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Well, that boondoggle was quite a boon

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 09:56

I know some took exception with the Board meeting in Rome, but this seems like a pretty strategic meeting locale:

Notre Dame leaders meet with Pope Francis
Brendan O’Shaughnessy January 30, 2014

VATICAN CITY — University of Notre Dame President John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., accompanied by members of his leadership team and the Board of Trustees, exchanged messages of support with Pope Francis on Thursday (Jan. 30) during a private audience in the Apostolic Palace.

In the hour-long meeting, Pope Francis displayed flashes of his trademark humor and humility, and he also spoke seriously about the importance of defending Catholic identity and religious liberty.

He said it is essential for Catholic universities to bear “uncompromising witness … to the Church’s moral teaching and the defense of her freedom.”

“It is my hope,” Pope Francis said, “that the University of Notre Dame will continue to offer unambiguous testimony to this aspect of its foundational Catholic identity, especially in the face of efforts, from whatever quarter, to dilute that indispensable witness.”

Father Jenkins began the meeting with a few words about Notre Dame. He told Pope Francis that he hoped the opening of a new Notre Dame Center in Rome will allow the University to expand its service to the Holy See.

“Blessed Basil Moreau, the founder of the Congregation of Holy Cross, said education is ‘the art of helping young people to completeness,’” Father Jenkins said. “And we’re proud to educate people, to serve humanity and to serve the Church with deep faith.”

Father Jenkins offered as a gift to Pope Francis a small statue of the Visitation because it depicts “the joyful greeting of Mary and Elizabeth, in whose embrace the Church was born.” The statue is a smaller replica of one on Notre Dame’s campus by the late Rev. Anthony Lauck, C.S.C., a Notre Dame professor, priest and sculptor.

Pope Francis thanked Father Jenkins and said, “I am confident that the new Center (in Rome) will contribute to the University’s mission by exposing students to the unique historical, cultural and spiritual riches of the Eternal City.”

Pope Francis also urged the Notre Dame community to continue its commitment to the “missionary discipleship” that inspired Rev. Edward F. Sorin, C.S.C., to found the University in 1842.

“From its founding, the University of Notre Dame has made an outstanding contribution to the Church in your country through its commitment to the religious education of the young and to serious scholarship inspired by confidence in the harmony of faith and reason and in the pursuit of truth and virtue.”

Pope Francis greets the Notre Dame delegation at the Vatican Pope Francis greets the Notre Dame delegation at the Vatican
Smiling warmly at the assembly, he said, “Dear friends, I ask you to pray for me as I strive to carry out the ministry which I have received in service to the Gospel, and I assure you of my prayers for you and for all associated with the educational mission of University of Notre Dame.”

He ended his speech by saying, “Upon you and your families, and in a particular way, upon the students, faculty and staff of this beloved University, I invoke the Lord’s gifts of wisdom, joy and peace, and cordially impart my Apostolic blessing.”

After his remarks, the Holy Father shook hands with each person in the Notre Dame group and left them delighted with his personal touch and humor. When Father Jenkins accidentally went to sit for a photo in a chair meant for a cardinal, Pope Francis joked, “Oh, you’re very ambitious.”

Then Pope Francis noticed that his own white chair had been placed slightly in front of the row of Notre Dame leaders. He immediately pushed it back himself so that he was at the same level with everyone else, drawing an appreciative laugh from the Notre Dame delegation.

The Notre Dame delegation’s papal audience followed a Mass in the apse of St. Peter’s Basilica presided over by Rev. Daniel Jenky, C.S.C., bishop of Peoria, Ill., and a Notre Dame Trustee, and a tour of the Vatican Library with Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues, O.P., the archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church.

The Vatican visit capped a week of meetings in Rome by the University Board of Trustees that included Masses in ancient churches, visits to cultural and historical sites in Rome, a tour of the Sistine Chapel and receptions at the homes of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy and Notre Dame alumnus John R. Phillips and Ambassador to the Holy See and Notre Dame Laetare Medalist and honorary degree recipient Ken Hackett. Father Jenkins and other University officials also met with Vatican leaders in papal congregational offices and pontifical councils related to Notre Dame’s mission as a leader in Catholic higher education.

The Board of Trustees business meetings took place about nine months after the election in March of Pope Francis and a month after Time magazine named him its Person of the Year. Coincidentally, the board’s last meeting in Rome was in 2006, also taking place nine months after the election of a new pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI.

The week began with an academic convocation in the Notre Dame Rome Center at Via Ostilia 15, a recently renovated 32,000-square-foot building located a block from the Colosseum. The facility serves as the home to study abroad programs for the School of Architecture and the College of Arts and Letters. This Global Gateway will serve as the focal point for the University’s academic and cultural endeavors in Rome and, in conjunction with Notre Dame’s Global Gateways in London and Dublin, throughout Europe.

stadium, crossroads


Did the Pope scold us?

by Slainte Joe, Raleigh, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:57 @ Domer99

I took it as a "keep fighting the good fight" comment

by Samari, Bahston, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:04 @ Slainte Joe

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So did I.

by Slainte Joe, Raleigh, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:08 @ Samari

But stateside, Rocco is the inside baseball guy for the Vatican, so his opinion is interesting.


I can't really follow Rocco's logic

by Samari, Bahston, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:24 @ Slainte Joe

Unless his point is that the Pope is 100% behind fighting the mandate and is pushing back on the people who think the Pope is "liberal"


I think he's saying we got fussed at...

by Slainte Joe, Raleigh, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:13 @ Samari

over the honorary degree we gave Obama and our compliance with the mandate (when other institutions that don't have an injunction have held off, so far without penalty).

Rocco is pretty dialed in, so his take is interesting. Like I said, I had assumed it was a mild attaboy.


What an egregious waste of our Notre Dame tax dollars.

by KGB, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:51 @ Domer99

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by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:21 @ KGB

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I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:58 @ KGB

this is.


He worked really hard, BillGoat.

by oaknd1 ⌂, Notre Dame, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 16:59 @ BillyGoat

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It's really pathetic when someone includes a link to their Twitter profile in their signature.


So do washing machines.

by BillyGoat, At Thanksgiving with Joe Bethersontin, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 17:04 @ oaknd1

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Ole Miss can teach us something about better uses

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:03 @ BillyGoat


Heck, some of this stuff might not even cost us money. Surely these girls aren't getting paid....


Being old, the first thing that came to mind for me was

by Jack @, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:34 @ Domer99

"Man, the South sure has changed in 50 years."

