By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
In the same week that the Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) issued a devastating report documenting more than 150 current and past connections between Catholic colleges and Planned Parenthood, Philadelphia’s La Salle University has announced that it is investigating a professor for hosting a business ethics forum in which three strippers gave lap dances to students.
According to a press release by CNS, their new report, “A Scandalous Relationship: Catholic Colleges and Planned Parenthood” details more than 150 current and past connections of Catholic colleges and universities to the national abortion provider. Based on a simple internet search of college websites, CNS found referrals to Planned Parenthood for “health services”, internships and fellowships with Planned Parenthood, hiring of past employees of Planned Parenthood and other ties to pro-abortion organizations. The problems were spread across dozens of institutions, including highly secularized universities such as Georgetown.
“What is publicized on the Internet often indicates more extensive concerns hidden from public view, so while the information contained this report is shocking and scandalous, it is only based on a rudimentary search of college websites and likely does not capture all ties to Planned Parenthood at Catholic colleges and universities,” CNS reports.
“If one considers—from a faithfully Catholic perspective—the fact that Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the United States and a leading contributor to what Pope John Paul II labeled a ‘culture of death,’ any relationship to Planned Parenthood or those who have worked for such an organization is simply unacceptable. In no way can the work of Planned Parenthood be considered compatible with the mission of Catholic higher education or the moral teachings of the Catholic Church.”
At the same time, the Philadelphia Daily News broke the news about a shocking new scandal that occurred at Philadelphia’s La Salle University on March 21. Jack Rappaport, an assistant professor of management at the university’s Plymouth Meeting campus, hosted a $150 per person symposium where three scantily clad strippers gave lap dances to willing students during the class. Students who attended the class were given credit in the College of Professional and Continuing Studies or extra credit in Rappaport’s business classes.
A blogger named Emily Apisa, the La Salle student who broke the story after speaking to two students who attended the event, said she was unsure what the symposium was supposed to be teaching and thought it could be about “the application of Platonic and Hegelian ethics to business.”
According to school spokesman, Joseph Donovan, the symposium came to an abrupt end when the Dean of the Business School, Paul Brazina, walked in and saw what was going on.
Donovan confirmed yesterday that the university has “launched a full-scale investigation” into the matter. He declined to say if Rappaport is still teaching at the school.
“Essentially, it’s an incident which, obviously, administrators felt the need to look into, and they asked the university attorneys to conduct a formal investigation,” Donovan said.
Rappaport has taught various business courses at La Salle since 1979 and also serves on the school’s ad hoc committee on academic integrity.
In his online university profile, Rappaport wrote: “I try to enrich my teaching by using real life applications such as the use of the horse race betting market in the teaching of statistics.”
On the website RateMyProfessors.com, on student wrote that Rappaport was an “extremely strange man. Loves gambling, horse racing and strip joints. Talks about all of the above all the time. Doesn’t like to teach. Smart man about stats. Easy A.”
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