Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Marquette in Academic Freedom Hall of Shame

From the (liberal) Huffington Post, “Free Speech on Campus: The 10 Worst Offenders of 2014.”

Featured, of course, is Marquette, and its attempt to fire us for a blog post that the politically correct crowd did not like.
Marquette University

Marquette University’s chilling campaign to revoke the tenure of political science professor John McAdams due to writings on his private blog ensures its place on this year’s list. McAdams criticized a graduate instructor for what he viewed as her inappropriate suppression of certain viewpoints for in-class discussion (one student’s opposition to same-sex marriage in particular), and the instructor came in for heavy criticism. Marquette then suspended McAdams without due process and abruptly cancelled his classes for the next semester. It also publicly insinuated that McAdams violated its harassment policy and was a safety threat to the campus, despite a complete lack of proof for either charge. Marquette’s disregard of due process and its incredible denial that its campaign against McAdams’s tenure implicates free speech or academic freedom in any way should frighten anyone concerned about faculty rights. Indeed, if the university succeeds in removing McAdams, free speech and academic freedom will lose whatever meaning they had at Marquette.
The fact that a liberal website would post such an article underlines an important fact: among liberals, there is still a substantial number of old-style traditionalists who favor free speech and expression.

Unfortunately, they are becoming rarer, especially in universities, where the center of gravity increasingly shifts toward politically correct people who happily will shut up opinions of which the disapprove. Indeed, this whole business arose when one Philosophy instructor expressed the intention of doing just that.

Vocabulary of Suppression

Campus leftists have a whole verbal arsenal to use against speech they don’t like. They may call it “harassment.” Or “offensive.” Or “uncivil.” Or “hate speech.” Or “cyber bullying.” Or claim it creates a “hostile learning environment” or “hostile work environment.”

The simple message is “shut up.”

And the clear corollary is “we are going to punish you if you don’t shut up.”

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Blogger Kirby Olson said...

What happened to you reminds me of the gulags and Solzhenitsyn. Marquette needs glasnost.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Dad29 said...

call it “harassment.” Or “offensive.” Or “uncivil.” Or “hate speech.” Or “cyber bullying.” Or claim it creates a “hostile learning environment” or “hostile work environment.”

This technique has been around for a long, long, time. Remember Rembert Weakland calling some Catholics "divisive" b/c they didn't like sex criminals in the priesthood?

10:45 AM  
Blogger Kirby Olson said...

Rembert Weakland is the perfect instance of someone who opportunistically preferred "peace," to "liberty," and for all the wrong reasons. James Burnham, in The Suicide of the West, says that leftists always prefer peace to liberty, and he also says why that's wrong, but I forget how he makes his case. I think everyone should be entitled to speak their mind in the name of freedom of inquiry. The government should not be able to tell us what we can say or how we should think. The churches also should not be able to do this.

12:49 PM  
Blogger KeynesianPacker said...

Is your blog a private forum unrelated to your work as a Marquette academic, as that HuffPo article suggests, or is it an extension of your academic publishing (as you've suggested with your "slippery slope" argument)? You can't have it both ways. Your blogging either must be judged as part of your academic record or you cannnot claim "academic freedom" as a defense.

12:55 AM  
Blogger BuckeyeCat said...

OI was a graduate Philosophy student at Marquette, when it was no secret that Wembert Weakland was having a very non-divisive affair with a male Grad student in Theology. Very old, ancient news now. I wondered at the time how reliably Ex corde could be enforced, when the enforcer was in bed with Marquette, so to speak. Being a Catholic university does not mean that one or another set of ideological dogmas is imposed to the point of punitive censorship for students or faculty who dissent. The heresy hunters have always been with us. On most contemporary Catholic campuses, it happens to be a falling from liberal-"progressive" orthodoxy that instigates the new Inquisition. The torture now has to do with the bleeding away of one's academic reputation. The death imposed for those who fail to recant is the death of a successful, tenured academic career. Recant from the evil doctrine of the freely expressed exchange of ideas. Return to Holy Mother University, and recite the creed of lockstep diversity, inclusion that excludes all but fashionable and favored viewpoints, exercise tolerance towards all approved ideological advocacy "community service," and be sensitive towards those declared worthy of the categorical imperative of protection from the " offensive" behaviors defined on the fly. Classical liberal education: "liber," to free the mind from unexamined assumptions in the honest pursuit of truth. Marquette has extinguished the light of learning that draws students in Socratic dialectic toward truth. Who needs Socrates when university presidents and postmodern faculty can impose the answers they prefer at the moment?

4:16 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Your blogging either must be judged as part of your academic record or you cannnot claim "academic freedom" as a defense.


Professors have academic freedom both in "scholarly" publishing and in "extramural" statements.

Saying it's my "private" blog simply means it's my blog, and not an official Marquette blog. If Marquette put me in charge of the Marquette webpage, they could tell me what to write.

Is the Volokh Conspiracy scholarly or not? It's usually about the writer's area of expertise, but it's not a law journal.

Anything about politics is in my area of expertise, but it's not the same as publishing in the AJPS.

8:28 PM  
Blogger BuckeyeCat said...

