Suspended Marquette prof RIPS into president for demanding apology in gay-marriage dispute

Suspended Marquette prof RIPS into president for demanding apology in gay-marriage dispute

APRIL 5, 2016

Prof. John McAdams has made it clear that he’s going to sue Marquette University for suspending and banishing him from campus on the pretext that he somehow threatened campus safety by defending a student who opposes gay marriage.

But first he’s going to publicly rip into the head of the Jesuit school for blatantly violating his due process as a tenured faculty member.

President Michael Lovell told McAdams in a letter last month he’d have to admit his “guilt” for blogging about a graduate student instructor’s silencing of a conservative undergrad, or otherwise would be fired, according to McAdams’ lawyer. Lovell’s decision is based on third-party hate mail the instructor, Cheryl Abbate, received following McAdams’ post that named her.

In a biting five-page letter to Lovell on Monday, McAdams accused Marquette of dragging out his public execution for more than a year – violating several of its own rules – while giving him “10 days over the Easter holiday to write a letter telling you what you want to hear”:

By conflating my criticism of the way Ms. Abbate, as an instructor, treated an undergraduate student with the personal attacks launched by “the lowest of the Internet,” you are asking me to be responsible for those attacks. … That you would attack one of your tenured professors in this way is a strong statement that you are the one who lacks commitment to the University values you accuse me of violating.

McAdams said Lovell ignored the findings of the Faculty Hearing Committee that Marquette violated faculty statutes, denied him due process and banished him from campus in response to external pressure, including the blogging of others:

I will not ask you to apologize for your misconduct. Again, there will be a different time and forum for that [i.e., litigation].

McAdams warned the university not to adopt “a reverse heckler’s veto” – the promise of punishment if something a faculty member writes leads others to launch vitriolic and threatening attacks on the subject of that writing.

If he had known Abbate would be subject to such attacks based on his post he might not have named her, McAdams said – but based on his years of blogging he had no reason to suspect that would happen:

[T]he Faculty Hearing Committee would make the ability of faculty to speak subject to an after the fact balancing test; the result of which will be indeterminate. This leaves faculty members with no clear guidance as to what they can say …

The measure of academic freedom and freedom of expression cannot be the sufferance of the majority of the faculty.

McAdams said the administration was guilty of hypocrisy for secretly recording and obtaining secret recordings of the conservative undergrad and McAdams himself, while blaming McAdams for the conservative student’s initial recording of his conversation with Abbate:

You seem to have a rather subjective view as to the appropriateness of recording conversations based on the utility of the recording to the University.

If you want a preview of what you’re likely to see in a McAdams lawsuit against Marquette, read the letter.

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2 comments on “Suspended Marquette prof RIPS into president for demanding apology in gay-marriage dispute

  1. Warrior Blogger on Breitbart Radio


    A particularly good interview, with some cogent questions about academia, done by Breitbart Radio.

    Professor John McAdams of Marquette University appeared on Breitbart News Daily Friday morning to discuss his defense of traditional marriage, and how politically-correct enforcers are threatening his position at the university.

    Sirius XM host Stephen K. Bannon pointed out that Marquette is a Jesuit university, and wondered how a position in defense of traditional marriage could make trouble for a professor at such an institution.

    “I didn’t actually even defend traditional marriage,” McAdams said. “Simply the right of a student to defend traditional marriage without being bullied and demeaned. That was the whole point about my blog post.” In that post, McAdams described the case of a student who was told to drop a class by an angry leftist professor, who exclaimed that defending marriage between men and women was intolerably “homophobic, racist, and sexist.”

    “As for so-called Catholic universities, first you have to understand that Jesuits are thin on the ground these days,” McAdams continued. “The president of Marquette’s not a Jesuit, the provost isn’t, the dean of arts and sciences isn’t… there are so few Jesuits that so-called Jesuit institutions pretty much aren’t run by Jesuits.”

    He added that the Jesuit order itself was no longer a “bastion of Catholic orthodoxy.” This left universities like Marquette to suffer at the whims of “whatever fads prevail in academia generally.”

    “For example, if it’s pandering to the gay lobby, they’ll pander to the gay lobby, and they’ve done so a lot,” said McAdams. “If it’s pandering to racial minorities – blacks, American Indians, Hispanics – they’ll do that, too. And, like all universities, there’s kind of a confluence of ideology and bureaucratic interest – that is to say, the administrators who run the university have an interest in hiring bureaucrats that work in their offices, so they’re always very happy to hire another assistant provost for things Hispanic, or associate provost to set up a bias reporting system, which Marquette has now.”

    The once-great institution of Marquette has been hit especially hard by political correctness, but McAdams warned there was a general trend of “nonsense in academia” sweeping through institutions of higher learning across the country, citing the example of Emory University students claiming they “felt so hurt and were so unsafe” because someone “put pro-Donald Trump messages on the sidewalk.”

    As for his own case, McAdams reported that Marquette University said they would suspend him without pay for the remainder of the calendar year. He would be allowed to return in January, “if I abase myself and apologize” for his blog post.

    He also said he would be required to “promise to adhere to Marquette’s guiding values and mission statement… which of course, in my view, I’ve done.”

    Unfortunately, McAdams noted the bureaucrats at Marquette seem to interpret their mission statement not as a high-minded commitment to academic inquiry and free expression, but simply as, “you don’t make trouble for the institution.”

    Professor McAdams declared he would not make the apology demanded by P.C. enforcers. “I’m not going to sign any ‘loyalty oath’ to Marquette’s mission – since I’m, in fact, probably a stronger proponent of Marquette’s claimed mission than the people running the university,” he chuckled. “But I’m against loyalty oaths. Interestingly, a lot of older liberals remember loyalty oaths in the 1950s, where professors were required to swear they were loyal to America and had no sympathy for Communism… liberals hated that. And now what you have is a liberal administration at Marquette demanding a loyalty oath from me.”

    He declared his determination to fight the university, cheerfully noting that his lawyers are working pro bono, so “Marquette can’t run me away by having me build up huge legal bills.”

    “I think it’s pretty clear, the odds are there’s going to be a huge lawsuit,” he predicted.

  2. That NONE of the university administrators are following proper Catholic procedures or teachings makes this case at Marquette beyond absurd and Kafkaesque. There may not even be a properly educated Catholic in a sufficient position of authority on that campus for any of these liberal clowns even to ask for an opinion on the proper Catholic judgment regarding this controversy. Keystone cops academia. That’s how absurd things have gotten from the Trojan Horse of the Land O’Lakes conference agenda.

    Write it up. It will make a good chapter on Catholic higher education after Land O’Lakes in a future book on American Catholic higher education. “Father Ted, call your office…”

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