Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 12, 2024 / 13:30 pm
In a speech delivered at the Heritage Foundation, widely considered the most influential conservative think tank in the United States, University of Dallas President Jonathan J. Sanford expressed concerns about the level of politicization that reigns in American universities and emphasized that the pursuit of truth requires open debate.
In a Feb. 8 speech titled “Universities, Patriotism, and Citizenship: A Catholic Liberal Arts Approach to the Election Year,” Sanford said there are only “very rare moments” when taking a political stance is appropriate for institutions of higher education. He said universities should instead foster open debate so that “the pursuit of truth can proceed in an unfettered way.”
Sanford, a professor of philosophy, has served as president of the University of Dallas, a private Catholic university located in Irving, Texas, since 2022.
Sanford cited the example of several university presidents who made statements after the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that implied that “there’s something wicked to holding the pro-life position.” Such statements, he said, “silence those who like to argue about that position” and can create an “alienation of Christians on campus.”