The suspended Marquette University political science professor who asserted “Marquette…has again shown itself to be timid, overly bureaucratic and lacking any commitment to either its Catholic mission or free expression,” has received a 16-page letter from the Dean of Marquette’s Klinger School of Arts and Sciences, Richard Holz.
In his letter, Dean Holz notes that “Marquette University is commencing the process to revoke your tenure and to dismiss you from the faculty.” Why? Holz continues:
…your conduct clearly and substantially fails to meet the standards of personal and professional excellence that generally characterizes University faculties. As a result, your value to this academic institution is substantially impaired.
The brouhaha began last fall when the professor, John McAdams, posted an article in his blog, the “Marquette Warrior,” voicing his concern about the way the concept of social justice is communicated and typically understood at Marquette. McAdams noted how opposition to hot-button issues—like abortion and same-sex marriage—is not a part of the University’s version of social justice. “On the contrary, any opposition to gay marriage is called ‘homophobia,’” McAdams wrote.
Holz’s letter details the results of an investigation into the events leading McAdams to post that article and what transpired in the aftermath of his posting that article. Holz contends that McAdams’ conduct was not only unprofessional but that he also misled the public about what happened in a dispute between the graduate instructor and an undergraduate student that McAdams described in his article. Worse yet, McAdams published the graduate instructor’s name.
In a new post, McAdams responds to each charge, claiming that he is being punished for his free speech. McAdams also maintains that the problem isn’t him—he is simply defending an undergraduate’s views against gay marriage that are consistent with Roman Catholic teachings—but with those who are tolerant only of what is not Roman Catholic teaching. McAdams closes by noting:
Campus bureaucrats hate controversy, since it makes trouble for them. Thus the most “valuable” faculty members are the ones who avoid controversy, and especially avoid criticizing administrators.
In real universities, administrators understand (or more likely grudgingly accept) that faculty will say controversial things, will criticize them and each other, and that people will complain about it. They understand that putting up with the complaints is part of the job, and assuaging those who complain the loudest is not the best policy.
That sort of university is becoming rarer and rarer. Based on Holz’ actions, Marquette is certainly not such a place.
With what McAdams calls “excellent legal counsel,” he vows to fight Holz. McAdams states that he “most certainly will not go quietly.”
To read Professor McAdams’ post announcing his suspension, click on the following link:
To read Dean Holz’s letter to Professor McAdams, click on the following link:
To read Professor McAdams’ original post, click on the following link:
To read Professor McAdams’ latest post, click on the following link:
To read The Motley Monk’s daily blog, Omnibus, click on the following link: