The Catholic University of America

Archived June 2006

Faculty Handbook Part I
The Government of the University
Statement of Aims

Section 10: The Preface to the Bylaws


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Additional History
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Introduction:

The former articles were recast as a result of institution‑wide discussions during the academic year 1967-­68. The discussions culminated in the formulation by the Academic Senate of a Statement of Objectives that was adopted by the Board of Trustees on July 26, 1968. This Statement of Objectives and an Historical Preface (as amended in 1975) that introduce the Bylaws of the University are as follows:

I. Aims of the University

The Catholic University of America is a community of scholars, both faculty and students, set apart to discover, preserve and impart truth in all its forms, with particular reference to the needs and opportunities of the nation. As a University, it is essentially a free and autonomous center of study and an agency serving the needs of human society. It welcomes the collaboration of all scholars of good will who, through the process of study and reflection, contribute to these aims in an atmosphere of academic competence where freedom is fostered and where the only constraint upon truth is truth it­self.

As a Catholic University, it desires to cultivate and im­part an understanding of the Christian faith within the context of all forms of human inquiry and values. It seeks to assure in an institutional manner the proper intellectual and academic witness to Christian inspiration in individuals and in the com­munity; and to provide a place for continuing reflection in the light of Christian faith, upon the growing treasure of human knowledge.

As a member of the American academic community, it accepts the standards and procedures of American institutions and seeks to achieve distinction within the academic world.

Faithful to the Christian message as it comes through the Church and faithful to its own national traditions, the Catholic University has unique responsibilities to be of service to Chris­tian thought and education in the Catholic community as well as of service to the nation and the world.

II. Historical Preface

The Catholic University of America was founded under the auspices of the Catholic Church in the United States of America. From its inception, it has been a national educational institu­tion which has received the support of American Catholics and has been sustained and nurtured by the interest and concern of the American Bishops.

Financial assistance has been made available in generous amounts by American Catholics through their Bishops, all in an effort to establish and develop the Catholic University of America as an outstanding center of intellectual pursuit and academic excellence.

The Catholic University of America, although a private edu­cational institution operated under Catholic auspices, has long recognized its opportunity and obligation to perform significant services. It has encouraged scholarship, intellectual inquiry, devotion to truth, and an intensive exploration and appreciation of the arts and sciences. Not the least of its interests has been the development of studies pertaining to the sacred sciences.

Because there is more than one approach to reality and more than one intellectual method of inquiry, it has been characteris­tic of the University development to encourage dialogue between theology and philosophy on one hand, and the positive sciences on the other. Without regard for the data of science, theology is not theology; without evaluation by theology and philosophy, sci­ence runs the danger of extrapolating its findings into areas not within its proper domain. The University continues to encourage cross‑disciplinary study of the concrete problems which confront mankind.

It has sought to attract all persons, regardless of sex, race, belief, or political persuasion, who wish to further their knowledge and enrich their appreciation of intellectual matters, including but not limited to the Catholic heritage, its history and its significance in contemporary life.

The Catholic University of America has been first and fore­most an academic institution which has traditionally emphasized graduate programs. The Catholic University of America has long recognized its opportunity to contribute not only to the interna­tional and national intellectual mainstream, but to the District of Columbia as well. The Holy See desires that the Catholic Uni­versity of America remain the responsibility of the American Hi­erarchy and the whole of the people of God in the United States of America. Therefore, the relationship between the University and the Bishops can be dissolved only with the approval of the Holy See.