Marquette Warrior: Yes, Marquette Wants to Fire Warrior Blogger

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Yes, Marquette Wants to Fire Warrior Blogger

It was announced Thursday,  which was (doubtless intentionally) the eve of the Good Friday holiday, and in the middle of March Madness. Marquette has decided how to punish this blogger for a post that revealed how an instructor in the Philosophy Department bullied a student who wanted to express his opposition to gay marriage in class. He was told “you don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments,” and further that it would be “offensive” to any gay students in the class if any such opinion was expressed.

Marquette reacted by telling us we would be stripped of tenure and fired.

After more than a year of legal wrangling and delay, Marquette President Michael Lovell, this past Thursday, sent to the Marquette community the following announcement:
Following the faculty statutes, a Faculty Hearing Committee made up of seven of Professor McAdams’ peers conducted a hearing over a period of four days last September. The committee consisted of a diverse set of tenured faculty members from different academic disciplines. After months of deliberations, the committee issued a thorough 123-page report to my office in January regarding Professor McAdams’ actions. It is noteworthy to mention that the report provided a unanimous recommendation on a path forward regarding the issue under consideration.

Today, I want you to know that after significant personal deliberation, I have decided to formally implement the Faculty Hearing Committee’s unanimous recommendation. While I cannot provide specific details of the recommendation because it relates to a personnel matter, I can assure you that my decision has been guided by Marquette University’s values and is solely based on Professor McAdams’ actions, and not political or ideological views expressed in his blog.
The same day, he announced our punishment in a letter to us:
I have decided to accept your fellow faculty members’ recommendation to suspend you without pay. Your suspension without pay will begin April 1, 2016, and continue through the Fall 2016 semester.
This was bad enough, but what follows is actually worse:
In addition, your return to the faculty on January 17, 2017, for the Spring 2017 semester is conditioned upon you delivering a written statement to the President’s Office by April 4, 2016, the details of which are contained later in this letter.
What statement is demanded?
• Your acknowledgement and acceptance of the unanimous judgment of the peers who served on the Faculty Hearing Committee.
• Your affirmation and commitment that your future actions and behavior will adhere to the standards of higher education as defined in the Marquette University Faculty Handbook, Mission Statement and Guiding Values.
• Your acknowledgement that your November 9, 2014, blog post was reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University and you express deep regret for the harm suffered by our former graduate student and instructor, Ms. Abbate.
These demands are reminiscent of the Inquisition, in which victims who “confessed” they had been consorting with Satan and spreading heresy would be spared execution.

It is bizarre that Lovell can invoke Marquette’s “guiding values” to contravene the black letter guarantees of academic freedom embodied in University Statues.

Is free speech a “guiding value” of Marquette? Apparently not. Is protecting students who want to argue for Catholic teaching about marriage from bullying a “guiding value” of Marquette? Apparently, it’s not either. The Philosophy Department treated the student with hostility when he complained. Marquette had no problem with that. Not only was Abbate not even admonished that she had erred, it was conveyed to her that she had done nothing wrong. 


But Lovell is downright dishonest in implying that he’s merely implementing the recommendations of the Faculty Hearing Committee. Their report (which is confidential) mentioned nothing about demanding any apology. It only recommended we be suspended without pay for one or two semesters.

It is disappointing that a faculty committee would not side with our academic freedom. But given the amount of politically correct intolerance among faculty these days, the committee’s refusal to go along with our firing was the most that could be expected.

One member of the committee, for example, had signed a statement attacking us. This member refused to recuse himself or herself. Two other members of the committee were overtly hostile during committee hearings.

Then there is the “toady factor.” A lot of faculty are inclined to give a university administration what it wants, since administrators have all kinds of goodies to hand out.

Thus the committee’s “unanimous” report is rather a mess, admitting that we have a right to blog about fellow faculty, and to blog about students, but then recommending that we be suspended for doing so! It bears all the marks of a long series of incoherent compromises between some members who wanted us fired, and others who didn’t.

