The New Dean: Publications and Priorities
As part of a mini-series of EagleiOnline columns dedicated to getting to know our new dean, this column focuses on a sampling of his various publications. Many of us only know Vincent Rougeau as the “Catholic Social Thought Guy,” but his publications give great insight into his way of thinking and his agenda. After delving into some of his work, it appears that Rougeau will be a strong leader of BC Law’s tight-knit, friendly community.
Rougeau defines his research interests as partially invested in “Law and religion–the role of moral, community, and religious values in law-making and public policy.” Many of his pieces appear to focus on bringing Catholic Social Thought into the politics of today, and using this Thought to reform how we deal with social issues. In his book, Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order, Rougeau focuses on the inherent human dignity in all of us, with an emphasis on community integration rather than individual gain. As a leader of this law school, this idea appears to translate well into the classroom and into the school as a whole- our school relies heavily on integration and the feeling of community we have with one another.
Several law review articles further Rougeau’s attention to these concepts, namely A Crisis of Caring: A Catholic Critique of American Welfare Reform, which places an emphasis on community integration over personal autonomy. Through integration and a focus on responsibility, society is strengthened and improved as a whole. Rougeau wrote this article in order to address poverty concerns in America, but it appears to be helpful when viewing the law school community as well. Too often is law school painted as a time to only focus on oneself, and to ignore the needs of others. Rougeau appears to believe in the strength of the community, and its ability to accomplish more than each individual could alone. Further, Rougeau’s article, Catholic Social Thought and Global Migration: Bridging the Paradox of Universal Human Rights and Territorial Self-Determination, emphasizes Catholic social teaching as a way to integrate a community and strengthen a commitment to human rights. He proposes that these social teachings may “transform strangers into neighbors.” Both of these articles, articulating a need to unite as a community in order to truly be effective and dignified, have a distinct place not only in the academic community, but in this particular law school.
The Dean search allowed our school to come together, reflecting on what we value in a leader and a representative. Through an examination of a selection of Rougeau’s publications, it appears that his emphasis on community and human dignity have found a welcome home here at BC Law, and we look forward to the future of our school under his leadership.