Dec. 5, 2018

Dec. 5, 2018

Creighton University President, the Rev. Daniel Hendrickson, SJ

I have an update to share with you today following the recent release of information regarding sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Omaha. In addition, I am pleased to share two announcements related to leadership of the Jesuit community at Creighton and our reaffirmation as a Jesuit, Catholic university.

In the past few days, it came to our attention that two non-Jesuits on the list released by the Omaha Archdiocese had roles at Creighton. Al Salanitro was a part-time instructor in the College of Arts and Sciences from 2003-2011. Mr. Salanitro was removed from service by the archdiocese in 2012 and laicized in 2013.

In addition, Thomas Glennon helped train our students for volunteer work on the border through this fall due to his many years of missionary work in Mexico and Latin America. He was laicized by the diocese this past summer, and his reported sexual abuse allegations are from the 1980s.

We are not aware of any allegations relating to either individual during the time they worked at Creighton. 

Individuals with concerns of misconduct may contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion (campus resource) at 402-280-3189 or the Archdiocese of Omaha at 402-558-3100 for assistance in reporting. Additionally, individuals may directly contact the appropriate law enforcement or child protection agency to report misconduct or abuse.   
 
Creighton University offers confidential support to faculty, staff, and students who have experienced abuse or who need support in helping a loved one who has experienced abuse.

In light of the report from the archbishop, as well as a report that will be released from the provincial of the Midwest Jesuits on Dec. 17, I am establishing a small and representational presidential task force on issues related to Catholic clerical sexual abuse. The focused objective is to discern programming options to occur in 2019 for our campus community, including an openness of such programs to the Omaha community. 

Before deciding on programs, I also want to provide listening sessions, and envision the possibility of a Creighton-led panel discussion, followed later by a keynote speaker.
  
The dates for the listening sessions are as follows:

Students:

  • Thursday, Jan. 24, 6:15-7:15 p.m. in Harper Center 3028
  • Monday, Jan. 28, 12:30-1:30 p.m. in Skutt Student Center West Ballroom

Faculty/Staff:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 29, 4-5 p.m. in Harper Center 3028
  • Wednesday, Jan. 30, noon-1 p.m. in Skutt Student Center West Ballroom
     

The following faculty and staff have accepted my invitation to serve on the task force:

  • Eileen Burke-Sullivan, STD, vice provost for Mission and Ministry (chair)
  • Janel Allen, associate vice president, Human Resources 
  • Julia Feder, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Theology
  • Mike O’Malley, senior director of development School/College, Graduate School and College of Arts and Sciences
  • Rev. Greg O’Meara, SJ, JD, LLM, rector Creighton University Jesuit Community and professor, School of Law
  • Rebecca Murray, PhD, associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Tanya Winegard, PhD, vice provost for Student Life
     

As the Rev. Greg O’Meara, SJ, is completing two full terms this summer as rector of the Creighton University Jesuit community, I am pleased to share with you today that the Rev. Nicholas Santos, SJ, PhD, a native of Pune, India, and a longtime colleague and friend, as well as a member of the Creighton Board of Trustees, will assume leadership of the University’s Jesuit community beginning this coming summer.

Fr. Santos joined the Society of Jesus in 1990 and was ordained in 2000. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in commerce with a specialization in financial accounting from the University of Pune, bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology from Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth in Pune, a master’s degree in theology from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University, a master’s degree in business administration, and an interdisciplinary PhD from Marquette University.  

Fr. Santos has been on the faculty of the business school at Marquette University for the past seven years, and he will come to Creighton as an associate professor of marketing in the Heider College of Business. His research interests include base of the pyramid markets, business ethics, business and society, Catholic social teaching, corporate social responsibility, social innovation and social entrepreneurship. In addition, he has published widely in a number of academic journals.

In addition, Fr. Santos is the president of the Colleagues in Jesuit Business Education, is a member of the Jesuit Committee on Investment Responsibility and serves on the policy board of the Society of Macromarketing.
 
I would like to thank Fr. O’Meara for his service to the Jesuit community at Creighton these past six years and wish him well as he begins a sabbatical at the beginning of the next academic year. 

I am also pleased to share that I recently received a letter from the Rev. Brian Paulson, SJ, provincial of the USA Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus, regarding the mission reaffirmation process the University participated in earlier this year. 

You may recall that the Association of Jesuit Colleges and University’s (AJCU) Peer Review Committee visited Creighton in February to discern with the campus community our identity as an institution of Jesuit, Catholic higher learning. The visitors returned its report, which was then forwarded to Fr. Paulson and Rev. Superior General Arturo Sosa, SJ, for their respective reviews.  

In its report, the visitation committee of five peer faculty and administrators of other AJCU member universities commended Creighton on many key points, including, but not limited to:

  • our University-wide Examen held in the spring of 2016 to inform the new strategic planning process;
  • the fact that our “Creighton 150: Lighting the Way” strategic plan is designed to strengthen the Jesuit and Catholic character of the mission of higher education;
  • the commitment of the University to continue to integrate the liberal arts in all of our education, including, and especially, the professional schools;
  • Creighton’s progress in hiring a vice provost of institutional diversity and inclusion and working on developing a more diverse faculty, student, staff, administration, and board of trustees;
  • the depth and breadth of our programs of formation in mission for faculty, staff, students, and administrators; and
  • the pride and enthusiasm that students, faculty, and staff demonstrated in our Catholic and Jesuit character and how deeply desirous all sectors of the University are in realizing and sustaining our Jesuit, Catholic mission by their candid statements of how we live out the mission and how we can continue to grow more fully into it.
     

In his response to the AJCU report, Fr. Sosa commented on the ways that Creighton priorities fall very much in line with three of his points at the International Association of Jesuit Universities in Spain last July. In his Bilbao address, Father General indicated three areas for engagement in the modern complex university.
 
First, that integral formation of the human person should take place in and out of the classroom, including spiritual and faith formation, going beyond professional training. Creighton’s emphasis on deepening the relationship between the humanities and other fields of study help accomplish this essential formation. This tradition of humanism, including the study of theology and philosophy, is central to the education offered by the Society of Jesus. 

The second area that Fr. Sosa emphasized is the need “to break through the geographic and social boundaries” within our universities. Creighton is doing this through the new campus in Phoenix, the collaboration with Jesuit Worldwide Learning, the online programs, the efforts to hire for mission and diversity, and the myriad other ways in which Creighton demonstrates its desire to be connected with local, national, and international communities and realities beyond its main campus in Omaha. Fr. Sosa was pleased to read of these initiatives and hopes that Creighton will continue to help the Society’s other universities network more effectively with these initiatives.
 
Third, at Bilbao, Fr. Sosa asked that our universities be apostolic, “that is, a way of announcing more effectively the Good News of the Gospel, of learning to recognize the presence of God in the world and the action of the Spirit in history in order to join with and contribute to human liberation.” Creighton’s priority to provide formation for faculty, staff, and trustees, “including more opportunities to engage the Spiritual Exercises,” and lead people into deeper relationship with Christ was noted. This is a way to develop the skills of discernment so needed to recognize the activities of the Spirit in our world.
 
Fr. Sosa’s comments regarding our assessment is a true testament to the good work performed everyday by you, our dedicated faculty and staff. Thank you for all you do to continue the work of the Society of Jesus and provide great care and guidance for our students and the University.

Sincerely,

Rev. Daniel S. Hendrickson, SJ