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Banned from campus: Marquette University associate professor “relieved of his teaching duties”

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A Marquette University associate professor has been "relieved from his teaching duties" and asked to stay off campus. This, after blogging about an incident between another instructor and student in November.

The man at the center of it all -- Professor John McAdams. He recently wrote in his Marquette Warrior blog that philosophy instruct Cheryl Abbate told a student he could not argue against gay marriage in her class. Her comments led to protests by Westboro Baptist Church at Marquette University.

"For the past ten years, I've been free to criticize Marquette and things that happen at Marquette, sometimes the Marquette facility," said McAdams.

But then Tuesday night, December 16th, McAdams received a letter from the dean.

"I got a letter saying I was under investigation, and that I was banned from campus," said McAdams.

McAdams says what he didn't get was an explanation from the university as to what he is actually accused of. Instead, the university released a statement. It reads as follows:

Given that professor John McAdams has shared his personnel information on his public blog, we are sharing the following information:

Last month, Marquette University began reviewing both a concern raised by a student and a concern raised by a graduate student teaching assistant. While this review continues, professor John McAdams has been relieved of his teaching duties and other faculty duties. His salary and benefits will continue during the course of the review.

Our president has been very clear, including in a recent campus-wide letter, about university expectations and Guiding Values to which all faculty and staff are required to adhere, and in which the dignity and worth of each member of our community is respected, especially students.

“This is a matter of official policy, but it is also a matter of our values,” President Michael R. Lovell said in his letter to the campus community. “Respect is at the heart of our commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching.”

Lovell noted that Marquette listens to any member of the campus community who expresses concerns alleging inappropriate behavior. As stated in our harassment policy, the university will not tolerate personal attacks or harassment of or by students, faculty and staff.

“To be clear, we will take action to address those concerns.” he said. “We deplore hatred and abuse directed at a member of our community in any format.”

The university has protocols in place for students who have concerns related to academic matters or any other issues. Faculty members who express concerns alleging harassment may also refer concerns through standard channels of authority – an associate dean, dean of the college or the provost.

McAdams isn't a stranger to being under his university's microscope. He says he was accused of sexual harassment several years ago after a statement he made in his class. But even then, McAdams says he was never asked to stop teaching or leave campus.

"I don't know what the point of that is. It's as though I was suspected of terrorist activity or something. what in the world is going on there I don't know," said McAdams.

McAdams tells FOX6 News he is not worried about losing his job which he has had for more than 35 years. But he says he does have a lawyer on standby just in case it comes to that.


  • hank

    If you parents think your sending your child to get a Catholic education at Marquette, think again. They are losing their religion with the new administration.

  • R

    How were his actions uncalled for? A philosophy teacher telling a student they shouldn’t think is utterly hypocritical. Do you or do you not go to college to open your mind to alternative avenues of thinking? The left is increasingly becoming thought police in this country where the only opinions allowed are the ones they agree with.

  • laf

    You should ask for a refund on your tuition…apparently, you haven’t been taught how to think.

    ‘Well, according to these new rules given in that letter this is the right course of action.’

    So, I suppose that if you had lived in Nazi Germany, you would have responded to a letter ordering the deportation of Jews the same way? Since the rules say so, it would be cool?

    Look up the term ‘useful idiot’.

  • opinin8d

    I’ve said it before, but it’s only Bullying if you don’t think like they want you to -otherwise you’re free to speak your mind. This is a horrible injustice and it’s even worse that people aren’t free to express their opinion (the student in class here) if it offends someone. And all because the ‘enlightened ones’ decide what is right and wrong. We need to stand up to this -at every level.

  • Fire Capers (@Fire_Capers)

    Actually, there was nothing libelous in his blog post whatsoever. He reported what the TA and student said and that student recorded the conversation. And she deserves to have her “career” ruined if she shuts off any debate that she finds “offensive.”

  • Alicia

    Sounds Like Marquette has take a huge step forward in Liberalism and I would venture is now more liberal than even UW Madison. This is a sad state and shows how mindless Marquette has become. For a “Christian” based School it sure has bought into the worldly values.

  • PH

    If don’t immediately agree with what liberals ‘say’ you are automatically deemed a racist and then censored. The new America. Nobody is allowed to have a different view then these degenerates.

  • bill

    our socitey is for some reason run by gays. no freedom of speach. say something about gays lose your job get kicked of face book ect most people thought the world do not like gays . gays are a small %. of population but want to control the world. i do not dislike gays as i know they were born that way. but i beilive in freedom of speech i do not like heavy hanedness . i feel it is time to find the gene that causes gayness and find a cure that will end this problem

  • Pensieve

    Hilarious … “Respect is at the heart of our commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching.”
    One would have thought truth would be what’s supposed to be at the heart of the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching. However, at Marquette, you cannot argue for the truth about homosexual marriage.

    St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, has been rolling in his grave at the moral dissolution of the Jesuits lo these many years.

  • Diana Freyberger

    What action, Marquette, are you taking against the teaching assistant who attacked and demonized a student for expressing the simple Catholic teaching that she ought to have been teaching herself?

  • Eve

    I am a Marquette grad, and I am ashamed of my university’s actions. Everyone has a right to speak about their own religious beliefs. In addition, I was under the impression that Marquette was a Catholic university. Apparently, that has changed. Catholics believe in Jesus. Jesus taught us to love others – that includes anyone who disagrees with our beliefs, but he also taught that the Bible is true, even the parts that conflict with our culture. I mourn the Marquette that used to stand up for the Bible, instead of standing up for popular culture.

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