Monday, April 25, 2016

Marquette’s Feckless Response When Confronted By Concerned Alum

Marquette’s attempt to fire this blogger has gone over quite poorly with a fair number of alumni, and some (we don’t know how many, but have gotten copies of several communications) have written to express their disgust. And often, to tell the University not to ask for money again.

One such alumnus shared the letter (it is obviously a form letter) he got in return.
President Lovell has asked me to reply on his behalf to your recent letter regarding Professor McAdams. While we have complied with your request to remove your name from our mailing lists, I would like to provide a fuller accounting than what has been disseminated in media reports. First, please know that your alma mater has not abandoned its Catholic principles and in fact has been guided by them during this challenging situation.

The principle at stake here has always been behavior, not free speech. The topic of marriage may have initiated the situation but it had nothing to do with subsequent events or the substance of what happened to our student. I have enclosed a recent paper that clarifies Marquette’s position, as well as Dr. Lovell’s “A Call for Decency” message. Online at http://today.marquette.edu/2016/04/faq/, you will find additional facts and endorsements and a link to an article from U.S. Catholic, one of the country’s most respected Catholic magazines. I think you will find this article compelling as it lays out facts and a viewpoint that have not been carried by most media outlets reporting on this story.

Let me reinforce, [redacted], that our Catholic, Jesuit identity is at the heart of all we do, our students are our central concern, and our guiding values and mission will not be compromised by political correctness. Marquette’s position is that without respect and decency, we cannot have robust discourse and intellectual inquiry — in short, we cannot be a great university. I hope you get a sense of this in the enclosed articles. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional concerns.

Sincerely,

Michael VanDerhoef, Jour ‘84
Vice President, University Advancement
The dishonesty here would be comical, did this letter not come from a once-decent university that was really Catholic and really provided a Jesuit education.

Let’s take it piece at a time (Marquette’s statements in sans-serif type):
The principle at stake here has always been behavior, not free speech.
But our “behavior” was a blog post. If a blog post isn’t speech, what is it? If speech that Marquette doesn’t like somehow becomes “behavior,” then academic freedom means nothing.
Dr. Lovell’s “A Call for Decency” message
Somehow “decency” did not involve decent treatment of an undergraduate who was demeaned and bullied by a graduate Philosophy instructor. The student was greeted with hostility by Marquette officials when he complained of his treatment, and the instructor (Cheryl Abbate) was supported in her intolerant attitudes.

Why the hostility? Quite simply, Marquette officials apparently agreed with Abbate that opposition to gay marriage should not be allowed to be expressed at Marquette.
a link to an article from U.S. Catholic, one of the country’s most respected Catholic magazines
The liberal U.S. Catholic is in fact the only Catholic publication that has supported Marquette in this. As noted by the Louis Joliet Society:
A hastily assembled blog post on the website of a magazine called “U.S. Catholic” is not likely to persuade skeptics that there is anything “Catholic” in Marquette’s decision- making in this case, particularly given the reams of analysis and commentary to the contrary, much of it from weighty Catholic/Christian publications as well. (For starters, see here, here, here, here, here and here.)
And then:
our guiding values and mission will not be compromised by political correctness
Again, the Louis Joliet Society has a list of the things that Marquette has done that can only be characterized as politically correct. Among those they list:
While most of the political correctness on campus seems to revolve around sex and gender issues, we have things such as a mural honoring one of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Terrorists. Since she is a black woman, apparently it doesn’t matter too much that she’s a murderer. Then we have Marquette’s support for an extreme anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian position.
Marquette’s position is that without respect and decency, we cannot have robust discourse and intellectual inquiry — in short, we cannot be a great university.
Apparently, we can be a great university without freedom of expression. At least, when that free expression discomforts the administration and intolerant leftist members of the faculty.

But of course, nothing about our blog post was uncivil — that is unless any criticism of the politically correct intolerant left is automatically uncivil.

That, however, seems to be what the Marquette administration believes.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments:

Blogger James Pawlak said...

MU's mal-administrators are also opposed to thinking by receipt of differing views.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Jg. for FatScribe said...

Stay strong, professor. You're in the Kafkaesque world but good now. I'm sending my well wishes, prayers (James 5:16 -- as much as they "availeth"), and whatever tweets and posts I can via the ole social medium du jour. Be well, brother. - Jg.

6:18 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home