Quantcast
Connect with us

Marquette U moves to fire prof who blogged about teaching assistant stifling gay marriage debate

Published

on

Marquette University announced that it has initiated proceedings to revoke the tenure of and fire a conservative professor for a blog post he wrote about a graduate teaching assistant, Inside Higher Ed‘s Scott Jaschik reports.

On Novermber 9, 1014, Professor John McAdams composed a post in which he detailed a conversation a conservative student had with teaching assistant Cheryl Abbate in a “Theory of Ethics” course. During the conversation, Abbate attempted to explain to the student — whose name McAdams did not publish because protecting anonymous sources “is Journalism 1010” — that certain topics needed to be addressed in a manner that would not offend other students.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Abbate, the topic the student attempted to broach — gay marriage — was tangential to the class’s discussion on philosopher John Rawl’s equal liberty principle, but McAdams contended that she was “using a tactic typical among liberals,” in which dissenting opinions “are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed ‘offensive’ and need to be shut up.”

Dean Richard C. Holz — in the letter he sent to McAdams informing him of the proceedings against him — wrote that as a result of having her name attached to McAdams’ post, Abbate “received a series of hate-filled and despicable e-mails, including one suggesting that she had committed ‘treason and sedition’ and as a result faced penalties such as ‘drawing, hanging, beheading, and quartering.”

“Another note, delivered to her campus mailbox, told the student, ‘You must undo the terrible wrong committed when you were born. Your mother failed to make the right choice. You must abort yourself for the glory of inclusiveness and tolerance.’ Accordingly, and understandably, the student feared for her personal safety, and we posted a Public Safety Officer outside her classroom,” Holz wrote.

“In addition, as a result of your conduct and its consequences, Ms. Cheryl Abbate now has withdrawn from our graduate program and moved to another university to continue her academic career.”

In that letter, the university insisted that firing would not violate the principals of academic freedom, because the actions being taken against McAdams related to repeated professional misconduct, not freedom of expression.

ADVERTISEMENT

“In order to endure, a scholar-teacher’s academic freedom must be grounded on competence and integrity, including accuracy ‘at all times,’ a respect for others’ opinions, and the exercise of appropriate restraint,” Holz argued.

“Without adherence to these standards, those such as yourself invested with tenure’s power can carelessly and arrogantly intimidate and silence the less-powerful and then raise the shields of academic freedom and free expression against all attempts to stop such abuse.”

Or, as one subhead in the letter stated, “Your Prior Similar Reckless and Irresponsible Acts, Together With Your Taking Pride from the Impacts of Your Current Conduct, Preclude the Lesser Sanctions of Reprimand or Suspension.”

ADVERTISEMENT

On the Academe Blog, John K. Wilson vehemently disagreed, writing that “[o]ne can conclude that McAdams is a terrible journalist, and a terrible person, and that changes nothing about the threat of academic freedom created by this dismissal, and the lack of any basis for it under Marquette’s policies.”

McAdams, for his part, has vowed that he “will indeed fight this. We have excellent legal counsel, and most certainly will not go quietly.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Watch a report on the proceedings against McAdams via WDJT below.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Expert explains the psychopathology that underlies Trump’s dictatorial behavior

Published

on

I’m not being hyperbolic or melodramatic when I say that democracy itself is on the line on November 3. Donald Trump has been on a mission to subvert our democracy and to push it toward an autocracy. No president has ever disavowed democracy like Trump. No president has ever wanted to change our democratic way of life like Trump.

Trump has shown little interest or intent in following our Constitution. He is not abiding by the emoluments clause. He breaks norms and rules at will. He does not recognize that the three branches of government are co-equal. He operates as if the executive branch has total power. Our democracy is not based on the executive branch having absolute power. It requires that the three branches have separate powers in a check-and-balances system. Trump impugns democracy because it limits his power and requires him to be held accountable.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Donald who?’ Presidential historian predicts GOP support for Trump will erode in the face of a ‘blue wave’

Published

on

MSNBC's Jon Meacham predicts that President Donald Trump won't be able to count on Republican support through a lengthy vote-counting process.

The historian and author told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that GOP support may wane if Democrats strengthen their House majority and take over the Senate from Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, even if the results of the presidential election aren't known until weeks later.

"There's a much better chance that Joe Biden will end up somewhat centering the Democratic Party than anybody is going to come along and center the Republican Party," Meacham said, "and I think that's an existential threat to a Republican Party that has sold its soul, the check bounced, and they've got to figure out what are they going to do to attempt to be something approaching majority party in this demographically changing country."

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Historian details how ‘anti-science’ views of white evangelicals in the South helped fuel the 2nd wave of COVID-19

Published

on

When the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of New York City residents in the spring, many far-right Republicans in Texas and the Deep South argued that they shouldn’t be forced to practice social distancing or wear protective face masks because of a Northeastern Corridor problem. They failed to realize that pandemics, from the Black Death in Medieval times to the Spanish flu in 1918/1919, can rapidly spread from one place to another. Historian Laura Ellyn Smith, in a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post, discusses the fact that COVID-19 has been hitting the South so hard recently — and argues that the “anti-science” views of far-right white Christian fundamentalists are partly to blame.

Continue Reading
 
 
You need honest news coverage. Help us deliver it. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image