In one year, Felician University has lost its President, its Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, its Dean of the School of Business, its Registrar, and most recently, its Vice President of Academic Affairs. Before that, it lost a Trustee, a previous VPAA, a Provost, the Dean of Nursing, and two Deans of Business. Vanity compels me to mention that it also lost an Associate Professor of Philosophy and Pre-Law Adviser, along with literally dozens of faculty and staff, often terminated on the flimsiest of pretexts, and in some cases, on the basis of manufactured scandals and outright lies.
Who’s next? Any minute now, I expect St Francis himself to rise from the grave and announce his resignation from “The Franciscan University of New Jersey”–at which point I’m sure we’ll learn that his ghost was an unheralded, exploited adjunct in the Department of Religious Studies, teaching the 8:15-9:30 am slot.
At an A&S meeting in December 2017,* I described Felician to everyone in the room as a “sinking ship,” and told whoever would listen that the highest-level executives of the university knew that it was sinking, and were planning their exits in advance of its final doom. One by one, they’ve left, washing their false promises clean in the waters of Lethe.
People said I was loud-mouthed, obnoxious, and extreme. I sure as hell was. But was I wrong?
By the time I left (actually, well before that), I had a pretty low opinion of the place, but could never have imagined that Felician University would become a sinking ship piloted by a disgraced naval admiral. But what better way to describe it?
I think back to my idealistic years as a graduate student in philosophy at Notre Dame, with all the pedagogical dreams and schemes I had for the future. I couldn’t have imagined that a university, of all places, would become the cesspool of corruption and rot that FU now is. But spend a few years in a cesspool and your imagination improves.
A piece of advice to those who remain at FU: get out while you can. There’s no valor in being the last to go down with a ship like this. Or the first.
Honestly, someone ought to make a complaint to Middle States about this “University.” Maybe someone will?
*In a previous version of this post, I had erroneously written “December 2016.”