Thursday, February 18, 2016

Marquette: Worst Colleges For Free Speech

Marquette University has earned a place on the Worst Colleges for Free Speech list -- again.

From Greg Lukianoff, President and CEO, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education:

Perhaps the most striking trend of the last year was the number of professors, even tenured professors, who found their livelihoods under threat for what they said either on or off campus.

With an epic year behind us, we are proud to present the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education's (FIRE's) list of the worst schools for free speech in 2016. This is our fifth annual list, and it covers the time that has passed since we published our fourth list during this time last year.

...Marquette University makes this year's list for the same reason it made last year's list: its ongoing campaign to strip the tenure of longtime professor John McAdams based on the writings on his personal blog. McAdams criticized a graduate student instructor for suppressing a student's opinions against same-sex marriage during a class discussion. After the instructor received criticism from readers of McAdams' blog, Marquette suspended McAdams without due process and without a hint of regard for his free speech or academic freedom rights.

But that was only the beginning. In public statements the university repeatedly insinuated, without any evidence, that McAdams had violated Marquette's harassment policy, labeled him a threat to safety, and effectively held him directly responsible for the comments and actions of his readers -- a position wildly opposed to basic free speech principles.

Marquette announced it was seeking his termination last January, and McAdams is now in his third semester of being banned from teaching and being on campus as he appeals his case. Unless it wants to take up permanent residence in this feature, Marquette must resolve McAdams' case and return him to the classroom without further delay.
On Tuesday, we received another mailing from Marquette, soliciting a donation.

Not going to happen.

We stopped receiving the phone solicitations when I told the caller to put us on the do-not-call list.

It's unfortunate that Marquette has lost its way in terms of its Catholic identity and in terms of academic freedom, but it has.

As a result, we no longer offer financial support to the institution.

If more long-time supporters would do the same, perhaps Marquette would reconsider its choices, assaulting free speech and disowning Catholic teaching.

For three semesters, John McAdams has been banned from campus.

It's a disgrace.

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