Post Classifieds

Faculty concerned about commencement speaker

By Mary Marshall
On April 30, 2014

  • Mary Eberstadt.

A choice in the commencement program has sparked controversy and faculty mem­bers are speaking up.

Some have reached out to colleagues about protesting the chosen speaker, Mary Eberstadt.

An email was sent out to the different colleges through College of Arts and Sci­ences Chair Pro Tem Dr. Marianne Lloyd to determine if other faculty shared the same reservations about topics Eberstadt might discuss at the ceremony.

The email was signed by Dr. Roseanne Mirabella, Dr. Mary Balkan, Dr. Janine Buckner, Dr. Williamjames Hoffer, Dr. Ce­cilia Marzabadi and Dr. Judith Stark.

According to the chairwoman of the de­partment of political science and public affairs, Dr. Roseanne Mirabella, some fac­ulty members feel that beliefs expressed in articles by Eberstadt are not in alignment with the values of Seton Hall as a Catholic university.

One concern is that Eberstadt "takes stances against women who work," Mirabel­la said.

In an article by Eberstadt titled "The Child-Fat Problem," she "lays blame for obesity in children to their working moth­ers," Mirabella said. "She refers to working mothers as 'absent parents.'"

Mirabella said this is a concern because "more than 50 percent of the graduates on commencement day will be women, many of whom will at one point in their lives be working mothers."

In an article titled "The Family: Discover­ing the Obvious," Eberstadt discusses a con­cept she calls the "natural family." Mirabella said one concern is that this topic might be offensive to families at the ceremony be­cause "many of the parents in our audience are single parents who sacrificed so much to send their children to Seton Hall, or are sin­gle parents themselves who worked hard to get their degrees."

According to Mirabella, the Provost will attend a faculty senate meeting Friday to dis­cuss the Commencement Speaker.

Senior associate Provost Dr. Joan Guetti was unavailable for comment by press time.

Mary Marshall can be reached at

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