I had the pleasure of teaching in the philosophy department at Mount St. Mary’s from 1999-2002. During those three years, I developed an abiding affection for the Mount and I continue to be grateful for my time there. As an academic deeply invested in Catholic higher education, I wish the Mount well in every way. I thus write to assure Mr. Coyne that the Echo’s excellent reporting about student retention efforts will not in fact “render incalculable damage to the reputation of this University and its institutional integrity” (“Letter to the Editor,” 1/19/16). Quite the contrary, the fine work of the student reporters and editors is a testament to the Mount’s educational success. What would damage the institution’s reputation among other universities, both Catholic and secular, is the perception that its leaders are attempting to intimidate less powerful members of the community and stifle discussion about important matters. As every teacher knows, silencing students is incompatible with educating them.
Karen Stohr, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Philosophy
Senior Research Scholar, Kennedy Institute of Ethics