I am serious.


Yeah, well, I bet you there is more than

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:38 @ Jack

one rebel who does not like that picture too much.


Oh, no doubt, but 50 years ago

by Jack @, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 15:53 @ Grantland

He would have been arrested.

100 years ago (or less), he would have been lynched.


Poor form ...

by Mark, Cloud City, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:12 @ Domer99

Is he spilling his drink in the top pic?

Come on! man!


Where does he stand on field turf/JumboTron?

by Pete, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:07 @ Domer99

Seems like getting an infallible voice on the matter could put that baby to bed.


essay question

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:07 @ Domer99

How is the message and mission of Pope Francis informing priorities at the University of Notre Dame today? Is a $450 million capital project with a focus on luxury seating for sporting events consistent with the Pope's attention to the impoverished in today's world? Why, or why not?



by Geoff, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 14:07 @ Jay

ND football is the fish n' chips and bingo in the University of Notre Dame's Catholic identity and mission.


What's the return on the investment going to be?

by Samari, Bahston, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:54 @ Jay

From a purely financial point of view, how much additional revenue are the luxury boxes and club seating going to bring in per year? Using completely made up numbers I'm guessing that they'll pay for the entire project in about 25-30 years. We're looking at several million extra dollars a year into the coffers that hopefully keeps things like tuition cost in check.


Side note.

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:27 @ Jay

I wonder what this cost to build and decorate in today's dollars



Was that a good idea?

by Kevin @, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:12 @ FunkDoctorSpock

It provokes awe, hopefully at the power of God to inspire work of such beauty. It catches the eye, in hopes the ear, then the heart, then the soul follow. And it's open and free to everyone who wants to enter.

It's also a towering symbol of the hubris of men and the power of a political institution. It raises the few over the many. It honors the men of the Gospel while doing violence to the word of the Gospel. Churches like this sit in dying communities around the world, monstrous gilded neighbors to off-brand fast food joints and payday loan shops. Christ asked us to honor him through service to others, not by building monuments to ourselves.

They can be defended lyrically, but they largely exist as embarrassments. Cadillacs on blocks.



by James, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:09 @ Kevin

Is it inappropriate to say one of the uses of religion is to inspire us to heights beyond what we would otherwise achieve?

Can you argue that worshiping in a space such as this better conveys the awe and mystery of god more than some bullshit suburban 1960s church that was built more economically? True, the mass contained in both vessels is the same, but the effect I would argue is different.

As a sidebar, we attended mass in a chapel in Seville's cathedral. The entire thing was silver. The walls, the roof, the altar, everything except the floor and the pews. I did sit and wonder for a good portion of the mass how many natives died to mine the silver to send back to Spain.

Back to the original question though, I don't think it's possible for us to build something like this today. I don't think we have craftspeople who are capable of such work anymore.


I know. That was my point. But I'm sure you know that.

by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:30 @ Kevin

What you wrote is almost exactly what went through my mind when I laid eyes on it roughly twenty years ago.

"This is quite possibly the most beautiful manmade structure I have ever seen. It's breathtaking...and I can't imagine the human cost to build it"


Well done

by Brendan ⌂ @, The Chemical and Oil Refinery State, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:28 @ Kevin

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Listen to the voice of Life, and you will hear Life crying, "Be!"


Wow. That's pretty good

by Mike (bart), Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:14 @ Kevin

Not all that funny, but still


You guys are all a bunch of f***ing Calvinists!

by Slainte Joe, Raleigh, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:17 @ Mike (bart)

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meanwhile, Francis is bunking in the rectory

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:51 @ FunkDoctorSpock
edited by Jay, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:13

driving a Fiesta, and ditching the ceremonial garb.



by FunkDoctorSpock, Your Nightmares, B* tches, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:05 @ Jay

P-Frank rocks.



by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:01 @ FunkDoctorSpock

[ No text ]


Seems like a great Shamrock Series site.

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:43 @ FunkDoctorSpock

Notre Dame! Boston College! IN THE VATICAN.

Pope Francis can do the ceremonial coin toss.


I have to be honest

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:17 @ Jay

I really don't feel as strongly as many. I get the whole price tag issue. I get that people don't like this shit bundled. I also get that there's a need for a good number of the projects. But when it comes to the university and what it does, you can boil it down to one word as pertains to pleasing most of its alumni base: futile.

My only commentary on the locale of the Board meeting is that if you can get an audience with the pope, then the extra cost and perceived extravagance is worth it. That was my entire reason for posting the article.

I'll now hang up and listen to everybody's answers about the miserable Crossroads.


I think it's good to test priorities from time to time

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:32 @ Domer99

We will have sunk probably a billion dollars into campus improvements over the past 15-20 years. There's a lot of value that comes out of that.

At the same time, tuition is rising 4% every year and student debt is climbing ever higher.

There's an unresolved tension in my mind between the priorities of the enterprise today and its (Catholic) mission to the world.

That doesn't mean I'm against this particular project or think it's worthless. But I would have liked to see this coupled with a new emphasis on reducing the cost of attendance.


The student debt thing is really becoming

by Mike (bart), Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:01 @ Jay

a giant moral question. We are both impelling a generation to potentially totally immiserate themselves. Certain actors are growing very, very rich off of this potential immiseration There is space for some institution to take the lead on this issue. I'm not saying it has to be ND, or that ND's not thinking about it, but the current climate is pretty gross.

I know, the trend is the trend until it bends. I'm just wondering when we are going to see an inflection point, and whether it is going to be a nice surprise or a nasty one.


Yes, it is.

by oviedoirish @, Oviedo, Florida, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:49 @ Mike (bart)

High quality academic institutions, particularly private ones, are becoming only accessible to the elite (either wealthy, highly intelligent, or possessing "marketable" skills like athletics), or to those who are able to obtain very large student loans. When I left ND in 1986, I had 10 years of student loans to pay off, but they seemed smaller and more manageable, and I had a good starting job (with a graduate degree). But I don't think I would go to ND today, even if I could get in, because the thought of paying $200K is mind boggling to me. You can be okay with loans if you happen to enter into a high paying profession, but you could be screwed if you don't. It's kind of funny (and sad) too, because back in the early days, ND was a place where blue collar catholic kids could go to school. My dad (ND '49) was one. I know that's just not the way it is today, and I don't have any answers, but it troubles me nonetheless. And this is the case pretty much everywhere now.


