Opposition to priest as choice to lead French university

The appointment of Michel Deneken, a Roman Catholic priest and theology professor, to lead the University of Strasbourg has attracted controversy among some who argue that the choice violates the spirit, if not the letter, of French laws calling for separation of church and state, writes Elizabeth Redden for Inside Higher Ed.

According to France 24, the public university in eastern France announced the election of Deneken as its new president last Tuesday. In a vote by the university's Council of Directors, Deneken – the interim president since September – received 26 votes while his opponent received nine.

The France 24 article published prior to his election quoted both the SNESUP higher education union and the UNEF national students' union expressing concerns about the selection of a priest for Strasbourg's presidency, with the latter group saying, “The appointment of someone who owes allegiance to both the state and the Vatican will not be good for the image of the university.”
Full report on the Inside Higher Ed site