Latest News

Higgins Labor Studies Program joins Center for Social Concerns

Author: Arts and Letters


The University of Notre Dame’s Higgins Labor Studies Program and Center for Social Concerns have entered into an official partnership, effective July 1.

The partnership will allow for new and creative growth of the Higgins Program in the area of labor studies at Notre Dame. It also will enhance the Center for Social Concerns’ existing scholarship by promoting research, education and outreach on questions that relate to economic justice and the rights of workers.

“This is an exciting moment for the Higgins Program and the center,” said Rev. William M. Lies, C.S.C., executive director of the Center for Social Concerns. “The Higgins Labor Studies Program’s deep partnerships with labor locally and nationally will enhance the center’s ability to cultivate community partnerships and foster inquiry into some of the most pressing economic issues facing workers today.”

“The work of the Higgins Program will be strengthened immeasurably by association with the service and community-based learning model so effectively implemented by the Center for Social Concerns,” added Martin Wolfson, the new director of the Higgins Program and an associate professor of economics and policy studies.

The Higgins Labor Studies Program was established In 1994 and is named for Monsignor George Higgins, former director of the Social Action Department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference (now the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference) and recipient of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal, the oldest and most prestigious honor given to American Catholics. Monsignor Higgins was a forceful advocate of working people and organized labor; in all his work he put into practice Catholic Social Teaching on the rights of workers, the dignity of work, and economic justice.

Contact: William Purcell, Center for Social Concerns, 574-631-9473,

Originally published by Paul Horn at on August 18, 2008.