Marquette’s Agenda

The addition of a demand that we abase ourself and issue an apology and sign a loyalty oath to vaguely defined “guiding values” and to the University’s “mission” is obviously a ploy by Marquette to give the administration an excuse to fire us. They have calculated, correctly, that we will do no such thing.

But the ploy is absolutely transparent, and won’t mitigate the realization that Marquette is an intolerant, politically correct institution whose “Catholic mission” is nothing but a marketing gimmick.

And an institution whose administrators have badly miscalculated the costs of trying to silence a tenured faculty member who has caused them embarrassment by revealing misconduct at the institution.

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Blogger Tom in Seattle said...

I'm very sorry that you have to deal with such puerile behavior from feckless college administrators. The fact is that the left has moved from promoting free speech to censoring speech that they don't like, and that's not only thoroughly un-American but contrary to our Constitution. I applaud you for taking a stand here. Marquette will not learn from this incident unless and until they are brought to heel by a First Amendment lawsuit. I'm sure there are plenty of lawyers that would take your case on a pro bono basis for the principle alone, and I wish you success. What kind of students is Marquette producing, if they (and their professors) can't freely engage in a clash of ideas? Plato would be disgusted. God bless you. Believe me, there are many, many people who support your cause and find your treatment reprehensible.

2:45 PM  
Blogger Kirby Olson said...

Your defense of the student is admirable and even if Marquette wants to crush all dissent you are like the lone guy in Tianamen Square who stood in front of the line of tanks. "Here I stand, I can do no other," said another brave Catholic whovstood up to another supposedly Catholic regime some five hundred years ago. Paul did not waiver when he stood up to Nero. You will be held up as a hero, too.

4:09 AM  
Blogger Kirby Olson said...

Going back yet further one could see as an example made by the return of the corrupt Romans to destroy any kind of dissent. Golgotha remains a reminder of how the corrupt monsters such as Pilate defended their evil way of life.

4:15 AM  
Blogger Bob Beers said...

This really makes one wonder what the reaction would be to a discrimination lawsuit filed on your behalf.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

And this is why none of my 5 children, raised Catholic, attending Catholic grade school and high school, will ever attend Marquette. This stance will also be well communicated to my over two dozen nieces and nephews (and counting). Believe me, this is MU's loss, not ours.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

This is inane. You have such a one-sided and therefore perspective. Would you even entertain the possibility that, ideology aside, perhaps you should not have posted the graduate assistant's name, that perhaps what you perceived as a topic being "shut down" was merely a young inexperienced teacher trying to stay on track? We live in a bizarre culture of victimization, how about owning some responsibility for your actions? You are behaving like an ideologue. You are 70 years old, drop the persecution complex and grow up. Stuff like this happens when we lose civility, your righteous indignation is deplorable. You turned this into some ego boosting blog post and made it about your "right" to free speech. You are just being an ass.

11:42 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

perhaps what you perceived as a topic being "shut down" was merely a young inexperienced teacher trying to stay on track?

In the first place, it wasn't trying to "stay on track," since it was after class.

In the second place, she could have said "it would have gotten off track," but she didn't. She told the student that he could not make "homophobic" remarks, nor oppose gay marriage because it might "offend" any gay students in class.

As for being "young" and "inexperienced:" she was 29 years old, had served in the U.S. military, and had taught the class for two years.

Why are you defending an instructor who bullied a student?

Do you think people who oppose gay marriage deserve to be bullied?

8:14 PM  
Blogger Gene S said...

Mr. McAdams:

Have you heard of FIRE (Foundation for Individual Rights in Education)? (

FIRE defends academics in your situation - and wins!

Please contact them. And sue, sue, SUE!

9:00 PM  
Blogger Nemmerle said...

I support you and your actions.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Dr KillPatient said...

DO NOT apologize, DO NOT admit guilt!

