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News

As the voice of Catholic higher education, ACCU routinely speaks with and on behalf of its more than 200 member colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. The association represents the interests of Catholic higher education when interacting with Church officials, policy makers, others in the higher education community, and the media.

 

ACCU Press Releases & Statements

 

4/20/2021 Statement on the Conviction of Derek Chauvin

Today’s conviction of Derek Chauvin for the 2020 murder of George Floyd is a prompt for all of us who educate the next generation.  In the words of our country, we educate for a more perfect union.  As Catholic institutions, we dare imagine more:  the loving community.   May this tragic chapter become a blessing and may our work for racial justice be ever renewed until that vision comes to pass.

 

4/7/2021 ACCU Joins Efforts to Encourage Vaccinations

ACCU has joined two new efforts to increase COVID-19 vaccine uptake and promote vaccine equity.

Launched on World Health Day, April 7, an Act of Charity and Solidarity represents 31 Catholic organizations united in supporting the vaccine as an effort for the common good. The coalition is also drawing on Catholic social teaching to promote vaccine equity in the United States and around the world, especially for people who are underserved or marginalized.

Recognizing there has been differing information and understanding about the vaccines, the Catholic organizations are joining together to promote the common good and amplify the teachings of Pope Francis and U.S. Catholic bishops on accepting the vaccine as they become available and promoting equitable distribution.

ACCU is also a founding member of the COVID-19 Community Corps, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) initiative. The nationwide, grassroots network is designed to bring together a variety of voices people know and trust to encourage Americans to get vaccinated. This effort seeks to mobilize health professionals, community organizations, faith leaders, businesses, athletes, and Americans from all walks of life to become leaders within their own communities to help get friends, family, and neighbors vaccinated.

 

2/4/2021  ACCU Conference Addresses 'What We've Learned' to Carry Catholic Higher Education Forward

 

1/7/2021 Statement on Violence at the Capitol

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities released the following statement today from its president, Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, CM:

With you, I watched yesterday’s shameful events in our nation’s Capitol Building unfold on television.  I also watched individuals from my third floor DC apartment as they returned from the takeover, carrying Confederate, Trump, and American flags.  It was their laughter that disturbed me as much as anything.  They were proud of themselves. 

I’m sure we’d like to assume that such mobs don’t contain our students or alumni, and I have no way of knowing.  I do know, however, that Congress contains our graduates, both as elected officials and key staff.  I know that our graduates are among those who have been opportunistically stirring this national unrest, displaying a narrow sense of responsibility.  I know the administration contains alumni who have remained silent. 

I also remembered meeting individuals in the highest ranks of Congressional law enforcement, who proudly told me of their Catholic university affiliations.  I thought of them yesterday as I watched the blatant differences in police protection, compared with the recent Black Lives Matter protests.  The differing racial assumptions regarding which group would cause violence or harm were on broad display. 

I am not indicting our good faith attempts over the years to instill a well-prepared sense of moral duty.  I am, however, reminding us that we have accepted the responsibility of preparing the nation’s leaders, and that yesterday’s failure should — at the very least — push us to double-down on the responsibility we have undertaken.  We may not be responsible for yesterday’s events, but we have a responsibility.  

My prayer is that yesterday’s events will offer all of us a leadership opportunity to stir campus reflection on how we teach civil responsibility, a sense of the common good, racial equality, and moral integrity.  It is a shame that yesterday’s events transpired.  It would be another shame if we miss this moment’s educational possibilities.

 

10/26/2020  Statement on the Elevation of Archbishop Gregory to Cardinal

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities joins the U.S. Catholic community in extending heartfelt congratulations to the Most Reverend Wilton Gregory, Archbishop of Washington, DC, named by Pope Francis as one of 13 new cardinals.

Long noted for his work in protecting the most vulnerable, Archbishop Gregory has demonstrated his commitment to healing, justice, and human dignity since his arrival in the nation’s capital. We can think of no more deserving recognition than his elevation to cardinal by the pontiff.

 

10/5/2020 Investment in Catholic Higher Ed Pays Dividends

While the pivot to online learning has amplifed public critique of the value of a college education, a new study underscores the return on an investment in Catholic higher education. Read the press release.

 

7/15/2020  ACCU Statement on Rescission of DHS Guidance

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities is relieved by the decision reached on July 14 to rescind the earlier guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and its Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency regarding international students.  We thank Harvard and MIT for bringing suit challenging the guidance and for the more than 70 higher education associations who signed onto the amicus brief in the case. 

The Department’s directive would have been deleterious for the universities that educate international students, but was also bad health policy and bad for the U.S. standing in the world.  Yesterday’s decision resolved these issues for existing international students.  We hope the administration will address the needs of new international students using the same flexibility during this pandemic.

 

7/8/2020 ACCU Statement on Guidance Released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued guidance — soon to be a final rule — that international students must return home unless their university provides classroom-based instruction for their programs.  In a pandemic, containing infection and protecting public health must remain utmost priorities.  In light of the continued spread of the coronavirus, the decision by DHS is not only bad health policy, it is heartless.  Last spring, universities had to pivot on a dime to shift instruction online in order to keep students, faculty, and local communities safe from contagion.  International students were accommodated by the government and allowed to finish their courses online, despite policies against online education for international students.  These are young people fully vetted by the U.S. government, given clearance to study here, and now partway through their programs.  Sending them home, without a degree, would force them to start their lives over simply because a university is trying to keep its faculty and students safe as contagion levels continue to be unpredictable.  There are difficult decisions to make in challenging times, but this is not one of those.  Allowing all students, regardless of country of origin, to be given equal access to online learning is the fair, sensible, and moral thing to do.  We can keep students safe and keep these young people on track. 

 

6/18/2020 ACCU Statement on U.S. Supreme Court Decision on DACA

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities is gratified by today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision permitting those eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program to renew their status.  These are individuals brought to the United States as children, who know no other country and who simply aspire to live the American Dream.  The White House’s attempt to target them is both a moral and a political failure.

The Catholic higher education community stands committed to the individuals in the DACA program who are enrolled at our colleges and universities.  We pray that today’s decision means they will be able to continue their studies without interruption and that, one day soon, others in their situation will be encouraged to pursue their education goals. 

Today’s decision is likely not the final word on the DACA program.  We call upon our nation’s leaders — and especially Congress — to permanently protect the dreams of all students who seek to realize the promise of our country.

 

6/5/2020 ACCU Statement on the Passing of Bishop George Murry, SJ

The Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities mourns the passing of Bishop George Murry, SJ, bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio. Bishop Murry was a full and ardent supporter of Catholic higher education. He chaired the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Catholic Education and hosted and was a great friend to our institutions and the important work being done there.  Our presidents held him in the highest regard.

Bishop Murry also led the Conference’s Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and, at this critical moment in our country’s history, the nation will surely feel his loss.

 

6/1/2020 ACCU Statement on Racial Injustice

ACCU has released this statement in the wake of the death of George Floyd and the protests that have followed.

 

4/22/2020 ACCU Statement on Emergency Relief for Students

Read the association's reaction to the exclusion of undocumented students from the benefits of the CARES Act.

 

1/28/2020 ACCU Statement following today's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals

Read the association's statement following the decision in the matter of Duquesne University of the Holy Spirit v. National Labor Relations Board.

Read the opinion of the U.S. Court in this matter.

 

For earlier press releases and statements from ACCU, please visit our News Archive page.

 

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