Marquette in Academic Freedom Hall of Shame
Featured, of course, is Marquette, and its attempt to fire us for a blog post that the politically correct crowd did not like.
Marquette UniversityThe 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.
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.
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 SuppressionCampus 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.”