Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Marquette Again on Dishonor Roll: Among 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech

From the (liberal) Huffington Post: In a year when a large number of colleges did things to stifle speech, Marquette made the top ten:
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.

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.
This is the second year Marquette has received this dishonor.

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.

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Blogger Dad29 said...

what Marquette administrators are thinking.

Your first mistake, Perfessor, is granting that they ARE "thinking."

7:07 PM  
Blogger jimspice said...

Whereas Oral Roberts and Liberty represent the acme of tolerance for opinion contrary to university standards.

12:32 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Actually, the most conservative universities are probably the most tolerant.

Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University, and nobody suggested disinviting him. Nobody even protested against him. Most students disagreed with him, but they listened politely and applauded at points.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Kirby Olson said...

Conservatives are tolerant of free speech, liberals are intolerant of free speech. Freedom of inquiry has been suspended on almost every major American campus.

11:31 AM  
Blogger jimspice said...

According to Liberty's Code of Conduct (, the university restricts dress, music, video games, and movies.

9:59 PM  
Blogger jimspice said...

And limits political affiliation too it seems:

10:01 PM  
Blogger jimspice said...

Aha! The group doing the rankings, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, or FIRE, does not rate the likes of Liberty, as explained in this article:

10:09 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Aha! The group doing the rankings, . . . FIRE, does not rate the likes of Liberty

Correct. As they explain, private institutions have the right to restrict speech, but only if they clearly state that they do so. Their speech codes get a "yellow light" rating from FIRE, meaning "before you apply, be sure you are OK with this."

Theoretically, a liberal college could say in their rules "we are banning all conservative speech" and FIRE would be alright with that.

But the liberal places claim to believe in free expression, and then shut people up.

So why are you trying to defend liberal institutions that lie about their commitment to free expression?

11:33 AM  

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