Marquette University is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It is a private, catholic university. It was ranked in 2016 as one of the “Best Colleges”. In fact, it’s ranked #86 nationally. It’s tuition and fees are around $37,000. It’s motto – “Be The Difference”.
You would think with a “motto” like that – the freedom of expression or free speech would be widely accepted, but it turns out that’s only true if you are a liberal professor or liberal student. If you are a conservative professor, like John McAdams, you could lose your job exercising your Constituttional rights – especially freedom of speech.
It all started at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin Catholic university in 2014 when a student recorded his encounter with his philosophy professor Cheryl Abbate regarding the issue of same-sex marriage. Abbate had told her class that the issue of “gay rights” was not up for debate, that “everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it.”
After class, the student discussed the issue with Abbate, but the professor eventually suggested to the student that he drop the course, adding that “some opinions are not appropriate, such as racist opinions, sexist opinions…You don’t have a right in this class to make homophobic comments.” She stated, “In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, will not be tolerated.”
The conservative university professor John McAdams wrote a post on his blog Marquette Warrior in 2014 exposing the student-professor encounter and criticizing Abbate for her intolerance. He concluded, “Like the rest of academia, Marquette is less and less a real university. And when gay marriage cannot be discussed, certainly not a Catholic university.”
When university administrators found out about McAdams’s critical blog post, it was recommended that he be fired. But their policy required that he given due process and a hearing before a committee. Breitbart reported:
It was announced this week that a “diverse” faculty committee recommended to the university president that McAdams be suspended without pay from April 1 through the fall of 2016 and that he lose his job unless he admits “guilt” and apologized “within the next two weeks.” Specifically, the demand is “Your acknowledgement that your November 9, 2014, blog post was reckless and incompatible with the mission and values of Marquette University and you express deep regret for the harm suffered by our former graduate student and instructor, Ms. Abbate.”
If I were McAdams, I would certainly be hiring a Constitutional lawyer and fighting for my Constitutional rights – like “Freedom of Speech”. Just because McAdam had a DIFFERENT opinion and expressed it on a blog – THAT should NOT be grounds for his dismissal. The Constitution allows us that right to “freedom of speech”. John McAdam was just exercising his 1st Amendment rights and expressing his opinion. I think Marquette University needs to change their motto. Afterall, wasn’t John McAdam exemplying the Marquette’s motto – “Be The Difference”? It seems that motto is only true if you agree with liberal professors.