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Marquette U. Suspends John McAdams, Orders Him Off-Campus


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Interesting that a student critique from a 2012 class stated "Dr. McAdams knows what he's talking about, but if you're not an auditory learner then beware: his lectures are simply him talking for 75 straight mins - no visuals at all." That doesn't sound like free speech to me.

I agree with an earlier comment from Larry Hancock about how difficult controlling students in the classroom can be. As an adjunct professor, I have had similar experiences with students and how they can make life very difficult for the instructor plus put university officials and administrators in a no-win middle-man position. Plus, there is likely a lot more to this story than is being printed in news accounts and blogs. I also suspect its not the first time for such a controversy.

It seems the real issue is not necessarily the topic of gay marriage, free speech at a Jesuit university, or the novice instructor's actions. Professor McAdams attacked a colleague on his Blog ... worse, it appears that other faculty members have come forward to voice their discomfort of coming into his cross-hairs. I think that is where he has crossed the line.

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Stripping a Professor of Tenure Over a Blog Post (link)

Professor John McAdams is being stripped of tenure by Marquette University for writing a blog post that administrators characterize as inaccurate and irresponsible.

Academics all over the United States ought to denounce the firing of the 69-year-old, a Harvard Ph.D. who taught courses on American politics and public policy. If tenure can be taken away based upon one controversial blog post, what protection does it offer? How many tenured professors will censor themselves from participating in public conversation to avoid a similar fate? Marquette has violated core academic values, regardless of what one thinks of McAdams' commentary or the shabby treatment of the graduate instructor he was criticizing (who deserves sympathy for the horrifying torrent of misogyny others directed at her).

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Stripping a Professor of Tenure Over a Blog Post (link)

Professor John McAdams is being stripped of tenure by Marquette University for writing a blog post that administrators characterize as inaccurate and irresponsible.

Academics all over the United States ought to denounce the firing of the 69-year-old, a Harvard Ph.D. who taught courses on American politics and public policy. If tenure can be taken away based upon one controversial blog post, what protection does it offer? How many tenured professors will censor themselves from participating in public conversation to avoid a similar fate? Marquette has violated core academic values, regardless of what one thinks of McAdams' commentary or the shabby treatment of the graduate instructor he was criticizing (who deserves sympathy for the horrifying torrent of misogyny others directed at her).

You are repeating what McAdams wants you to believe, and not what actually happened. When one reads through all the info one realizes that McAdams is being fired for harassing a student. On two prior occasions, he had posted the names of left-wing female students on his blog, who were subsequently harassed by the militant right-wing predominantly male readers of his blog. The university had warned him about this. He had promised not to do this again. And yet here he turned around and 1) defied protocol by naming the student teacher in his blog 2) misrepresented an incident between a student and the student teacher 3) defied protocol by criticizing the student teacher in public, as opposed to alerting the administration about her actions 4) made use of an illicit recording (presumably made for his benefit) while constructing his criticism of the student teacher's actions 5) misrepresented the nature of the student who'd made the recording of the student teacher (the student was in fact an F student preparing to drop out of the class, who apparently decided to get a little payback before his departure by goading the student teacher into saying something McAdams could use to destroy her), and 6) created a link on his blog to an email address for the student teacher which led to her receiving a hundred or more hate emails, many suggesting she should be raped or killed.

This was a serious infraction of all things decent, and was a betrayal of the relationship between the student teacher and the faculty of Marquette University. Apparently, hundreds of college professors have weighed in on this issue, and virtually all of them have sided with the university that McAdams should be fired. Perhaps more to the point, however, is this... IF the university failed to fire McAdams and he decided to harass yet another female student who defied his expectations of proper feminine behavior by naming her in his blog, and she was killed, injured, or even just harassed, he would have exposed the university to millions of dollars in damages. For the university it just wasn't worth it...

Edited by Pat Speer
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Stripping a Professor of Tenure Over a Blog Post (link)

Professor John McAdams is being stripped of tenure by Marquette University for writing a blog post that administrators characterize as inaccurate and irresponsible.

Academics all over the United States ought to denounce the firing of the 69-year-old, a Harvard Ph.D. who taught courses on American politics and public policy. If tenure can be taken away based upon one controversial blog post, what protection does it offer? How many tenured professors will censor themselves from participating in public conversation to avoid a similar fate? Marquette has violated core academic values, regardless of what one thinks of McAdams' commentary or the shabby treatment of the graduate instructor he was criticizing (who deserves sympathy for the horrifying torrent of misogyny others directed at her).

You are repeating what McAdams wants you to believe, and not what actually happened. When one reads through all the info one realizes that McAdams is being fired for harassing a student. On two prior occasions, he had posted the names of left-wing female students on his blog, who were subsequently harassed by the militant right-wing predominantly male readers of his blog. The university had warned him about this. He had promised not to do this again. And yet here he turned around and 1) defied protocol by naming the student teacher in his blog 2) misrepresented an incident between a student and the student teacher 3) defied protocol by criticizing the student teacher in public, as opposed to alerting the administration about her actions 4) made use of an illicit recording (presumably made for his benefit) while constructing his criticism of the student teacher's actions 5) misrepresented the nature of the student who'd made the recording of the student teacher (the student was in fact an F student preparing to drop out of the class, who apparently decided to get a little payback before his departure by goading the student teacher into saying something McAdams could use to destroy her), and 6) created a link on his blog to an email address for the student teacher which led to her receiving a hundred or more hate emails, many suggesting she should be raped or killed.

This was a serious infraction of all things decent, and was a betrayal of the relationship between the student teacher and the faculty of Marquette University. Apparently, hundreds of college professors have weighed in on this issue, and virtually all of them have sided with the university that McAdams should be fired. Perhaps more to the point, however, is this... IF the university failed to fire McAdams and he decided to harass yet another female student who defied his expectations of proper feminine behavior by naming her in his blog, and she was killed, injured, or even just harassed, he would have exposed the university to millions of dollars in damages. For the university it just wasn't worth it...

thank you for succinct recap as to the McAdams/Marquette fiasco. The guy is a "drip"!

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Well said Pat, this is an incident of bullying, and harassment...it has nothing to do with free speech or academic freedom. That gets to be clear if you really investigate it.

It also shows how teachers, particularly in social studies, are increasingly being placed at risk by students with agendas - or by those with agendas who are prepared

to influence them. .

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I can't think of any employers that will tolerate a repeat offender that had been 'called on the carpet' as many times as John McAdams was and NOT fire that offender. I believe McAdams abused his own tenure by not following the rules. Back in the day when I was on Uncle Sam's payroll I worked with many civil servants who foolishly believed their tenure would save them from a dismissal for breaking the rules. A multitude of people believing they had a 'guaranteed job' joined unemployment lines while I served.

On the other hand, I have noticed on other JFK research forums that some JFK researchers interpret this latest McAdams escapade as an excuse for educational institutions to rid themselves of senior educators before their retirement benefits begin. The Government has been doing this for years by replacing former career job slots with part-time & contractor labor.

Whoever & whatever allegedly 'handles' the professor when the dust settles will surely find something else for him. It might even mean a monetary promotion & it might be something shadowy like handing out Fair Play For ISIS pamphlets. It will be something, after the years of dedicated work calling people who believe JFK's death was the result of a conspiracy 'kooks' & wearers of tin foil hats, I doubt he'll be hung out to dry like Lee Oswald appears by many to have suffered post-assassination.

John McAdams can always hang out with Brian Williams. Brian also has a lot of free time to deal with.

BM

Edited by Brad Milch
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6) created a link on his blog to an email address for the student teacher which led to her receiving a hundred or more hate emails, many suggesting she should be raped or killed. // SPEER

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This should start a police investigation. Have not found this on the net . GAAL

found this,but who is the independent source ??

.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cheryl Abbate Leaves Marquette

Cheryl Abbate, a graduate student and philosophy instructor, is leaving Marquette University.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:


Karen Herzog, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is painting Abbate as a victim rather than as an abusive instructor engaging in the harassment of a student.

The reality is Abbate did not conduct herself properly as an instructor. Yes, she's a student as well, but she's also in a position of authority. She needs to be held accountable her actions.

It's no surprise that Herzog depicts McAdams as a cruel conservative, but it is disturbing that she seems to suggest that McAdams deserves blame for the "'vile' emails and threats of physical harm" Abbate received.

Inappropriate.

While the extreme negativity sent Abbate's way was totally out of line, the product of sick individuals, McAdams certainly cannot be held responsible for the actions of others.

