ON-Lion Letter
Last Winter, Marquette University in Milwaukee announced that it would move to terminate John McAdams, an associate professor of political science, after he publicly rebuked graduate-student instructor Cheryl Abbate for refusing to let a student raise the issue of gay marriage as part of a broader philosophical discussion in class.  As required by the University's Faculty Statutes, a hearing was held before a seven-member Faculty Hearing Committee.  McAdams was represented during the four-day hearing by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) in Milwaukee.

In March, Marquette president Michael Lovell announced that it would follow the Committee's recommendation that McAdams be suspended.  The University also imposed a requirement that, within two weeks, McAdams admit his "guilt."  If he refuses to do so, he will not be reinstated.  Such a requirement of self-abasement and compelled speech was not recommended by the Faculty Hearing Committee.

WILL believes the steps taken by Marquette are inimical to academic freedom.

The Committee found that the University had improperly suspended McAdams in violation of his due-process rights under the Faculty Statutes and disagreed with the University's desire to terminate him.  It recommended that he be suspended for one to two semesters, with benefits, but without pay.

In its lengthy report, the Committee gave lip service to academic freedom, but made it subject to a multi-factor, after-the-fact balancing test that would leave Marquette faculty members with no real guidance or protection other than the sufferance of their colleagues. 

Milwaukee's Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation substantially supports WILL.
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