Marquette Again on Dishonor Roll: Among 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech
Marquette University makes this year’s list for the same reason it made last year’s list: its ongoing campaign to strip the tenure of longtime professor John McAdams based on the writings on his personal blog. McAdams criticized a graduate student instructor for suppressing a student’s opinions against same-sex marriage during a class discussion. After the instructor received criticism from readers of McAdams’ blog, Marquette suspended McAdams without due process and without a hint of regard for his free speech or academic freedom rights.This is the second year Marquette has received this dishonor.
But that was only the beginning. In public statements the university repeatedly insinuated, without any evidence, that McAdams had violated Marquette’s harassment policy, labeled him a threat to safety, and effectively held him directly responsible for the comments and actions of his readers — a position wildly opposed to basic free speech principles.
Marquette announced it was seeking his termination last January, and McAdams is now in his third semester of being banned from teaching and being on campus as he appeals his case. Unless it wants to take up permanent residence in this feature, Marquette must resolve McAdams’ case and return him to the classroom without further delay.
Not only has the Huffington Post (and numerous other outlets) weighed in, Minding the Campus has awarded Marquette President Michael Lovell the “3rd Runner Up” position among the worse college presidents of 2015. Why only “3rd Runner Up?” Because there was a lot of competition in a year when left-wing students bullied faculty and administrators, and college presidents pandered mightily.
It is difficult to know exactly what Marquette administrators are thinking. The people most adamant that we should be fired are a few dozen leftist faculty, virtually all in the humanities and social sciences. Certainly not alumni. And not even mainstream media, who (in spite of their liberal politics) have by a lopsided margin favored free expression in our case and in the many similar cases across the nation.
One has to conclude that Marquette administrators are simply personally offended that any faculty member would have the temerity to criticize them, or bring bad publicity on the institution by outing misconduct at Marquette.