diligence of the Board.

Implicit in this statement is that people who are on Boards, such as the one he is involved with at Ave Maria University, DO have "competence" in "fiduciary responsibilities" and "due diligence."

Presumably, this includes "competencies" of Boards to be in compliance with accreditation standards of Board membership.

Here are a couple of choice quotes to help illuminate the "competencies" of the Boards that Novak is referring:

Dr. Candace de Russy, 2006 Chair of AMU's Board of Regents:

As chair, AveWatch asked for clarification on the roles between "Regents" and "Trustees" - specifically if Regents are merely advisory to the Trustees, with the Trustees having final authority to set university policies. Dr. de Russy responded, "I think you are correct but it would be good to get the actual language of the by-laws exact."

"I think"? Does Dr. de Russy not have a copy of the by-laws? The chair of AMU's Board of Regents, who has been with AMU through the last two years offering (presumably) pivotal input on the school's development, isn't 100% certain (without checking the by-laws) if her board serves in an advisory or policy-setting capacity? That is telling.

Judge James Ryan, AMSL and AMC Board member to faculty; New Oxford Review, Sept. 2003:

We [the Board] are just here to help Tom spend his money. We all need to remember that this is Tom's enterprise.

For more on the run-away conflict of interest and lack of competencies of the Boards of Ave Maria: see here, and here.

What does this say about Novak's creditability, never mind his "competence," as a public intellectual who claims fidelity to the magisterium?

Is Novak a competent articulator of Catholic teaching?

No and No.

Novak is a Whig apologists of the Enlightenment project and uses Catholicism to attempt to "baptise" what is incompatable with it, be that in matters of war, commerce or the unique "competencies" of corporate leaders to violate core principles of Catholic Social Teaching in the name of "best interest."