Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Another Marquette Falsehood Before Wisconsin Supreme Court

We have already blogged about one falsehood that Marquette lawyer Ralph Weber told to the Wisconsin Supreme Court at our hearing last Thursday: the claim that Cheryl Abbate left Marquette because of the blow-back from our blog post detailing how she insulted and demeaned a student who wanted to express opposition to gay marriage in a class discussion.

In reality, she had wanted to leave Marquette and enter the philosophy graduate program at the University of Colorado the year before. Further, she was unhappy with Marquette’s graduate program.

Judge Michael Gableman thoroughly humiliated Weber on this point.

Was Abbate Disciplined?

Less noticed was a part of the hearing when Gableman asked whether Abbate had violated Marquette’s supposed “Guiding Values,” which Marquette claimed we had transgressed.

Weber admitted that “she could have handled that exchange better, a more experienced teacher would have deescalated the situation . . .” and further that “She was counseled and explained that the way she handled that conversation with the undergraduate . . . [Gableman interrupts, and then] yes, she was counseled.”

This is flatly untrue. As Rick Esenberg has explained (using information gained during “discovery” in our lawsuit):
The student complained to Dr. Susanne Foster in the College of Arts & Sciences, and was sent to the Philosophy Department where he spoke with then-chair Dr. Nancy Snow and Dr. Sebastian Luft. Neither Dr. Snow nor Dr. Luft took any action on behalf of the student. In fact, Dr. Snow referred to him as an “insolent little twerp” in a communication with the College of Arts & Sciences. What Dr. Snow did do was communicate immediately with Ms. Abbate to tell her, in essence, that they had her back. Dr. Snow reported to Ms. Abbate that she told the student that he “needed to change his attitude” and that she would be “monitoring” the situation. Dr. Snow told Ms. Abbate to let her know if the student did anything that Ms. Abbate found objectionable. Ms. Abbate thanked Dr. Snow and said that hopefully the student learned that “oppressive discourse is not acceptable.”
Abbate was, in other words, not some green, inexperienced instructor who needed some tips on how to deescalate a confrontation. She was a politically correct leftist whose suppression of politically incorrect ideas reflected the views of her faculty mentors, and of the leadership of the Marquette Philosophy Department.

See the Entire Hearing

You can see the entire hearing at the website of Wisconsin Eye.

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Blogger Dane Grey said...

I have well over 17 years of college teaching to my credit. I will not cry crocodile tears for Mr. McAdams. He had no business interfering in another instructor's course and classroom management. The graduate student was following the Philosophy Department's guidelines for this ethics course. There was no free for all course discussion for the undergraduate to vent his game on gay marriage. Put simply, the undergraduate was out of bounds with his attempt at intersecting his gay marriage views.

Hence, Mr. MaDame is now paying the piper for overstepping his place.

8:15 PM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

@Dane Gray: it was not classroom management. It was an instructor who was a bigot. And a bigot who claimed the Catholic position on marriage was "homophobic" and "offensive."

"Classroom management" would be saying "I didn't think it a good use of class time."

I very much doubt you would mind if I had posted about a white instructor who said something racist to a student.

Or a male instructor who sexually harassed a female student.

7:12 PM  

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