Blogging can get one in trouble, especially if the person publishing the blog is a professor of political science at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. The professor is/was John McAdams who made the grievous mistake of blogging about a graduate student teacher who refused to permit opinions on same-sex marriage to be made in her class. Professor McAdams felt this was something to be recognized given the reputation of Marquette as a bastion of academic freedom.
McAdams obviously thought wrong since he was suspended with pay and benefits in December 2014. The wheels of Marquette’s decision-making seem to move very slowly since the decision was finally made yesterday. McAdams will be accepted back if he apologizes for what he wrote. He has to make that apology within the next two weeks or he will be officially terminated. He says he will not apologize.
There is another side to this story:
Marquette University President Michael Lovell claims his decision implements the Faculty Hearing Committee’s unanimous recommendation but says he cannot provide specific details of that recommendation because it relates to a personnel matter. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty says that this committee actually “found that Marquette had improperly suspended Dr. McAdams in violation of his due process rights under the Faculty Statutes and disagreed with the University’s desire to terminate him.” Obviously, this is a ‘he said/they said’ situation. We may never be able to determine accurately where the truth actually lays unless there are further revelations from those in the know. If this action is any indication, there will be less rather than more light shined upon the inner-workings of Marquette University. However, there may be further legal proceedings that will reveal the inner workings and machinations.
So much for free speech and so much for academic freedom, at least at Marquette University. One has to wonder what would’ve been the outcome if a fully tenured professor made a politically acceptable statement of a liberal nature. I suspect that there are large contributors who are taking a second and even a third look at planned contributions given this decision.
Had this occurred in Boulder, CO with its decidedly liberal bent, it could be more easily understood and accepted. Time will tell how those who provide significant financial support to Marquette will come down. Time will tell how long President Lovell continues in his present position.