T"president of the new Connecticut Catholic university to be staffed by laymen has said that the venture is a step in "revealing to the layman his role in the Church's educational function."
This appraisal of Sacred Heart University, Bridgeport. Conn.. was given in an interview by its president. William Conley. former educational assistant to the president of Marquette University Milwaukee.
Conley said the university, the only Catholic one staffed top-tobottom by laymen, was proposed by Bishop Curtis of Bridgeport as a relatively low-cost "commuter college" for Catholic students graduating from public high schools.
All subjects will be taught by laymen when the university opens in September. Two priests will serve as chaplains. The governing board will have both clergy and lay members with Bishop Curtis as chairman.
Although Conley admitted that the all-lay faculty will provide an answer to the shortage of clergy. he emphasized that Bishop Curtis "wants to start a lay college even if there were enough priests."
The problem of getting a faculty has not been difficult, Conley said. "There has been an unusual response on the part of laymen who are enthusiastic about the prospect of undertaking the educational mission of the Church.
"Applications from Catholic institutions presently existing and from a surprising number of public institutions all over the country have been received," the new president revealed.
Conley said the school will be able to meet competitive salaries.
on September 16, some 150 men and women students will share a $7 million building that presently houses Notre Dame high school.
Conley believes that the idea of the "commuter college" will grow because of increasing costs of education. Tuition at Sacred Heart will he $750 yearly. There are no facilities for residents and the university does not plan to seek them.