ICYMI: Wall Street Journal Highlights Marquette Professor’s Fight for Academic Freedom
In April of 2016 Professor McAdams enlisted the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty to sue Marquette University for breach of contract.
January 11, 2018 – Milwaukee, WI – On Monday, the Wall Street Journal editorial board highlighted Professor John McAdams’ fight for academic freedom at Marquette University. McAdams, a tenured political science professor, was suspended and banned from campus in the fall of 2014 for writing a blog post that was critical of a philosophy graduate instructor’s decision to not allow a debate in her classroom on same sex marriage.
After a hearing before a faculty committee, MU President Michael Lovell gave McAdams an ultimatum in order for him to return to campus. Unwilling to abide by the terms of an ultimatum that required him to admit a role in the harassing emails the graduate instructor received as a result of national attention, in April of 2016 Professor McAdams enlisted the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty to sue Marquette University for breach of contract. That contract guarantees academic freedom and First Amendment protections.
You can read more on the case here.
From the editorial:
“… Mr. McAdams has appealed and wants to go straight to the state Supreme Court. The Wisconsin Institute for Liberty and Law, which has taken his case, says the firing violates Mr. McAdams’s contract with Marquette, which promises freedom from threats of dismissal over constitutional rights such as free speech.
As a private institution, Marquette has the right to set its own employment standards and it needn’t abide by the First Amendment. But it is hard to square Mr. McAdams’s dismissal with any reasonable understanding of Marquette’s contract guaranteeing him academic freedom.
We wish these issues weren’t left for courts. But when institutions such as Marquette are unable to handle what should be the normal give and take of debate, they invite that intervention. How much better we’d all be if Marquette would acknowledge its mistake and give the professor his job back.”
Read the entire Wall Street Journal editorial here.
This past fall, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty appealed a circuit court decision directly to the Wisconsin Supreme Court because the case may have substantial ramifications for academic freedom and First Amendment protections for faculty at all of Wisconsin’s colleges and universities.
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