Tag Archives: Marquette University

Marquette University Violated Conservative Professor’s Academic Freedom

Court rules John McAdams to be reinstated immediately after a drawn-out suspension, court battle.

Editor’s Note: In 2014 Marquette University Political Science Professor John McAdams locked horns with an angry ‘social justice warrior’ graduate student instructor by calling the individual’s authoritarian classroom antics out on his personal blog. He has just prevailed in Wisconsin’s court system in overturning the university’s decision to discipline him. The original decision to suspend McAdams without pay was that of a university administrator “Kangaroo court” that the academic chose to fight in state court.

Given Dr. McAdams’ political stances this has likely been a lonely fight conducted with the aid of few-if-any colleagues or professional academic organizations. The professor is otherwise an ardent defender of the dubious “lone gunman theory” of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, long supported by the US intelligence community and corporate media, which if anything should make him a welcome component of the American university system.

Peter Jesserer Smith
National Catholic Register
(July 11, 2018)

MADISON, Wisconsin — Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has come down firmly on the side of political science professor John McAdams in his dispute against Marquette University, ending a nearly four-year absence from the Jesuit campus and an acrimonious battle over academic freedom and tenure rights. 

The justices ruled 4-2 in McAdams v. Marquette that Marquette violated McAdams’ academic freedom by suspending him indefinitely, without pay, over a blog he wrote about a graduate student-teacher’s alleged suppression of a student’s opinion against “gay marriage” in a classroom discussion. The court overturned an appellate court ruling and ordered McAdams reinstated immediately and awarded damages, including back pay.

The undisputed facts show that the university breached its contract with Dr. McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom,” concluded the decision written by Justice Daniel Kelly.

The ruling stated that Marquette violated McAdams’ academic freedom by suspending him for the Nov. 9, 2014, blog post he wrote about then-graduate student-teacher Cheryl Abbate. The court stated the blog was an “extramural comment” protected under the tenure contract.

McAdams had alleged on his personal blog, “Marquette Warrior,” that Abbate stifled a student’s attempt Oct. 28, 2014, to present a view opposing “gay marriage” in her philosophy class — a characterization of events Abbate later disputed.

The student secretly recorded his confrontation of Abbate after class and then gave the recording to McAdams, his academic adviser. When McAdams wrote about the account, he linked to Abbate’s blog, where her contact information was two page clicks away. The post went viral and reached a new audience, and Abbate found her inbox flooded with a torrent of largely male readers sending her violent and obscene messages.

By December 2014, Abbate had left Marquette, and McAdams was suspended from campus.

A seven-member faculty hearing committee selected by the academic senate investigated and ultimately recommended in January 2016 that McAdams be suspended with benefits minus pay for one to two semesters. It stopped short of recommending McAdams’ dismissal, citing the “complex” nature of the case. Marquette President Michael Lovell adopted the recommendation, but then added the requirement that McAdams admit fault and apologize to Abbate by April 4, 2016.

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