McAdams appropriately revealed an incident on campus in a blog post. He didn't misrepresent what happened.

It was right for McAdams to inform the public, especially Marquette donors, about the utterly unacceptable assault on the free exchange of ideas in Abbate's classroom.

Marquette President Michael Lovell owes Marquette donors an explanation about why he failed to stand up for the student's right to engage in discussion that's in line with the Catholic Church. Why did he allow the student to be abused and silenced? Why is Lovell permitting McAdams to be harassed?

It's absolutely unacceptable.

I say that as a former donor.

I strongly urge other Marquette donors to withhold their support from the university. A graduate student teaching assistant is leaving Marquette University after being publicly targeted by a tenured professor for her response to a student who wanted to argue against gay marriage in her ethics class, according to a national blog for philosophy professionals.

Teaching assistant Cheryl Abbate will transfer next month to the philosophy PhD program at the University of Colorado, Boulder, after being accepted through an expedited admissions process, according to the Daily Nous blog for philosophy professionals maintained by Justin Weinberg, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina.

Several sources independently confirmed that Abbate received "vile" emails and threats of physical harm after Marquette associate professor John McAdams accused her in a Nov. 9 post on his conservative-leaning Marquette Warrior blog of "using a tactic typical among liberals now" with the student.

"Opinions with which they disagree are not merely wrong, and are not to be argued against on their merits, but are deemed 'offensive' and need to be shut up," he wrote.

The McAdams blog post captured national media attention and international attention from widely divergent groups: largely conservative free speech advocates supporting McAdams' right to blog his opinions and a student's right to argue against gay marriage in a class, and professors and teaching assistants who criticized McAdams for publicly calling out a graduate student and exposing her to political labeling and public condemnation.

...Weinberg said in his Daily Nous blog post that he had corresponded with Abbate, and she passed on the following: "Although the past month has been a very difficult and distressing time for me, the support and encouragement I have received from philosophers around the world has made this all the more bearable.

"I would like to thank each and every individual who sent a personal message to me, sent a letter to the Marquette administration on my behalf, and/or signed one of the online statements of support. ... Please know that your messages made all of the difference to me and I am truly touched and inspired by the concern and kindness demonstrated by those who took the time to reach out to me."




Posted by Mary at 12/20/2014 04:00:00 AM icon18_email.gif

Edited by Steven Gaal
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For me, and I spent 3.5 years teaching college students business law, the big issue is the classroom. In the classroom, in my view, reason is the master, not the teacher, not the student.

The teacher's job is to foster reason, not a particular conclusion.

Abbate was a teacher who adhered to a particular conclusion. She was not a good teacher IMO.

McAdams was and is an advocate. Advocates do not adhere to reason except in their own minds.

Thing is, Abbate postured as a teacher. McAdams postured as an advocate.

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She was a grad student/teacher, i.e., a "teacher in training" so to speak. Even if she erred, which I don't claim she did, there is a procedure in place that a tenured faculty member should follow

in order to offer the student teacher guidance if they believe the student teacher is mistaken. The method he chose was not within that framework.