Or, there's a false dilemma involved in your statement. A private blog is just that. The university, for reasons of its own expediency, has claimed Dr. McAdams private blog as falling under its own authority. McAdams rightly sees that even if that were the case, nonetheless academic freedom as touted in Marquette's public relations brochures, protects his viewpoints. Had an English professor's private blog commended Marquette's commitment to rid the universe of heterosexism and homophobia in its gallant dissent from the teaching Magisterium of its own alleged Catholic values, I wonder if the university would be frenetically condemning the professor as Catholicophobic and a danger to the delicate sensitivities of students. Of course, this would not, and has never happened since postmodern dogma has replaced Roman Catholic teaching. It is not simply that Dr McAdams expressed a view on his private blog. It's that he expressed the incorrect opinion, rudely flying in the face of the declared fashionable ideology. This is viewpoint suppression and freedom of expression. Marquette can continue its draconian measures to keep students and faculty on the administative plantation. For this reason, I dissuade my own students from transferring there. My kids would attend Thomas Aquinas College near us in Santa Paula, CA.

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is a terrifying remark from KeynesianPacker, to make a false assumption-based argument, seemingly constructed without recourse to document in order to chill speech.

Chilling speech will be made palatable by any means.

8:21 PM  
Blogger KeynesianPacker said...

Walter, what assumption did I make? Also, please help me out - I'm just a dumb liberal after all - and explain what "construed without recourse" means.

McAdams, you seem to concede that your blogging is not part of your academic publishing. In other instances you have said that your blogging is academic. Even within this one post you refer to your blogging as "extramural" while also implying that it is somehow academic because it relates to your knowledge of politics. That is the inconsistency I referred to.

10:16 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

McAdams, you seem to concede that your blogging is not part of your academic publishing. In other instances you have said that your blogging is academic.

It doesn't matter. Both are protected as matters of academic freedom, which Marquette has a contractual obligation to respect.

8:29 PM  
Blogger BuckeyeCat said...

Is writing "academic" only when technically published under the auspices of the university by which one is employed? Does one's academic expertise expire at the physical or virtual border of the employing institution?

9:05 PM  
Blogger KeynesianPacker said...

I guess we'll see. I am pulling for you.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Constructed without recourse to document,” means that you didn’t do your homework. You didn’t look for documentation or data to substantiate your claim. You didn’t look to see what it is that is the truth. And that error betrays your true motivation in disgusting and disgraceful fashion: find a pathway to suppression at all costs.
The vocab word of the day, I think is “recourse,” then, here’s the definition:
1. The act of seeking assistance or advice.  
2. (obsolete) A coursing back, or coursing again; renewed course; return; retreat; recurrence.
3. (obsolete) Access; admittance.
And a couple more from different sources so that we may well know.
an opportunity or choice to use or do something in order to deal with a problem or situation.
Full Definition of RECOURSE
a : a turning to someone or something for help or protection
b : a source of help or strength : resort

Rarely, but once in a great while, I encounter someone on The Warrior who tries to diagnose my partisan leanings. I’ve had people accuse me of being on the left; and you, today, I think, have tacitly accused me of being on the right. I’m actually someone who has made his way in the world under the belief that identification on the left-right spectrum is nonimportant. The world doesn’t need one more foot soldier for either the left or the right--one more face lost in the crowd.

As a young man I would say, if you don’t identify with either you reserve the right to criticize both. And, though the impressionability of a young man have at times made me lean one way and the other, that doctrine of nonimportance has ultimately prevailed.

For example, I disagree with McAdams about some things, recently this. But we find our agreement oftentimes in defense of free speech. In fact, if there was a free speech game of chicken between us, I'll bet that McAdams would blink first, before me.

And I just so happen to have been McAdams' student when he began the Warrior blog, so with few rivals, Dad29 and BadgerCatholic, I am the most avid reader of the Warrior.

Anyway that's just some background and a bit of an aside, and you know what there really isn’t enough of that here, especially with the Warrior’s emergence unto prominence in recent months a bit of history to put things in context isn’t a bad thing.
And certainly being the most avid reader of the Warrior, and having a token;--well, that’ll get you on a subway.

To finish let me return to the notion of my partisan diagnosis: If we are going to label me correctly let’s call me a “factional nonimportantist.”
You know I fancy myself a bit of a linguist as well, and I want to add one more definition while I have done so in this post and that's: querulous - Inclined to find fault.
We live in an age of hyper-acute querulousness. Which I have called the plaintiff culture. – I’ve got a complaint,” is everyone’s favorite mantra these days.
To paraphrase from my great favorite, Joseph-marie Perrin, “It allows someone the chance for a great kinship with the one who made Himself like a worm, and who did not complain.”
And I offer that because as I'm writing this I'm expecting a hyperquerulous response from you; calling me tangential, off-topic or condescending. I don't know, I'm just cringing right now, thinking that: your response is going to labor querulously and unsuccessfully.
It's like: your post here is so bad that I don't want to edit this, so that it flows flawlessly with scientific organization, just so that you might save some face, by recoursing to laborious hyperquerulousness to find a rebuttal criticism.
When speech suppressionists come here to the Warrior, it puts someone like me in the position of being a quarterback who only throws touchdown passes.
Your line of thinking on this post is so bad that it's making me wonder about the mercy rule - the slaughter rule -.

12:52 PM  
Blogger KeynesianPacker said...

I love writing lessons from people who know how to use punctuation marks as well as an average middle school student.

10:11 AM  

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