Friday, April 15, 2016

John McAdams Responds to Marquette's FAQ on 'Personnel Matter'

Marquette is in a deep hole and just keeps digging.

Really crazy. Really shameful.

From Marquette Today, "Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on personnel matter":

There has been a lot of misinformation on the internet and from groups outside our campus about a personnel situation involving Marquette and Associate Professor John McAdams. Marquette University has put together a Frequently Asked Questions page to share the facts and to make clear our position as a university. Dr. McAdams’ suspension with the university is continuing. Before returning to the faculty, he must provide an assurance that he will not continue behaviors that harm others within the Marquette community.

"Personnel matter."

I think "assault on academic freedom" would be better. "Failure to permit Catholic teaching on campus" and "assault on free speech" would also be more appropriate. "Personnel matter" is so vague. Why not at least name the professor in the title?

This question is a killer: "Did Dr. McAdams criticize a fellow instructor, or a student?"

The target of Dr. McAdams’ blog was a graduate student instructor. She remains a student first. The university has established channels in place for faculty members to express concerns. These standard channels of authority, which all university faculty members are expected to follow as a condition of employment as defined by the Faculty Handbook, include an associate dean, dean of the college or the provost.
I have a big problem with this apparent lack of accountability for graduate students serving as instructors.

They must be kidding. A "student first"?

No. No way. That doesn't fly.

When Cheryl Abbate taught that class, she most definitely was not filling the role of student.

Absolutely absurd.

Here's another: "Is this issue about freedom of speech or academic freedom?"

No, this issue is about the professor’s conduct toward a graduate student. Dr. McAdams has been blogging for more than a decade, publishing approximately 3,000 posts, and the university administration has never disciplined him. He has the right to talk about controversial topics on his blog, and to disagree with and debate Marquette-related positions freely. Where Dr. McAdams crossed the line is when he launched a personal attack against a student, subjecting her to threats and hateful messages. Dr. McAdams continues to use the student’s name on his blog, even recently identifying where she is currently studying, leading to more hostile and threatening messages.
All accountability can now be deemed a "personal attack."

In other words, it's impossible to hold an instructor such as Cheryl Abbate, previously employed by Marquette University, accountable.

Abbate, like other Marquette faculty, serve in a public capacity.

It's silly to suggest that McAdams was somehow crossing the line to name an instructor. Commenting on her treatment of a Marquette student is not wrong.

And McAdams is not responsible for any hostile or threatening messages Abbate received when her actions as a Marquette instructor were made known. He did not encourage any abusive behavior. Marquette should have a problem with the authors of the inappropriate messages, not McAdams.

McAdams does a great job analyzing Marquette's many evasive and inaccurate statements on the "personnel matter." His analysis can be found on his blog, Marquette Warrior.

That, of course, was the site of the original comment that exposed Marquette's disgrace back in 2014. It's fitting that McAdams continues to use his blog to enlighten and inform.

The piece can also be found on Right Wisconsin.

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