Admission of guilt will only push the regressive liberals to further frenzy. They are like rabid dogs that will jump at your throat once they sense weakness or fear.

Everything written in your blog is protected by the First Amendment - they know it and that is why they are charging at you so belligerently. Only thing they need now is your FALSE admission of guilt to make it all go away, because they know well enough that when this goes to court they have NOTHING to show.

Remember, in Communist Russia neither true nor false admission of guilt did not set anyone free - the dissidents were either sent to gulags to be re-educated or put up against the wall to be shot.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Cam said...

Isn't the intolerant tolerance of the left an amazing thing to behold?

8:37 AM  
Blogger Austindissident said...

I'm sorry this has happened to you. Would a campaign to get the word out about your situation to the other Marquette alumni and financial supporters help? I know the most painful place to hit an institution of higher learning is in the pocketbook. Surely fellow Catholics that still adhere to the Churches teachings on marriage would be upset at what has been done to you. Withholding of financial support can be a very effective tool.

9:36 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

As a Catholic, it saddens me to see this happening at a fine Catholic institution. As a former vet, it angers me anytime our constitutional freedoms are violated. I am always befuddled when I am asked to be tolerant of all beliefs that is contrary to my Christian upbringing, but then these same people can't tolerate what I believe because it directly contradicts theirs.

I call all fellow Christians, hold to your convictions. Don't allow political correctness to force you from your views. Have courage. I call on all Christians at Marquette to peacefully protest and rally around religious freedom and free speech. Do not tolerate censorship. And support Professor McAdams. He is a beacon of truth.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Tom said...

To the parents of Marquette, I call on you to call Lovell's office and express your disdain. Further, tell them how disappointed you are of Marquette and support of free speech and religious freedom. And support of Professor McAdams.

9:49 AM  
Blogger Jack M. Honeycutt, Ph.D. said...

Does the law of any state enable a person with Gender Identity Delusional Disorder to compel a normal, sane person to play along with his/her gender delusion?

Does anyone have the right to force others to accede to a fiction?

As used in the term "Gender Identity," the "word "identity" means whatever one imagines, no matter how much it is at variance with physical and genetic facts.

Universities and corporations which engage in gender-imagination or gender-delusion FASCISM must be sued for everything they have to stop the totalitarianism they are teaching and inflicting on our kids.

10:04 AM  
Blogger cam said...

I also support that litigation may be your best recourse even though it may be expensive and soul-draining. Fortunately most legal precedents seem to line up on your side. If you go that route, publicity is your ally (and their enemy) and may garner support in forms including financial. And take good notes for the subsequent book you may write about the experience.

My experience in academia thankfully ended in the late 90's when the current insanity was taking root. My personal breaking point was getting called on the carpet by my chairman because I was (accurately) quoted telling students in class that "My job is to teach you how to think; anyone who tells you what to think is doing you a disservice". This statement was criticized as denigrating other faculty members, and my response (that my statement reflected our sole purpose as educators) was deemed uncooperative and uncollegial. I considered litigation but simply walked away instead.

Perhaps one day the pendulum will swing back to reason and intellect. Maybe market forces will begin to close some of the smaller centers of PC indoctrination, which can then be used to start new places of true higher education that are not driven by socially-driven policies and brainwashing. The demand for such will grow as our existing institutions continue down the path they're on, and the quality of students who would seek out such institutions would be very high. I, for one, would teach there for little or no salary.

Good luck to you!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Verne said...

I suppose it is amusing that Marquette, a "Catholic" university. Is running an inquisition trying to drive out anyone who dares to hold to a moral standard. A standard that must be the norm, if you are a practicing Catholic. So now we have those who hate Christianity, in charge of a Roman Catholic university.

Not sure how that happens but you would think they would need to stop calling themselves what they clearly are not. In no way is Marquette a Christian university.

The free exchange of ideas, that should be the norm for any institution of higher learning.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Ralph Gizzip said...