The ivies have been stepping in that direction.

by PAK, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:26 @ Mike (bart)

I've read a bit here and there the last few years about Harvard, Yale, etc keep nominal tuition high but offer enough in aid that virtually anyone they can accept can, in reality, afford the tuition to attend.

I would love to see Notre Dame find some way to tackle this issue. Obviously we can't really be a leader for the public universities, because our situation is so different, but we can at least do some good for our own students and perhaps point in the right direction for other private schools.


You could argue the Stadium as "the final piece"

by irishoutsider @, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:48 @ PAK

At that point, most every major campus improvement would be done and in relatively modern working condition.

You then funnel the additional revenue created towards these goals, reducing costs / increasing aid


That's what I'm sorta hoping for.

by PAK, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:13 @ irishoutsider

Do the stadium thing, renovate the buildings somewhat vacated by the departmental moves, and maybe take a breather on major construction projects and focus on easing the financial burden for the students.

OTOH once we're somewhat caught up with the rest of the world, we can't let ourselves fall behind facilities-wise again.


Yeah, well ...

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:43 @ PAK

The Ivies you speak of have a lot more money to throw around. Sure, ND has a big endowment, but HYP dwarf it:

H: 32 billion for 6200 undergrads
Y: 21 billion for 5400 undergrads
P: 18 billion for 5300 undergrads
N: 8 billion for 8300 undergrads

So there's a lot more room for them to make grand propositions like all grant/no loan, or "free for families making less than $100K". And that's before even considering the institutional culture:
* For all the douchebags bemoaning research at ND as an evil, I'd point out that those other three institutions make a helluva lot of money from that research, which funds a helluva lot of initiatives that ND needs its alumni/friend donors to pick up the tab for instead.
* ND has a relatively short history of building and expansion, so there's more that needs to be done from scratch than at the other institutions.
* ND has a very short history of elite education, and very few ties into the truly wealthy in this country. Contrast with HYP which educated probably above 50% of the wealthiest in the country (both old money and new), and have generations of ties with the wealthiest families. This matters when it comes to prioritizing big gifts and having many sources to tap for less naturally popular items.
* ND's short history of elite education also means there's a visible culture clash between still-recent generations of middle-classers and the current evolving campus population. Constrast with HYP which have for hundreds of years been available only to either the elite or brilliant.

So ND has less money coming in, less potential streams for money to reliably come in in the future, larger capital needs, and a larger student base. Meanwhile, nobody wants to give 8-10 figures for financial aid because (a) nobody wants to anywhere, it's always easier to get gifts for big things with names on them, and (b) the somewhat unique to ND cultural clash of "well it used to be affordable, and it should still be. We don't need aid gifts, we need to just make it cheaper. Hurrumph".

So I'd like to see ND tackle this issue, too. But the very same people who snipe at ND constantly bemoaning the cost and attacking the graduate school, campus building, program expansion, etc. are in fact a key part of the problem!


I can understand why some people are cagey about research

by Samari, Bahston, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:18 @ Savage

Notre Dame has always prided itself on its strong undergraduate teaching reputation. While it's not exactly a zero-sum game, HYP and other big research schools like MIT treat undergraduate teaching as an afterthought. I think Fr. Jenkins is doing a decent job at navigating the issue, but Monk's number one priority always seemed to be "do things exactly how our aspirational peers do it."


Agreed on all counts.

by PAK, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:11 @ Savage

The ivies are in a substantially different position. Just wanted to point out that there are folks in higher ed trying to tackle the problem


The idea of Catholicism seems to frequently invite...

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:43 @ Jay
edited by Domer99, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:50


Do I support a Democrat who is pro-choice, but anti-death penalty or vice-versa with a Republican?

Do I believe in principles of a free market, or should we legislate institutional ways to help the impoverished?

There's never a correct answer, even if everyone thinks their POV is right.

I am not sure how I feel about the whole thing. But I do believe Savage and CK08 that there are student needs that are being critically addressed with this project. Could they be addressed in other ways without looking so architecturally hideous? Yeah, perhaps. But was this a path that better facilitated for these needs to be addressed? Seems like it.

But I also must say that Kevin's argument on cost is a real one. Is there a better use for that money? Sure. Why not give $450 million away? It's about finding a balance between the mission and purpose.

I definitely would like to see ND's tuition costs contained. But it also seems like ND makes significant attempts to address the financial aid questions that face ND students.


so your essay response is 'Get used to it'

by HumanRobot @, Cybertron, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:22 @ Domer99

[ No text ]


If I felt stronger about the concept then maybe that would

by Domer99, John Wesley Powell's Expedition Island, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:30 @ HumanRobot

be my answer.

But I am not sure I've ever found myself agreeing so much with Savage.

By no means do I think those that hate the project and idea are wrong. I just haven't been persuaded by the arguments that have been put forward about why it's so wrong.

But somebody who has stronger feelings about the Crossroads, either way, would be a better candidate to reply to Jay's essay request.


I don't even think it's "wrong" per se

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:35 @ Domer99

That's why I phrased it as an open question. It's muddy to me.


I was thinking this morning about the campus growth, and...

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:45 @ Jay

...I was sad. When I visited ND, there was still a road separating the being-built Debartolo and the post office and the stadium from the campus "proper" (use of quotes for effect). I think it was called Holy Cross Road, but I always thought of it as the 3-mile jogging path that ran by Flanner, separating the lakes from the campus "proper," behind the Rock and the south quad dorms, then separating those aforementioned buildings from the campus "proper" until it ran into Juniper again.

Yeah, by the time I actually enrolled the road was partially gone, replaced by a walking path and arbor/fountain between Main Circle and the Snite. But there was still a feeling of separation between the campus "proper" and the areas to the south. At that point in time, even though I took classes in Debart and even though COBA/Mendoza was soon to break ground (and be in use by the time I was a senior), and even though I knew that things north and south and west of Holy Cross Road were still "ND" and things east of Juniper (mostly athletics and parking, but band and ROTC too) were still ND, I thought of the "real" campus as circumscribed by that road and Juniper.

Now, that road doesn't exist, really. And Juniper sure doesn't exist. The small, compact, "core" or campus "proper" isn't small and compact. It sprawls. It's been 22 years (for some here, that's almost a lifetime; for others, it's a short time). But in that time, the "core" of campus has gone from being within that road to being really bounded by Twykenham, Angela, and a Holy Cross Drive that now intersects ND Ave down by Cedar Grove. I don't know what this all means. Certainly, the academy is growing and growth is a natural part of it. But in my mind there will forever be something nice about the concept that there was a boundary around a smaller "core" campus; a home, if you will. And that the campus "proper" still had blacktop drives on the main quad and dirt paths across some of the lawns and roads ringing it.