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http://whatswrongwiththeworld.net/2014/11/the_zerosum_game_we_dont_want.html
===================
Posted by Mike T | December 2, 2014 3:23 PM
Perhaps I should have quoted a portion of the transcript in the main post. Here it is. This discussion took place after class.
Student: Regardless of why I’m against gay marriage, it’s still wrong for the teacher of a class to completely discredit one person’s opinion when they may have different opinions.
Abbate: Okay, there are some opinions that are not appropriate, that are harmful, such as racist opinions, sexist opinions. And quite honestly, do you know if anyone in your class, in your class is homosexual? And do you not think that it would be offensive to them if you were to raise your hand and challenge this?
Student: If I choose to challenge that, that’s my right as an American citizen.
Abbate: Well, actually, you don’t have a right in this class, as the, especially as an ethics professor, to make homophobic comments, or racist comments, sexist…
Here is a summary of another portion of the conversation, apparently based on the recording. This summary, I stress, has been made by the Chronicle of Higher Ed, not by any conservative source. (The Chronicle of Higher Ed appears rather sympathetic to Abbate, though they are making some attempt just to lay out all the facts they can find.)
She said the class discussion was centered on restricting the rights and liberties of individuals, but said that making arguments against gay marriage in the presence of a gay person was comparable to telling Abbate that women's professional options should be limited. She invited him to drop the course if he opposed her policy.
See here.
https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/11/20/marquette-u-grad-student-shes-being-targeted-after-ending-class-discussion-gay
Weinberg's statement (which he now appears to want us not to notice) that "the event at the center of this controversy does not appear to be one of speech being shut down because it is offensive" is quite simply false. Untenable. Insupportable. And once that is admitted, then the lefties will have to admit that the conservatives have something to complain about here after all.
Posted by Lydia | December 2, 2014 3:46 PM
but said that making arguments against gay marriage in the presence of a gay person was comparable to telling Abbate that women's professional options should be limited.
But there are perfectly rational, legitimate arguments to the effect that women's professional options should be limited. And the Abbate's of the world, if they want to be "professional" have to be willing to bear up to such arguments made politely and carefully, and either prove them wrong (if they can) or stop pretending that the stance is intrinsically evil. For instance, women should not go into the profession of harlotry. That's a legitimate limiting of women's options. There are others.
The fact that Abbate couldn't even come up with an example that is beyond dispute is telling: the lack of imagination, the lack of exposure to OTHER ideas, the lack of capacity to be objective in even slightly trying conditions, the failure to distinguish between content that someone might find offensive and content that is in itself offensive...and on and on.

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She was a grad student/teacher, i.e., a "teacher in training" so to speak. Even if she erred, which I don't claim she did, there is a procedure in place that a tenured faculty member should follow
in order to offer the student teacher guidance if they believe the student teacher is mistaken. The method he chose was not within that framework. // BURNHAM
===================================

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Yes Greg I agree there should have been a learning curve/dialog for the TA. The giving out of the email address is egregious, McAdams is true to form ,way off. Please let me point out >>>>
If Marquette University does not do its do diligence on these rape/death threat poster people and said people commit rape/murder on campus > isnt Marquette culpable ????????????

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Steven asked about my claim McAdams provided Abbate's email address to his readers...

Abbate, on her webpage, quotes a number of the emails she's received. The dean of Marquette, Richard Holz, in his letter to McAdams, cites a number of these emails as well. (I assume from this that someone at the university verified that these emails were authentic.) That McAdams was at least partially responsible for her receipt of these emails can be confirmed, moreover, by looking at his blog posts on Abbate, in which her name is a link to her webpage, which includes a picture of her (perfect ammo for stalkers) and, at one time, her email address. (The webpage currently notes that her Marquette email address has been deactivated.)

In any event, after reading the full text of the dean's letter to McAdams, a few more tidbits have come to light that make McAdams' prospects a bit bleaker, IMO. It turns out that the student who got into the dispute with Abbate didn't immediately go to McAdams, but did in fact have a series of meetings with administrators in Abbate's department. He was asked at that time if he'd secretly recorded his conversation with Abbate and said no. A few days later, however, he spoke to McAdams, his academic adviser, and told McAdams he was dropping out of the class. It was at this time, apparently, that he told McAdams that he did, in fact, secretly record the conversation. So what did McAdams do? Did he ask the student to turn over the recording to Abbate's supervisors? No, he asked the student if he could use the tape for his own blog! And then did!

Now, this is problematic on two fronts, IMO. First and foremost is that McAdams' original blog piece--the one that got everybody all fired up--suggested that the student dropped out of Abbate's class because he was denied his freedom of speech. McAdams, as the student;s academic adviser, almost certainly knew this was untrue. (As pointed out in the dean's letter to McAdams, the student readily admitted he was getting an F in the class and was planning on dropping out before it was too late.) This supports the dean's position that McAdams' blog piece was inaccurate, as well as being inappropriate.

This brings us to the second front. McAdams' defense rests largely on his claim that his blog was his own business, that he had the right to say whatever he wanted on his blog, and that when blogging he is functioning as a journalist, and subject to the protections afforded a journalist. This defense falls apart, IMO, if the information he prints in his blog is information he received while serving as an academic adviser for the university...that was deliberately concealed from the university. I mean, I just can't imagine any employer putting up with that. Can you?

