AAUP Backs Notre Dame in Commencement Controversy

by E Wayne Ross on April 21, 2009

Inside Higher Ed: AAUP Backs Notre Dame in Commencement Controversy

The Indiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors has weighed in on the controversy surrounding President Obama’s upcoming commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame, which some Roman Catholics oppose due to the president’s support for abortion rights. In its statement, the AAUP chapter expresses support for Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, for standing by the invitation, and expresses concern about “the efforts of external groups to prevent President Obama or any other invited guest from speaking on campus. … Notre Dame has a worthy tradition of inviting new presidents to speak at commencement even though none agree with all aspects of Catholic dogma. To disinvite a commencement speaker over public policy disagreements is an anathema to open discourse.” President Obama will be the ninth U.S. president to be awarded an honorary degree at Notre Dame, and the sixth to be commencement speaker.