I've posted often here about not thinking that ND should stay the way it was when I was there (and sarcastically about wishing it would). But when thinking about the changes and growth that the school has undertaken, I do wonder if something small and simple and unifying has been lost in the loss of that central campus.

/sappy sentimentality


The trade off

by CK08, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:42 @ Greg

is a better connection between ND and the South Bend community, and a decrease in the "bubble" mentality, in my opinion.

It's certainly a change, but I think it's a good thing. And it's not like God Quad is going anywhere. Most students (all that live on campus) still live within the Holy Cross Drive loop.


Good points, and PAK, yes I have...

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:24 @ CK08

...that small core campus at ND was one of the things that really drew me to the school as opposed to more sprawling schools or schools integrated into the cities in which they are set. In fact, the only other school I seriously considered had a campus with a similar feeling of being set apart by geography.

Now, I agree that the move toward a real town/gown relationship is an objective good and the growth into the old parking lots and grassy fields is necessary for Notre Dame to mature into the best university it can be. And that's why I understand that my reflection is in part sappy sentimentality. But I do think it's worth Fr. Jenkins and the other leaders looking backward from time to time and seeing how and where ND has grown, so that ND doesn't lose the core of what it is and should be.


I've been on UM, MSU, and ND's campuses in the last year.

by PAK, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:43 @ Greg

The small atmosphere of Notre Dame is one of the things that I loved about it as well, probably the #1 reason I chose it above a lot of other places I visited. My point is that pretty much none of the construction projects of the last 10-15 years, including the Crossroads project, have extended campus in a meaningful way for the majority of students.

The longest walk for any on campus student is still West Quad to Flanner/Grace. I spent more time than I'm really confident going into walking from O'Neill out to Grace for interviews. It is, at most, a 20 minute walk. The Crossroads project helps alleviate that - the only reason almost any student ever went to the towers in my day was Career Services, and that will be several minutes closer to the areas of campus where most students spend a majority of their time.

Compare this to MSU, where you must take a bus no matter where you live or what your major is. Walking through MSU's campus is like walking through an industrial park. Four lane roads, generic office buildings, and no collegiate feel to campus, unless you happen to spot the football stadium in the distance.

University of Michigan is a bit better. It at least FEELS like a college campus. But it's multiple campuses. An engineering student is living off North Campus and is taking a bus to any classes on Main Campus, which from people I know, ends up being several times a week.

Imagine having to legitimately factor in travel time when trying to schedule classes.... the idea is absolutely foreign to me. None of the construction that ND has done since you were there has done anything to challenge the walkability or general atmosphere of campus. If anything, the Crossroads project will enhance it.


One nit re Michigan State

by Jack @, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 16:11 @ PAK

There are some very nice parts of that campus that I'm thinking you haven't been to.

But I agree with your overall point. My farthest walk was from Dillon to the CCMB, and while it was a pain in the ass, especially in winter, it was still a walk and not a bus ride.



by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:55 @ PAK

First, I was simply bemoaning the lost past and not the Crossroads project. While I take issue with some of the architecture, I like the idea of the project and the overall theme.

I've been on Southern Cal's, UCLA's, and a host of other western university campuses recently, including a number of UCs and Cal States. I've also been on Loyola Marymount's and University of San Diego's. The large public universities do have the 4-lane streets and shuttles and things, but out here the majority of campuses are predominantly on one site -- the site might be huge, but it's as single site. So some of the issues you raise are foreign to me.

Still, I always felt home when I crossed the old Holy Cross Drive or Juniper -- as though the "real" campus started there. It'll be interesting to go back this year or next and really get a feel for the walkability and sensibility of things today.


North of the river, MSU's campus is pretty nice

by CK08, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:51 @ PAK
edited by CK08, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:12

Very college-y and relatively compact. South of the river is where it gets dicey.


Have you ever spent any time on any other college campus?

by PAK, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 11:29 @ Greg

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22 second response from Rome

by KelleyCook @, quite pleased with Nov 8th, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:13 @ Jay



by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:10 @ Jay
edited by Savage, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:13

[ No text ]


What's not serious about the question?

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:29 @ Savage

ND's relationship with football (both in terms of the economics and the physical toll on the players) is worthy of debate. It's morally dubious, and I think we all know it.


That question goes way beyond the Crossroads project

by CK08, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:43 @ Dylan

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Seems like a good conversation starter.

by Dylan, Santa Barbara, CA, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:52 @ CK08

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extra credit:

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:16 @ Savage

In 100 words or less describe the purpose of Notre Dame.


What's its mission statement?

by Geoff, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 14:10 @ Jay

[ No text ]


see v

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 14:41 @ Geoff

[ No text ]


Whole lot more than 100 words:

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:13 @ Jay

Mission Statement


This statement speaks of the University of Notre Dame as a place of teaching and research, of scholarship and publication, of service and community. These components flow from three characteristics of Roman Catholicism that image Jesus Christ, his Gospel, and his Spirit. A sacramental vision encounters God in the whole of creation. In and through the visible world in which we live, we come to know and experience the invisible God. In mediation the Catholic vision perceives God not only present in but working through persons, events, and material things. There is an intelligibility and a coherence to all reality, discoverable through spirit, mind, and imagination. God's grace prompts human activity to assist the world in creating justice grounded in love. God's way to us comes as communion, through the communities in which men and women live. This community includes the many theological traditions, liturgies, and spiritualities that fashion the life of the Church. The emphasis on community in Catholicism explains why Notre Dame historically has fostered familial bonds in its institutional life.

A Catholic university draws its basic inspiration from Jesus Christ as the source of wisdom and from the conviction that in him all things can be brought to their completion. As a Catholic university, Notre Dame wishes to contribute to this educational mission.


The University of Notre Dame is a Catholic academic community of higher learning, animated from its origins by the Congregation of Holy Cross. The University is dedicated to the pursuit and sharing of truth for its own sake. As a Catholic university, one of its distinctive goals is to provide a forum where, through free inquiry and open discussion, the various lines of Catholic thought may intersect with all the forms of knowledge found in the arts, sciences, professions, and every other area of human scholarship and creativity.

