President Collins' Commentary on the Importance of Faith-Based Higher Education

Not True Dennis Prager. Only if you Send your Child to the WRONG College

By Dr. Tim Collins, President Walsh University

A Commentary in Response to Dennis Prager’s Daily Signal Article published May 21, 2024 entitled Universities are Morally and Intellectually Destructive

Recently Dennis Prager wrote a scathing commentary on American higher education offering, “If you send your child to college, you are playing Russian Roulette with his or her values.”

Although I agree with many of the points Prager makes and am deeply concerned with what I see on most campuses today, I take issue with his sweeping conclusion.

As a patriot, Catholic scholar, and now university president, who has studied and witnessed the impact that faith-based higher education has on students, I can confidently say his comment bears adjustment: if you send your child to the wrong college that could happen.

Alternatively, independent, faith-based higher education is a distinctive part of the landscape — in fact, these are the institutions that created the domain. It was not until the 20th century that the government became involved and shifted the focus toward utilitarian needs.

The Catholic Church fathered higher education in AD 1088 and for 936 years has remained committed to individual contributions to the greater good, relying on true and false for its guiding light rather than labels, such as conservative/liberal or left/right, in making education decisions.

It is a standard practice at my institution, Walsh University, for the Pledge of Allegiance and prayer to begin every event held on campus. We stand for the national anthem. Holy Mass and adoration are offered daily. Community service and strong foundational courses grounded in the Catholic Intellectual Tradition are mandated for every student to build moral character and instill a strong sense of values. We hold firm to principles.

Today, sadly, many institutions of higher learning are more concerned with preparing students for political correctness rather than understanding how faith and reason make us better human beings. Many pursue the “selectivity” approach that dominates today by rejecting students for admission; instead, institutions, like mine, are committed to providing a path toward upward mobility, financial independence, and global impact to students from every walk of life.

As we have seen since 10/7, the ugly realities of campus life across the nation have been on full display. While some institutions continue to take a so-called freedom of speech stance, we see the falsity of this as it implies the respectful exchange of ideas, welcoming diverse points of view, and the use of evidence and disputation to find the best path for all — none of which are actually happening at many of these institutions. In fact, the leadership of several of these institutions recently offered testimony to Congress, making claims about campus tolerance that defy reality and have been refuted, leaving us to wonder if these campus leaders are either misinformed or intentionally deceptive to the American people.

Prager goes on to suggest that young people attend college in large numbers after completing secondary education because these “are the years when people are easiest to influence.”


For 900+ years, higher education has poured the concrete footings for young people to prepare them for leadership in the workplace, in their families and communities, and for global impact throughout the decades of working and volunteer experiences that awaits them.

You see, our national tragedy is that many graduates of our education system for the past 50 years have ceased becoming, in general, skeptics — rather, at every level, from kindergarten through university, the emphasis is on building parrots of ideological viewpoints.

This is not “progress,” to which I think Mr. Prager would agree.

Our students are not victims of our society; rather, they are the beneficiaries of opportunities unlike anything the world has ever produced.

At its core, the American education enterprise has falsely concluded that each person decides their own truth — and that is contrary to thousands of years of direct evidence and the power of our own eyes to see how this false teaching is disrupting every aspect of American life today.

Independent, faith-based education helped build America … nurture America … sustain America … and will lead to Her resurgence unless the federal government succeeds in its current efforts to shutter every school that refuses to accept the falsehoods the government enforces.

Why play Russian Roulette by choosing the WRONG university/college? Fair question.

Investing in college is not only investing in one’s financial future, it’s investing in one’s life purpose, quality of life, moral character, and legacy.  Invest wisely.

Universities like mine will lead us out of the darkness — once again.