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Faculty call to distance Notre Dame from Jenky’s ‘incendiary statement’

Notre Dame faculty | Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Fr. Jenkins and Richard Notebaert,

As you will be aware, the Bishop Daniel Jenky, a member of Notre Dame’s Board of Fellows, has been widely quoted for a homily in which he described President Obama as “seem[ing] intent on following a similar path” to Hitler and Stalin. Jenky’s comments demonstrate ignorance of history, insensitivity to victims of genocide and absence of judgment.

We accept that Jenky’s comments are protected by the First Amendment, but we find it profoundly offensive that a member of our beloved University’s highest authority, the Board of Fellows, should compare the president’s actions with those whose genocidal policies murdered tens of millions of people, including the specific targeting of Catholics, Jews and other minorities for their faith.

We request that you issue a statement on behalf of the University that will definitively distance Notre Dame from Jenky’s incendiary statement. Further, we feel that it would be in the best interest of Notre Dame if Jenky resigned from the University’s Board of Fellows if he is unwilling to renounce loudly and publicly this destructive analogy.


Francisco Aragón, Institute for Latino Studies

Carolina Arroyo, Political Science

Katrina Barron, Mathematics

Laura Bayard, Library

Gail Bederman, History

Patricia Blanchette, Philosophy

Susan Blum, Anthropology

Keith Bradley, Classics

Kevin Burke, Institute for Education Initiatives

Joseph Buttigieg, English

William Carbonaro, Sociology

Robert Coleman, Art, Art History and Design

James Collins, Film, Television and Theater

Frank Connolly, Mathematics

Olivia Remie Constable, History

Suzanne M. Coshow, Management

Mary Rose D’Angelo, Theology

Fred Dallmayr, Political Science and Philosophy

Michael R. DePaul, Philosophy

Michael Detlefsen, Philosophy

Jean Dibble, Art, Art History and Design

Bernard Doering, Emeritus, Romance Languages and Literature

Margaret Doody, English

Julia Douthwaite, Romance Languages and Literature

Kevin Dreyer, Film, Television and Theater

John Duffy, English

Stephen M. Fallon, Program of Liberal Studies and English

Barbara J. Fick, Law School

Christopher Fox, English and Irish Studies

Judith Fox, Law School

Stephen Fredman, English

Laura Fuderer, Library

Agustin Fuentes, Anthropology

Patrick Gaffney, Anthropology

Jill Godmilow, Film, Television and Theater

Robert Goulding, Program of Liberal Studies

Daniel Graff, History

Karen B. Graubart, History

Stuart Greene, English

David Hachen, Sociology

Christopher Hamlin, History

Richard Herbst, Law School

Peter Holland, Film, Television and Theater

Raúl Jara, Institute for Latino Studies

Lionel M. Jensen, East Asian Languages and Cultures

Felicia Johnson-O’Brien, Center for Social Concerns

Anton Juan, Film, Television and Theatre

Asher Kaufman, History and Peace Studies

Kathryn Kerby-Fulton, English

Janet A. Kourany, Philosophy

Thomas Kselman, History

Daniel Lapsley, Psychology

Julia Marvin, Program of Liberal Studies

Diana Matthias, Snite Museum

James J. McKenna, Anthropology

Maria McKenna, Africana Studies

Mark McKenna, Law School

Sarah McKibben, Irish Studies

Rory McVeigh, Sociology

Jenny Mish, Marketing

Darcia Narvaez, Psychology

Sean T. O’Brien, Irish Studies

Catherine Perry, Romance Languages and Literatures

Dianne Pinderhughes, Africana Studies and Political Science

Ann Marie R. Power, Sociology

F. Clark Power, Program of Liberal Studies and Institute of Education Initiatives

Ava Preacher, College of Arts and Letters

Gretchen Reydams-Schils, Program of Liberal Studies

Luc Reydams, Political Science

Robin Rhodes, Art, Art History and Design

Charles Rosenberg, Art, Art History and Design

David Ruccio, Economics

Fred Rush, Philosophy

Maura Ryan, Theology

Valerie Sayers, English

Catherine Schlegel, Classics

Siiri Scott, Film, Television and Theatre

Kristin Shrader-Frechette, Philosophy and Biological Sciences

Anne Simons, Psychology

John Sitter, English

Cheri Smith, Library

Donald Sniegowski, Emeritus-English

James Sterba, Philosophy

Julia Adeney Thomas, History

Maria Tomasula, Art, Art History and Design

Chris VandenBossche, English

John Van Engen, History

Laura Walls, English

Robert E. Walls, American Studies and Anthropology

Peter Walshe, Political Science

Andrew Weigert, Sociology

Henry Winfield, Program of Liberal Studies

Paul Weithman, Philosophy

Richard Williams, Sociology

Pam Wojcik, Gender Studies and Film, Television and Theatre


University of Notre Dame

April 22