The intellectual interchange essential to a university requires, and is enriched by, the presence and voices of diverse scholars and students. The Catholic identity of the University depends upon, and is nurtured by, the continuing presence of a predominant number of Catholic intellectuals. This ideal has been consistently maintained by the University leadership throughout its history. What the University asks of all its scholars and students, however, is not a particular creedal affiliation, but a respect for the objectives of Notre Dame and a willingness to enter into the conversation that gives it life and character. Therefore, the University insists upon academic freedom that makes open discussion and inquiry possible.

The University prides itself on being an environment of teaching and learning that fosters the development in its students of those disciplined habits of mind, body, and spirit that characterize educated, skilled, and free human beings. In addition, the University seeks to cultivate in its students not only an appreciation for the great achievements of human beings but also a disciplined sensibility to the poverty, injustice and oppression that burden the lives of so many. The aim is to create a sense of human solidarity and concern for the common good that will bear fruit as learning becomes service to justice.

Notre Dame also has a responsibility to advance knowledge in a search for truth through original inquiry and publication. This responsibility engages the faculty and students in all areas of the University, but particularly in graduate and professional education and research. The University is committed to constructive and critical engagement with the whole of human culture.

The University encourages a way of living consonant with a Christian community and manifest in prayer, liturgy and service. Residential life endeavors to develop that sense of community and of responsibility that prepares students for subsequent leadership in building a society that is at once more human and more divine.

Notre Dame's character as a Catholic academic community presupposes that no genuine search for the truth in the human or the cosmic order is alien to the life of faith. The University welcomes all areas of scholarly activity as consonant with its mission, subject to appropriate critical refinement. There is, however, a special obligation and opportunity, specifically as a Catholic university, to pursue the religious dimensions of all human learning. Only thus can Catholic intellectual life in all disciplines be animated and fostered and a proper community of scholarly religious discourse be established.

In all dimensions of the University, Notre Dame pursues its objectives through the formation of an authentic human community graced by the Spirit of Christ.



by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:35 @ Jay

Notre Dame's purpose is to be a place where the Catholic Church does its thinking on matters not solely within the theological realm and to provide to the secular world unassailable proof that religious adherence and ideology need not interfere with scholarship and critical thought. To further this purpose Notre Dame urges its family to grow in mind, body and spirit, and to use to the maximum extent one's capabilities in each area. Notre Dame provides each member of the family resources to so grow, and is committed to each aspect of the individual's life.

(95 words)


To be the best Catholic University in the country.

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:24 @ Jay

[ No text ]


I do think that an element of being elite university

by JRT, Island of Misfit Toys, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:02 @ Jim (fisherj08)

is essentially selling a luxury product.

Which creates the balance we always struggle with.

But if our school is going to consist of sought-after students, and a sizeable amount of parents willing and able to pay six figures for college, it's going to be a marketing/sales project, and part of that is looking the part.

It's not unlike how unseemly but necessary football recruiting is. I personally would love it if we could just pick and choose from the dozens of blue chippers knocking down our doors. But, we have to sell it, and we apparently have to sell "facilities" and "perks" and "media exposure" and shit like that.

To be in that top 20 university club, I think you probably have to 1) mine revenue sources like football seating and 2) have a bunch of really nice buildings.


That's also a good point.

by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:05 @ JRT

Any given decision could go one way or the other. The key is that we (ND) remain mindful of the tension in the first place. And I'm sure they do -- I just think they've gone the wrong way, in a big way, this particular time.


with liberty for all and luxury boxes for very very few

by JD in Portland ⌂, Portland OR, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 10:32 @ Jim (fisherj08)

[ No text ]


There is just something so purely capitalistic about

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:18 @ JD in Portland

luxury boxes. It just rubs me the wrong way but maybe that is because I will never be able to afford one.


i hate to sound hyperbolic but

by JD in Portland ⌂, Portland OR, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:42 @ Grantland

Luxury boxes have absolutely no place in college football. But at a Catholic university, they are wrong at every conceivable level including moral.
I'm going to quit posting on this as the whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I'm questioning whether i can continue to care about Notre Dame football.



by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:54 @ JD in Portland

I'm not trying to troll, and forgive my "bad personality", I'm just hoping that perhaps you might have a more thorough answer than I received elsewhere on the board.

Why do luxury boxes have no place in college football? Is there something about college football or the American university model that should preclude wining and dining of potential donors during the marquee social events of the year? Is there something about college football that means corporations and big donors shouldn't be able to get some accommodation for giving the University large sums of money? Is there something that's bad for the football program, or the University at large, about having rich people enjoying the game in the stadium? Is there something harmful to the football program, or University at large, about having different sections of fans in different accommodations with different price points? Is there something fundamentally wrong with showcasing the student athletes to the economic and societal elite?

How does a Catholic university change the calculus? Must we start at first principles of whether a Catholic institution running a major sports program is moral endangerment? If not, then we can begin with the differentiation of a Catholic university versus an arbitrary university explored above. Is there something morally scandalous about a Catholic university wining and dining potential donors during football games? Is there something morally dangerous or wrong about providing tickets and accommodations to corporate partners and existing and potential donors? Even understanding the moral and societal dangers of "unfettered capitalism", in the words of our new Pontiff, is there something specific about private boxes that makes them morally wrong, or is it only the second-order association with presumed-guilty-unless-proven-innocent capitalists that bothers you? Is there any moral consideration whatsoever with bisecting the football game watching experience of fans in the stadium, and if so, how is this any different from the bisection that already exists by not providing tickets for free to all comers?


To me it feels wrong but I am not so sure why.

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:20 @ Savage

I am just spit balling here and reserve the right to change my mind on any of this.

It just feels like another tick in the wrong direction of being a football factory. What is left? Athletic dorms? over-signing? stem cell research?

I think the Catholic thing is the all-inclusive nature of the School I knew. (And maybe I am just being nostalgic. PAK has rightly - well least partly right - called me out on that before when I alluded to the fact that today's present culture was too loud and, "kids these days", just can't be quite.)

But we seem to be more and more willing to separate the classes in the name of education. But is that really it. Are we just trying to keep up for the sake of keeping up in a culture and society that is largely based on greed?

I guess maybe that is why it is difficult to put a reason on it (at least for me). It goes to the intent of those who are making these changes - something we cannot really know - at least not what is in their respective "heart of hearts."

But maybe it feels like it is the name of making ND the capitalist "best" when what I really want is the school that is really true to the teachings of its Faith.


