Engaging Mission: Applying the Catholic Social Tradition to Investing and Licensing

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Bill Purcell
Margarita Rose

Abstract

Faced with economic and demographic challenges, Catholic colleges and universities use endowment and licensing revenues to supplement tuition income in order to serve their missions of educating students of all socio-economic classes to promote the common good through their professional careers and service to the community. Licensees sometimes fail, however, to adhere to fundamental principles of the Catholic Social Tradition (CST), such as allowing workers to form labor associations to protect their human rights and dignity. Moreover, passive investment, even when operating with negative screens that reject corporations that violate key tenets of the Catholic faith, is an insufficient response to the mandate of Laudato Si’ to protect the environment and the most vulnerable. This article encourages Catholic colleges and universities to regularly, collaboratively, and transparently review the alignment of their primary educational and non-core activities with CST.

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