Marquette Warrior: Attempt to Fire Warrior Blogger / Response to Michael Lovell

Monday, April 04, 2016

Attempt to Fire Warrior Blogger / Response to Michael Lovell

It’s been going on for 16 months: the case where a blog post of ours revealed how a Marquette Philosophy instructor bullied a student telling him that expressing his opposition to gay marriage would be “homophobic” and would “offend” any gay classmates. Thus, he would not be allowed to speak.  Today we responded to the demands of Marquette President Michael Lovell, that we provide the following:
• 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.
Of course, all these demands were absurd.

Equally unreasonable was Lovell’s decision to suspend us until the end of the calendar year without pay.

Our response is described in a press release from the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, which is providing our legal representation.

For more information, contact:
Rick Esenberg, President & General Counsel | 414-727-7416


President Lovell’s public statements don’t line up with his actions

April 4, 2016 – Milwaukee, WI – Today, Professor John McAdams sent a response to Marquette President Michael Lovell’s demand that McAdams admit that his actions were reckless and incompatible with Marquette’s mission and values – or be fired. McAdams is refusing to compromise his principles by admitting something he believes to be wrong.

This all began when McAdams wrote a blog post critical of a graduate instructor at Marquette who told an undergraduate student that expressing opposition to gay marriage was homophobic and would not be tolerated in her class. After the instructor started receiving hate mail, Marquette summarily suspended McAdams and banned him from campus without following the required procedure.

The university then initiated formal proceedings to discipline McAdams. President Lovell has now stated that he is suspending McAdams without pay and will fire McAdams unless he signs a letter by April 4 acknowledging that his blog post was “reckless” and expressing “deep regret for the harm suffered” by Abbate. Despite his claims that he is merely imposing the faculty committee’s recommendation, the committee recommended only the suspension. President Lovell’s subsequent public statement claims that McAdams “inflicted” a “personal attack” on the graduate instructor, which is simply not true. McAdams’ blog post was critical, but neither rude nor incendiary. Lovell is trying to make McAdams vicariously responsible for the actions of others over whom he has no control. Despite his claims otherwise, that is the only ground Lovell is relying on to punish McAdams.

McAdams’ letter today rejects President Lovell’s demands. It states that McAdams believes his actions have always been consistent with Marquette’s values – in fact, he was protecting them by standing up for the undergraduate’s right to free academic discourse. It expresses regret that Abbate received such hateful emails, but denies that he was reckless or somehow responsible for others’ actions - academic freedom means nothing if a professor can be punished for the actions of third parties. It also highlights that the Faculty Hearing Committee concluded that Marquette violated the Faculty Statutes when it summarily suspended him and banned him from campus. Finally, the letter points out that Lovell’s demand that McAdams pen a mea culpa or be fired is itself a violation of the Faculty Statutes.

The full text of McAdams’ letter is available here.

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Blogger Kirby Olson said...

It's because of how the academy has gotten that the whole Trump movement is so monumental. People are tired of this phenomenon. It's not an isolated incident. This is daily reality inside of all the universities. It's just that almost everyone chooses to buckle, and then to truckle. It's easier.

9:34 PM  
Blogger CS said...

A beautifully worded letter of rebuttal, and a courageous defiance of the forces of liberal totalitarianism. Bravo.

Further comment here.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Kevin Barrett said...

Higher education is supposed to help us think critically and argue using logic and evidence – even for views that some may find offensive. If Marquette students and faculty are not allowed to argue against gay marriage (the mainstream and well-thought-out traditional Catholic position) what kind of education is going on there?

I was witch-hunted out of UW-Madison by ignorant conservatives under the spell of the neoconservatives (actually neo-Trotskyites) for arguing against the official interpretation of 9/11. Just as Steve Nass wants the University of Wisconsin to indoctrinate students into the absurd official myth that WTC-7 and the Twin Towers "just fell down" at near free-fall acceleration, through the path of most resistance, due to relatively minor office fires, the commissars at Marquette apparently want to declare traditional Catholicism heretical, and subject anyone who defends it to a new Inquisition.

I may not agree with all of John McAdams' views – his take on the JFK assassination is unfathomable to me – but he is obviously a competent scholar taking a brave stand for academic freedom and simple common sense.

9:08 AM  

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