Notre Dame does stem cell research

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:22 @ Grantland


UGH! I knew I might mess that one up - and I do not

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:25 @ Jim (fisherj08)

even know the full moral import - never really studied it. But does it support the overall point I am making? Is ND becoming more and more secular and closer and closer to Catholic in name only.

Or should I have qualified it as "embryonic."


On the contrary!

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:26 @ Grantland

Adult stem cells offer hope for regeneration of tissues and even organs and for curing many diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s. Adult stem cells are relatively easy to harvest, tend not to form tumors and recipients who receive their own stem cells tend not to reject them.

Notre Dame has never, does not now, nor will it ever, conduct human embryonic stem cell research. The research we do involves adult stem cells and non-human embryonic stem cells and is therefore in full accord with the Catholic Church teaching as expressed most recently in Dignitas Personae (The Dignity of the Person).


Okay - But my larger point remains the slippery slope and

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 13:35 @ Jim (fisherj08)

and whether or not we are sliding? or have we always been sliding down it? or maybe my perceptions are just wrong?


Are you being serious JD?

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 12:53 @ JD in Portland

[ No text ]


this is a really good discussion down here

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:02 @ Grantland

[ No text ]



by JD in Portland ⌂, Portland OR, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 17:28 @ Grantland

And I'm not going to take the time to answer Savage's litany of questions, the answers to which are self-evident.
I appreciate that reasonable people can disagree here but the position that it is patently offensive to redo fabled Notre Dame stadium primarily to accommodate elite luxury boxes is hardly one that needs a detailed explanation.
Of course donors can be courted and thanked, and quite nicely, before and after the game that they enjoy in their 50 yd line seats, in America's most hallowed football stadium, along with everyone else.
My position ain't subtle.


Self-evident for you, perhaps.

by Savage, Around Ye Olde Colonial College, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 18:16 @ JD in Portland

I'm sorry if you found them over-the-top -- I didn't intend each to be answered, but rather I was trying to see if I could hit on what specifically sticks in your craw. This was particularly the case for the Catholic differentiation.

Your minimal response here sounds again like that of an idealogue/demagogue, but I can't quite put my finger on why that is. And thus, I'm now 2/2 on "the answer is obvious" responses, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.


I'll try to chime in

by JRT, Island of Misfit Toys, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:07 @ Savage

I don't much like the idea of a "general seating" area and a separate "luxury seating" area.

I think it unnecessarily divides the fans. Obviously, there are 50 yard line seats and end zone seats, upper and lower decks, but those are all necessary and inherent in stadium seating. Luxury boxes are not necessary, and I don't like them.

Having said that, they generate revenue. I'm not in a position to match that revenue, so I'm not saying I am in a veto position on the thing. I understand and appreciate it will generate revenue, and so I know why the school is doing it.

I just don't like it.


Here's the thing

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:33 @ JRT

The crowd at ND Stadium isn't exactly representative of general American society. By default, the people in the stadium can afford to pay $80 per ticket to watch a sporting event. For some games, you have to be an ND alum or have another connection to the University to even get tickets (excluding the secondary market).

I'm not sure why it's such a big deal for people who want to pay more to watch in "comfort" (which I have no desire to do even in the unlikely event I can ever afford it) to be able to do that. All you're doing is segregating the ultra-wealthy from the upper middle class.

And it's happening during a game being played by college kids, not something that is actually important in the scheme of things.

I'm just not sure when luxury boxes became a moral issue.


Not to mention the costs of lodging, food, travel, etc.

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:35 @ CK08

Notre Dame football hasn't been "for the people" for a very long time.


I haven't been to a home game since 2006

by Greg, sittin on the dock of the bay, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:16 @ Jim (fisherj08)

I've figured the cost for one person coming from where I live, with flight and rental car and hotel, at roughly $1500 (though if I go with my wife or a friend the per person cost drops to roughly $1000). That's a big enough dollar figure that, while still affordable, I have to rationalize against other family priorities. In the last 7 years, I haven't been able to rationalize it -- not for a trip that is essentially "fly in Friday, get 2 hours on campus and go to dinner, drinks, crash, wake up and get to campus, tailgate, game, dinner, drinks, crash, wake up, back to O'Hare, fly home, wake up Monday wondering if it all really happened." I'm about 50/50 on coming back this year, because seven years is a long time to go without seeing campus and a home game.

So for those of us who don't live within easy driving distance and for whom the trip to a game is a trip back to campus that deserves a stay in town and the costs associated therewith, the whole game experience is already one that is more readily available to those with more expendable funds. So what do I care if, when I get there, those guys are up in boxes or club seats?


Think of the crowd you see walking around on gameday

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:40 @ Greg

the idea that the only folks who come out to ND Football games are upper middle class types is inaccurate.

$80 is expensive, yeah, but it's not like the difference between $80 tickets and, say, $120 tickets is negligible. It's $40!


thanks for the name calling

by JD in Portland ⌂, Portland OR, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 20:21 @ Savage

One of this board's hallmarks is its absence of such.
Here's your requested answer (though admittedly a bit of a repeat of what I've been saying over and over for 2 days now) , and no matter what you say you aren't getting yet another response from me (on this or maybe anything else), so please read this carefully:
Spending $450 million on elitist skyboxes, ballrooms and social space aimed at increasing an already extremely healthy revenue stream in a college football stadium seems like a seriously misguided set of priorities for any university. Particularly at a time when higher education has become completely unaffordable. And I find it more offensive for a Catholic university to make the biggest investment in the school's history to cater to the super rich. (see camel, needle etc.).
I would prefer to invest $450 million to additions that address academics, social justice, social ministry, or hang on with me here, this is radical, the student body.
The plan does address serving the very rich who in my view are doing okay without this, both at ND or anywhere else.
And they are burying the iconic and historic ND football stadium in some very large and to my mind very ugly buildings.
There's your fucking answer.
your loyal idealogue/demogogue


Your argument would be more compelling

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:23 @ JD in Portland

if it seemed like you had a grasp on the various uses of these buildings.

I agree that $400 million is too much to spend on luxury seating. But the University isn't spending $400 million on luxury seating.

Do you think that $400 million is too much to spend for:

-A new student center
-A new rec center
-New homes for the music, anthro, and psych departments
-A new career services office
-New event space
-New FIDM facilities
-Luxury football seating

Maybe you do. Maybe you don't think ND needs all that stuff. Maybe you think that by putting them all together, they will not function as well as they would separately.

