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“I’m exiled:” Tenured MU associate professor John McAdams’ second semester classes cancelled

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Marquette University's second semester has begun, but associate professor of political science John McAdams isn't on campus. All of his classes have been cancelled, and the tenured associate professor remains on paid suspension as what university officials are calling an "in-depth review" of McAdams' actions continues. This, after McAdams wrote about an incident occurring in another class on his blog back in November.

"What`s going on is I`m exiled from Marquette -- not allowed on campus and I`m here at home working on my own projects and getting paid," McAdams said.

McAdams says he knew early on this issue wouldn't be resolved quickly.

It all started back in November when McAdams wrote about an incident occurring in another class -- saying a graduate student teaching the class didn't allow a discussion against same-sex marriage to occur.

Then, the controversial Westboro Baptist Church organized a protest on Marquette's campus, and countless letters, complaints and emails were sent to Marquette University and McAdams from folks across the country.

"At least 100 emails of support -- and a few, a small handful of nasty, unkind emails," McAdams said.

Marquette University officials will not speak directly about McAdams' suspension, but they have issued a statement regarding the ongoing investigation:

"The safety of our students and campus community is our top priority. The university has a policy in which it clearly states that it does not tolerate harassment and will not stand for faculty members subjecting students to any form of abuse, putting them in harm’s way. We take any situation where a student’s safety is compromised extremely seriously.

"We want to emphasize that all of our graduate student teaching assistants are students first. When concerns are raised that a line has been crossed, it is our responsibility to take action and conduct a review.

"It is important to note that under faculty conduct rules, a professor would not be subject to a review of this nature simply for voicing an opinion. The university has expectations of conduct, specifically as they relate to the faculty-student relationship. When concerns are raised that a line has been crossed, it is our responsibility to take action and conduct a review.

"The university is continuing its in-depth review and considering all appropriate responses."

Even after all that has happened, McAdams says he doesn't regret writing the blog post that started it all. He says he sympathizes with the 50 students who had to change their course schedules for the second semester at the last minute.

A blog called the "Daily Nous" reports Cheryl Abbate, the graduate student who was talked about in McAdams' blog post has since left Marquette University. FOX6 News is trying to reach out to Abbate for comment on this story.

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