Editor’s Note: The following was originally published at Campus Notes, the blog for The Cardinal Newman Society.
The Catholic University of America announced today the creation of a new School of Business and Economics based on Catholic social doctrine and the natural law.
From the University:
“Business schools focus on teaching commercial skills and rules of ethics, but they neglect the importance of character. Our distinctive idea is to bring the rich resources of the Catholic intellectual tradition and the natural law to bear upon business and economics. This will integrate morality into commercial life and help form the character of our future business leaders,” says Andrew Abela, chair of the previous Department of Business and Economics.
“We are going to let our Catholic thinking penetrate our curriculum,” Abela says, adding that studies show companies are more competitive and sustainable in the long run if they respect the dignity of consumers and employees.
The Wall Street Journal notes that while many business schools have introduced ethics courses in recent years, some point out that these efforts have been cosmetic, lacking integration into the core curriculum. CUA, on the other hand, plans to overhaul its core business courses over the next year.
For example, accounting classes will stress judgment calls about what revenue can be kept off the books, along with the math behind those revenue calculations.
The School of Business and Economics will be distinctive in three ways, according to CUA. Every class will include an ethics and morality component. Research efforts will be oriented to the common good in order to make business more humane and effective. And students will receive formation in virtue and be given the opportunity to apply their skills practically.
CUA has a “unique responsibility to contribute to the national discussion about the economic challenges facing the country,” said University President John Garvey. He further noted:
Finally, as a new school we can do something different, unlike other schools — Catholic and non-Catholic — that already have large faculties committed to existing conventional approaches to business and economics. Our school is small enough to pursue a new and original direction.
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