Thursday, December 18, 2014

John McAdams: Michael Lovell and Marquette Fire Back

Marquette University has really stepped in it, BANNING a tenured political science professor from campus for writing a blog post reporting on a troubling incident in a Marquette class.

Yes, it's that extreme.

Time for some major damage control by Marquette University:

Marquette University statement on personnel review
Given that professor John McAdams has shared his personnel information on his public blog, we are sharing the following information:

Last month, Marquette University began reviewing both a concern raised by a student and a concern raised by a graduate student teaching assistant. While this review continues, professor John McAdams has been relieved of his teaching duties and other faculty duties. His salary and benefits will continue during the course of the review.

Our president has been very clear, including in a recent campus-wide letter, about university expectations and Guiding Values to which all faculty and staff are required to adhere, and in which the dignity and worth of each member of our community is respected, especially students.

“This is a matter of official policy, but it is also a matter of our values,” President Michael R. Lovell said in his letter to the campus community. “Respect is at the heart of our commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching.”
If that's true, and "[r]espect is at the heart of [Marquette University's] commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching," then Cheryl Abbate should be under investigation and banned from campus.

If university expectations and guiding values demand that the "dignity and worth of each member of our community is respected, especially students," then Abbate is in violation of official policy.

"Our values" -- Oh, please!

Lovell is not proving to be a very good leader, and I say that with all due respect.

Lovell noted that Marquette listens to any member of the campus community who expresses concerns alleging inappropriate behavior. As stated in our harassment policy, the university will not tolerate personal attacks or harassment of or by students, faculty and staff.
Accurately reporting an incident in a classroom does not constitute a "personal attack or harassment."

What Lovell is actually calling for is in reality a lack of accountability by students, faculty, and staff. On his personal blog, McAdams acknowledged and discussed something that occurred. Being truthful and honest, in a respectful manner, is not inappropriate behavior. It's not harassment. It's not a personal attack. Analyzing events is part of accountability. Students, faculty, and staff should not be shielded from responsibility for their actions under the guise of a "harassment policy."

Furthermore, Lovell is being shamelessly selective in his application of his university's harassment policy.

Abbate harassed a student. Why is her harassment permitted?

“To be clear, we will take action to address those concerns.” he said. “We deplore hatred and abuse directed at a member of our community in any format.”

Has Lovell read the blog posts by McAdams?

Lovell certainly can't be suggesting that McAdams engaged in any sort of hateful or abusive speech. If Lovell is suggesting that, I'd like him to be specific and cite the instances of alleged hate and abuse.

I would hope Marquette would "deplore hatred and abuse directed at a member of our community in any format." That's a good thing. But, in this case, I don't see how Lovell's statement applies, unless he's referring to Abbate's abusive charge that her student was being homophobic for simply stating that gay marriage policy is a topic worthy of discussion.

The university has protocols in place for students who have concerns related to academic matters or any other issues. Faculty members who express concerns alleging harassment may also refer concerns through standard channels of authority – an associate dean, dean of the college or the provost.
Clearly, Lovell is comfortable silencing a student and tenured professor, and banning the teaching of the Catholic Church from being mentioned in a Marquette classroom.

I wonder. Does Lovell deplore the "hatred and abuse" being taught by the Catholic Church? Is Lovell's position that Catholic teaching will not be tolerated on campus?

Those are straightforward questions that deserve clear answers.

At this point, I strongly urge Marquette donors to withhold their support from the university.

Of course, if you think censorship on campus, stifling academic freedom, and assaulting Marquette's Catholic identity are appropriate, then get out that checkbook.



From WISN: Marquette University professor suspended for something written in blog

From FOX6 News: Banned from campus: Marquette University associate professor "relieved of his teaching duties"

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