I want to thank you for your positioned stand against the university. You have also given me another example of a school I shall cross off my list of places to send my children for their college education.
I find it ludicrous a "Catholic" institution would deign to punish an educator for defending a student proclaiming one of the tenets of the faith.

10:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I applaud your fight. You have taken on quite a struggle, but as a 70 something tenured prof. you are really the only person financially capable of doing so. A younger prof. would cave instantly or not bring anything of the sort up for public consumption. Bravo to you. I have a son in a graduate program at a different university, the "prof" was on the syllabus to teach a course about cultural difference in therapy. Instead, she has turned it into a screed on race and class, where my son, as one of the few white man in the class, is being made to feel inadequate and guilty for his "white privilege." Imagine the nerve of changing the curriculum so drastically of an important and required class to meet your on neo-facist need to dump on the white male. Sickening.

Agains kudos to you, you are fighting a good fight!

11:41 AM  
Blogger Cartier McCloud said...

@Michael de la Soto:

"You turned this into some ego boosting blog post and made it about your "right" to free speech. You are just being an ass."

If this were my blog, I would not be so polite as the Professor. In fact, I could take you apart with my teeth alone, however, since this is not my place, I shall be a lady and restrain myself.

Your arrogant comment regarding Mr. McAdams' "right" to free speech, belies the fact that he has allowed YOUR "right" to free speech by posting your ignorant and failing comment. I can only assume that by your parenthetical use of the word RIGHTS indicates you only approve of those rights given by the Cultural Maxists, whose feet you worship at, in order to prevent anyone's "feelings" from hurt or offended, another CM trigger word that brings out the worst in pretentious thugs like you. I also see you haven't the guts to respond to Mr. McAdams gracious reply to you, you sniveling little coward. I dare you to answer me.

One day, in this repressive society you are so proud to be a part of, even you will get knocked off your high horse and I hope I will be there to add another boot to your sagging posterior.

11:42 AM  
Blogger cwgff said...

Absolutely agree

11:54 AM  
Blogger Woody Pfister said...

President Lovell is just acting ad maiorem Dei gloriam by endorsing the stifling of Roman Catholic teaching on marriage.

When will he require the college church hold the Rite of Marriage of people of the same sex?

11:59 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear MR McAdams,

As a Catholic (revert) who does not want the cafeteria line. I am appalled but not surprised by the actions of Marquette. The university system has long been a liberal breeding ground. The Catholic universities have caved to the world. They forget that while we must live in this world, we are not of this world.

Though it won't change what this school (I refuse to call it Catholic) has done to you, I will be mounting an email campaign to voice my disgust by their lack of supporting Catholic teaching.

God bless you with opportunities that appreciate you.


1:46 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is absolutely intolerable and disgusting behavior on the part of MU's administration. As the parent of a MU alumus, I will let the administration know that no further support in any way, shape or form will be coming from our family. MU is very willing to make innumerable calls asking for support. Well, they can stop calling this family immediately!
What a travesty of what higher education should be. I will tell everyone I know about this and also write letters to the editor of our papers regarding this. Students and faculty have their Constitutional rights to freedom of speech. They must not be bullied by anyone to give up those rights.
Thank you,sir, for taking this stand. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Stay strong! God bless you.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Theodore M. Seeber said...

Sorry you are going through this. It is a black eye not just for Marquette, but for the Jesuit Order, which many of us in the Western United States think have abandoned Christ for the ideological trendy sin-of-the-day.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Jim in New York said...