I certainly haven't made up my mind on those issues. But all the "this should be self evident" stuff and railing against the lack of student or academic focus makes it look like you haven't read up on what the project actually is. And that makes it hard to discuss with you.


Considering these one-by-one

by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:39 @ CK08

And leaving aside the architectural/campus-planning objections to smashing this all into one football stadium project.

The listed items:

-A new student center
-A new rec center
-New homes for the music, anthro, and psych departments
-A new career services office
-New event space
-New FIDM facilities
-Luxury football seating

1. A new student center: ND needs a better student center. Could LaFortune be expanded and renovated? I don't know. The location is great, but the building is pretty weak. I don't dispute this being a valuable project. I do not know what a good one would cost. The new Ohio Union cost over $100 million, but OSU has what, eight times ND's enrollment?

2. A new rec center: do we need a new rec center at all? An expanded one? Maybe the fairer way to look at this is to ask if we need a hoops facility, because I think that's what's driving this. Duke's practice facility cost $15.2 million. Yes, that was seven years ago. But it was also for Duke.

3. Stinson-Remick and the Law School project cost about $120 million combined. Those were massive projects -- wouldn't they be far beyond what the Departments of Anthropology, Psychology, and Music would likely even ask for?

4. A new career services office: I wasn't aware we needed one. Existing space isn't sufficient? I honestly don't know.

5. New event space and new FIDM facilities: I know nothing about need and cost here. I will say a 500-seat ballroom seems pretty far from a "need." The ballroom idea could be part of a new student union, I guess.

6. Luxury football seating: At best, a want and not a need. Personally, I don't think they should be a want.


Good analysis

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:02 @ Kevin

My only thoughts are that I don't think LaFortune could be expanded in an efficient and attractive manor, and that I do think the University needs large-scale event space.


These cost estimates can be estimated

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:58 @ Kevin

If we know the GFAs for the buildings you mentioned (or appropriate comps), we can figure out a dev cost/sf pretty quickly. There is a question of location/land for all these uses, but like you said, I think the need/want arguments are central to the whole discussion as well


Also, ND's cost PSF probably needs to be evaluated

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:03 @ Mike (bart)

We all want attractive campus buildings, but ND builds expensive buildings.


Another consideration:

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:07 @ CK08

If we can agree that the psych/anthro/music departments need new buildings, where else on campus is there sufficient land for such a large construction project?


The front nine of the Burke?

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:30 @ Jim (fisherj08)

that would be the southeast corner of the campus.

But the momentum of the campus is certainly not moving in that direction.


I was wondering about those

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:20 @ Jim (fisherj08)

Music, I get, because of the need for special facilities like soundstages and electronics and recital space and equipment storage, etc. Not to mention the music library.

But why did psych and anthro merit new digs?


This is a key part of the argument

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:19 @ Jim (fisherj08)

although it

a) doesn't really address some of the larger philosophical questions (does ND need luxury boxes, a ballroom, etc.)

b) doesn't justify the footprint/execution/design in and of itself

c) isn't necessarily a slam dunk as a point. To CK08's point yesterday, there is a large vacuum of space between the Stadium and Eddy St. Commons. Really, if the university is going to do right by itself, South Bend, its students and its investors on that project there ought to be plans to infill the gaps along Eddy between campus and ESC. Music, anthro, psych et al. spaces could've gone there: so long as they offered decent marginal ground floor uses (think Waddick's, or at most Hesburgh International Cafe) they could probably do the trick. At the same time, a student union, FIDM offices, etc. could still fit in as part of a more modest and more measured stadium project.

As it is, we have an absolutely massive fortress of a stadium project, and we still have the gulf between the south end of campus and ESC.


the 2008 master plan showed buildings in that area

by Jay ⌂, San Diego, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:21 @ Mike (bart)

I have a copy. I'll dig it up.


Linked here

by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:22 @ Jay

I think NDXC means they're going to have to issue

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:34 @ Kevin

an update to the plan. One of the buildings they have slated to set along Eddy is a new Music Building (subsumed, obviously, by Stadium-South). They also had penciled in a new "social sciences building" for the NE corner of ND Ave. and whatever street it is that runs adjacent to the south end of the Stadium (Holy Cross Dr?)

The other building they have planned for Eddy St. is a Future Art Museum, which, honestly, would be better off switching places with the "club/lounge" intended for an upper floor of Stadium South.

the 2008 plan also included an idea for a new student activities center up adjacent to Stepan/D200. Obviously that isn't going to happen, though I agree with others that such a location would be a bad spot for a new union.

So really, this NCXC project short circuits 5 of the 7 planned "campus life" (i.e., non-off campus, non-residential) projects in the 2008 ND plan. Those uses will now be off the table, and a lot of that land (particularly along Eddy) still needs to be used. I think the idea that ND will build this project out and then stand pat is unlikely, at best.


also included were plans for a future "Parking Structure or Academic Building" at the NE corner of Eddy and what I'm referring to as Holy Cross Dr. - not sure if this is subsumed or not.


The student activities center that was originally

by LaFortune Teller ⌂ @, South Bend, Friday, January 31, 2014, 12:52 @ Mike (bart)

planned to be on the northeast end of campus was not intended to be a daily experience. It was an event space; a larger, better, more multipurpose version of Stepan Center.

The West building replaces that concept, accommodates some of the large event purposes that had been planned for in that concept, and includes many more daily experience functions.


This response kind of gets at the heart of the issue

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:50 @ Kevin

You and I don't know whether there is a need for these services, because we're not privy to those discussions. Why do you assume there is no need for a new career services office/FIDM office/rec center?


First, I think you've reversed the burden on this question.

by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:53 @ Jim (fisherj08)

Why do we know there is a need? I think that need should be explained and justified.

Second, I didn't assume there was no need for your listed items. I explicitly did the opposite re FIDM, event space, and career services.

But I will say we should have a pretty good sense of the need for a new rec center. We both went to ND when it was the same size it is now.


Sure, the current rec center is fine

by Samari, Bahston, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:30 @ Kevin

but I think giving the students a new rec center and converting the old one to a BBall facility is much better for the students than building a brand new BBall facility.


As someone who likes playing hoops, but isn't good at it

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:06 @ Kevin

ND can never have too many basketball courts.



by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 04:39 @ JD in Portland

Well-stated. You're more patient than I am.


