Vincent D. Rougeau, dean of Boston College Law School and a nationally respected expert in legal education and Catholic social thought, was recently announced as the 33rd president of Holy Cross. The College’s first lay and first Black president is set to take the helm on July 1.
Rougeau recently sat down with national, regional and local media to talk about his appointment, his short- and long-term plans for the College and his lifelong commitment to social justice issues.
According to Rougeau, one of his main priorities starting off will be guiding the school through the coronavirus pandemic and responding to both the challenges and opportunities it has created.
One of those opportunities involves the use of technology and working closely with faculty and students at every level to integrate technology into everyday curricula. “I think [during the pandemic] we’ve learned there are ways we can use technology and still have that deep personal experience between students and faculty,” Rougeau told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Rougeau also talked about his vision for Holy Cross in the next five years: “I would love to imagine Holy Cross certainly having increased its student diversity and faculty and staff diversity, broadening its geographic representation in terms of the students that we bring to the campus and being involved in some new and exciting programming with the city and with some of the other institutions in the city.”
In addition to increasing diversity within the student body and among faculty and staff, Rougeau said that he’s also considering investing in minority-led funds as a way of further narrowing racial and social inequities. “If we want to promote a certain social justice vision of how our assets are managed, let’s do that in a more comprehensive way,” Rougeau told GBH.
President-Elect Rougeau also spoke at length about his plans to incorporate Catholic social teaching at Holy Cross and how he wants the college to be a place of “vibrant conversation and intellectual debate.”
“Our country is in an exceedingly difficult place,” Rougeau told Today’s American Catholic. “We cannot dehumanize each other. If you empty the other of his/her humanity, you are losing your way. We need to include people with whom we disagree at the center of our conversation.”
In closing, Rougeau noted that he hopes to lead Holy Cross into a future that provides a seat at the table for all. “We need to be prepared for a multicultural future where everyone is not going to agree or hold the same faith beliefs. My job as an educator is to see that [students’] education gives them the tools they need to live in the future.”
For more information on Rougeau and the presidential search please visit the presidential transition website.
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