My Mother(God rest her soul) left me with a high regard for educators and kindness, your willingness to put your position at risk and stand up to a bully causes this veterans heart to be glad. My soul is gratified, and I know my mom would be proud. Sir,Thank you.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Professor McAdams,
In a case of art imitating life, after reading all this about the unbelievable situation you are facing, I heard that this Friday a movie is coming out that definitely speaks to what you are going through," God's Not Dead #2 ." I don't know if you saw the first movie, but it was powerful and extremely well done. After viewing the trailers for the second film, it also promises to be well worth the viewing. I hope you can see it and I think it will be a great encouragement to you. Stay strong! We are praying for you.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel bad for your professor McAdams. I am so sorry you have to go through this. It both upsets and frustrates me with this climate that you work in.

Thank you for doing what you do, and fighting the good fight.

It is such a sad state of affairs that there are not more professors like you in higher education in this day and age.

I would be proud and honored if any of my children were fortunate enough to be able to take a class from you in the future.

All the best.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The only people who defend instructors that bully students are themselves "asses." I hope Michael finds himself with a child in a college class facing the same scenario. Soon there won't be any faculty advisors around who care enough (or are willing to speak up) to defend students.

The instructor wasn't young and inexperienced, and the conversation was (*gasp*) tape recorded. There's nothing to question! It was an ethics class, and the undergrad student tried numerous other avenues of complaint, unsuccessfully, before approaching his faculty advisor.

I hope donations and enrollments drop, you win a huge lawsuit that will be based on breech of contract, and Lovell gets his walking papers.

Every other Marquette faculty member better shut down their blogs ASAP! Take your opinions off of social media and all other public domains. Free speech at Marquette is a thing of the past. Tenure is no longer a protection for anyone!

11:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I recall wanting to attend MU when I was younger in the early 1990's, because it was a Catholic institution. I am so glad I attended a state school instead. At least state schools don't pretend to be something they are not, there is no expectation it won't be littered with lefties teaching lefty values. Luckily being a business major, you avoid this the last part of your education because business professors aren't trying to save the world.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Ragamuffin said...

Let's be honest, this is not about PC ungoodthink, which I am completely sympathetic to. What this is about is the following from the report:

"You have been asked, advised, and warned on multiple prior occasions not to publicize students’ names in connection with your blog posts. In March 2008, you published the name of a student who worked in advertising for the Marquette Tribune after she had declined to run an advertisement highlighting alleged risks from the “morning after” pill. Only after that student contacted you to advise of the impacts upon her and to request you to cease and desist did you delete her name. In March 2011, you published blog posts regarding a student who was helping to organize a campus performance of The Vagina Monologues. Again, the harmful consequences of your unilateral naming of students were pointed out. You acknowledged at that time that publishing student names on the Internet was a matter of concern, but given your naming of Ms. Abbate that acknowledgment from 2011 appears to be without meaning or effect."

Had you posted this about a tenured professor's actions, it would have been different. Had you posted this exchange but left the graduate student's name out of it, it would have been reasonable. But you've been warned more than once about this and you keep doing it. You know how the readers of your blog will respond to things like this. You aren't ignorant.

She was wrong. She screwed up. But you threw her to the wolves knowing exactly how people who get outed by you get treated by a certain segment of your readership.

You need to apologize - not for pointing out her actions - but for publishing a student's name without her permission in connection with it.

10:51 AM  
Blogger John McAdams said...

Only after that student contacted you to advise of the impacts upon her and to request you to cease and desist did you delete her name.

That's simply untrue. There were no "impacts" on the student.

A faculty member in the Communications school contacted me, and told me that the student in question was not responsible for rejecting the ad. So I revised the post based on new information.

Until that point, the student paper had ignored my requests for information.

In March 2011, you published blog posts regarding a student who was helping to organize a campus performance of The Vagina Monologues. Again, the harmful consequences of your unilateral naming of students were pointed out.

Again, no harmful consequences.

She had listed herself as the "contact" for The Vagina Monologues on the national vday website, and she went ballistic when I tried to contact her.

The truth about both instances is found here:

12:27 PM  
Blogger dave_WI said...

I think you laid out your position very well, in a methodical and a concise manner; but I expressly liked your last sentence.

See you in court, Mike.

12:43 AM  

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