Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
Press Release

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.

By - Jan 11th, 2018 11:32 am
John McAdams

John McAdams

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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5 thoughts on “ICYMI: Wall Street Journal Highlights Marquette Professor’s Fight for Academic Freedom”

  1. Adam says:

    These unfortunate, persecuted rich white guys the WSJ keeps parading out. Always the victim they are.

  2. Huck L. Berry says:

    What does him being white have to do with his appeal? Nothing. You just can’t pass up an opportunity to virtual signal to all of your racist friends.

  3. Adam says:

    @Huck L Berry-

    I am pointing out that the WSJ makes a concerted effort to parade out examples of how the most privileged class of people, which is unarguably the wealthy white male, are actually a bunch of unfortunate victims, as the WSJ would have you believe.
    James O’Keefe, who was just trying to buy our politicial system, though the pesky laws at the time made it more challenging, also was paraded out as an unfortunate, persecuted soul as well. Poor rich people buying our political system.

  4. PMD says:

    I can’t believe anyone would object to a professor and man in his 60s bullying a young graduate student. It makes no sense that Marquette objected to that kind of behavior. These are the people we want grooming young minds. Snowflakes need to learn that the world isn’t nice and that’s all McAdams was trying to do.

  5. ERIC J. says:

    OR McAdams could just apologize. ( What would he lose by doing that ? )
    -A faculty member Bullying a student on a personal web site is not conduct becoming a faculty member.
    -Goodbye John .

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