But your argument only makes sense

by Samari, Bahston, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 23:49 @ JD in Portland

if you ignore all the student needs the plan satisfies. If this were just about luxury boxes, there's no way the price tag would be anywhere near 400 million. This is the University's way of killing a flock of birds with one giant boulder. The new space for the Music department is conservatively 50 years overdue. The Anthro and Psych departments have been complaining about inadequate facilities for at least 10 years. When you look at a typical day for most students, they're down in that area at least once a day, there's a distinct lack of social spaces in that part of campus, and LaFun isn't exactly aging well.

I'm not sure I see the grave moral dangers in adding in a few features designed to pull in some extra revenue.


I think the fear is that the

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 31, 2014, 07:32 @ Samari

pursuit of luxury boxes is the tail wagging the dog of the whole enterprise. E.g., to JD's point, not only are we spending money on constructing luxury boxes to goad dollars from (but also cater to) an ultra-affluent segment of the population, but we (should one view the project as a political trade-off) are letting that urge essentially configure campus for the next generation, especially at a time when the cost of attendance is ceaselessly increasing and the prospect of attending ND threatens to hamstring many families' financial lives, both now and into the future.

Again, if one is incharitably disposed towards this project it seems like a perfect parable of losing one's way in pursuit of optimized margins. I don't think the University struggles at all to justify the project, but the gulf between justified and morally courageous can sometimes be pretty broad.

I'm just sketching an argument here. My objections to this point have been more instinct/common sense based. The more I think about it, though, the more I suspect JD, Kevin et al. really do have a point worth chewing on


Here's my question (or series of questions)

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:19 @ Mike (bart)
edited by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:34

By putting together luxury boxes with student life and academic improvements, are the student life/academic facilities going to be subpar? Are the luxury boxes going to be subpar? Neither? Both?

I don't know the answers to those questions. I don't really care what "wagged the dog" here IF the student life/academic improvements are worth the money that is being spent. If they're not, because they were shoehorned in as a way to make luxury boxes palatable, then that's a problem. If they are, then I think the University is actually doing this in a way that will free up capital for more worthy goals, because it isn't spending the money on separate buildings for the student center, the academic space, and the football seating.


"shoehorned in as a way to make luxury boxes palatable..."

by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:23 @ CK08

I hate to speculate about motives, but I don't think it's total speculation to say ND felt it couldn't sell the luxury boxes/videoboards project without the academic/social additions.


exactly what I stated below - and mayube why it

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:37 @ Kevin
edited by Grantland, Friday, January 31, 2014, 09:42

is difficult to argue why I do not like the feel of luxury boxes.

The point is also well taken that most everyone who has access to tickets into that stadium through the school (i.e. they are bought because you are an alum) is, what, probably top 1 to 5% of the world's richest people and what 10-15% of America.

To me, that makes it a whole lot more difficult to make the argument against luxury boxes.


That's probably true

by CK08, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:26 @ Kevin

But do we think that the other improvements are being done JUST because someone wanted luxury boxes?

Or do we think they were actually needed and the University did some cost analysis and realized building all of them separately, plus luxury boxes would cost (pulling number out of thin air here) $700 million? So putting them together would be cheaper?

I don't think it's possible or useful for us to try to ascribe motive here. This project has positives and negatives on its face.


If we're going down that road

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Friday, January 31, 2014, 07:41 @ Mike (bart)

why does Notre Dame have a football team, period?


Universities have football for 1 reason: Advertising.

by PAK, Friday, January 31, 2014, 08:35 @ Jim (fisherj08)

The University of Notre Dame happens to be the first and most famous example of the positive impact that football can have on the rest of the University. Without Knute Rockne and Notre Dame football, Notre Dame would be Butler. Albion. Alma. Hillsdale. Our ceiling is probably Miami (OH). Just like any of dozens of otherwise unremarkable private & religious liberal arts colleges in the Midwest.

Instead Notre Dame is a University that goes toe to toe with the very best universities in the world to compete for the very best students in the world, and teaches/mentors them according with Catholic teachings.

We do all this while our football program actually makes money that gets rolled back into the school every year.


This is why Jay wants us to keep diaries on the board

by Mike (bart), Friday, January 31, 2014, 07:52 @ Jim (fisherj08)

The purpose of the football team originally was obvious: it was a chance for an ambitious but unknown Catholic school to demonstrate the ability to go toe-to-toe with pre-eminent national institutions. Basically a way to say: you fuckos think all us dirty Catholics are the scum of America, well name your game and we will go toe-to-toe with you, any day of the week. I think everyone can agree that as a grounds for assimilation and self-respect, ND football was a net plus for the Catholic Americans of the 20th century, especially the ones in the early part of the century who likely felt like outsiders in an adopted homeland.

Now, the rationale is obviously more squishy. I think the most compelling arguments orbit around the idea that ND wants to show that exceptionally athletically talented young men are not simply disposable rent-a-players; that someone who is incredible in one area can grow to be exceptional in many others as well. Less floridly, there is still the idea that ND football binds together a community that endeavors to put a good mark on the world in its own way -- ND service projects, subway alums, etc. Mostly, it's probably just about money. I don't think that's a reason to simply turn it up to 11 on the courting of wealth, though. Football is still the most powerful arrow in our quiver, and I think we have an obligation to constantly re-examine how we use it.


Very well put.

by Kevin @, Friday, January 31, 2014, 07:36 @ Mike (bart)

Nice job, as usual.


I can see both sides of the argument.

by Grantland @, y'allywood, Friday, January 31, 2014, 03:11 @ Samari

We are in a society that favors the wealthy. So ND has to keep up, though we have never had a lot of problem doing that.

But at what point are we just doing that, i.e., just keeping up. And for what reasons? So Jenkins can glad hand with the Pope? So the ND grad with the most $$$$ can show off "His Building" or "His University"? That is the part that does not seem so Catholic to me, if true.

And they do seem to be truly fucking up the stadium. Why do the academic buildings need to be in the stadium? Some version of NDRoman's plans bring the stadium back to what it used to look like. More in line with Rock's House - at least as viewed from the outside. That said, Rock would probably be in favor of this expansion and the boxes.

Seems like an excuse almost to me - to be able to add the luxury boxes that the wealthy have been begging for so they can take their buddies to the games in a manner their buddies are used to.

In turn more $$$$$$.


A lot of this spending is going towards addressing academics

by Jim (fisherj08) @, A Samoan kid's laptop, Thursday, January 30, 2014, 20:37 @ JD in Portland

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