Edited by Pat Speer
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Abbate, on her webpage, quotes a number of the emails she's received. The dean of Marquette, Richard Holz, in his letter to McAdams, cites a number of these emails as well. (I assume from this that someone at the university verified that these emails were authentic.) // SPEER

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ASSUME, ASSUME , ASSUME ...why were not the police part of internet death threats ????

======================================

settling old scores ????????????????? (BELOW)

http://www.wisconsingazette.com/milwaukee/has-marquette-university-grown-weary-of-john-mcadams-right-wing-shenanigans.html

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The last time McAdams received this much attention, it was over a defining moment in Marquette’s history, one that could have set the university on the course that has finally collided with McAdams’ Dark Ages social views.

In spring 2010, the university rescinded an offer to out lesbian scholar Jodi O’Brien to become dean of Marquette’s College of Arts and Sciences. The university’s unprecedented cancellation of a signed contract prompted protests by students, condemnation from faculty members and a firestorm of controversy throughout higher education. The university’s action imperiled at least one state grant and nearly resulted in censure from numerous academic associations, even after Marquette President Fr. Robert A. Wild apologized to O’Brien and settled with her for an undisclosed amount of cash.

McAdams’ blog was ground zero for provoking the blowback over having a lesbian in leadership at the Roman Catholic university. But although McAdams won that battle, he lost his overriding anti-gay war.

In the wake of the O’Brien scandal, the university expanded its anti-discrimination policy to include LGBT students, staff and faculty. It also began offering domestic partner benefits to the partners of employees in same-sex relationships.

Gay-positive cultural events appeared on campus, including The Laramie Project, a play about the real-life killing of gay college student Matthew Shepard in Wyoming. Lesléa Newman, the author of Heather Has Two Mommies, presented the 2011 Starshak Lecture on campus.

Predictably, McAdams responded to all of these progressive developments with a vitriolic sneer, proudly positioning himself as the Vatican’s unofficial on-campus representative. His efforts always received kudos from the right, particularly from the angry white men who listen to local hate radio.

So it’s not surprising that McAdams was taken aback by the university’s reaction over his latest anti-gay attack. On his blog, he acknowledges that he expected to get in more trouble over his statement that “feminists grossly exaggerate the incidence of campus date rape” than over Abbate.

Perhaps Marquette has simply had enough of McAdams’ divisiveness, his endless needling of colleagues and minority groups, his lack of collegiality and tolerance for secular thinkers.

The university has changed considerably during his 30 years there. Most recently, it named Michael Lovell, the highly praised former chancellor of UWM, as its first layman president. Has Lovell, who backed equality during his tenure at UWM, decided to clean house?

Marquette, the state’s largest private university, got quite a scare over its rescission of O’Brien’s contract. The censure it faced over the incident would have jeopardized its hard-won stature as a major research university.

Maybe Marquette’s new leadership is more interested in focusing on academic leadership and providing a quality education than in standing in the way of social progress. Maybe the distraction that is John McAdams has finally become too big a thorn in the side of the university’s future.

Or maybe the university simply wants to receive attention for scholarship instead of backward political vitriol that makes it harder for academics there to be taken seriously.

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6) created a link on his blog to an email address for the student teacher which led to her receiving a hundred or more hate emails, many suggesting she should be raped or killed.// Speer

==

OK suggesting ,yes (GAAL)

=

Cheryl Abbate

As you will note, none of the men who e-mailed me or left a violent comment about me directly stated “I am going to blow your brains out,” “I am going to rape you”, or “I am going to physically assault you.” Yet, although these men were careful not to frame their messages in the form of a direct threat, their comments and emails should not be dismissed as just “harmless comments.” First of all, it is often the case that there are violent intentions that motivate these somewhat carefully constructed comments (they are careful in the sense that they do not express direct threats). To write-off these abusive comments by saying “he didn’t say he is going to rape you; he just said he hopes you are raped!” is to wrongly trivialize the real threats of harm that very well might be contained within these comments.

Furthermore, even if these comments do not express actual threats of violence, these comments are harmful in the sense that they are intended to engender fear in women by reminding them of the very real and prevalent violence women experience. The reality of violence against women, especially sexual violence, is alarming. The fact that 1 in 6 women have been the victim of attempted or completed rape demands that we acknowledge that there is significant meaning and triggering effect behind this sort of violent commentary that is directed specifically at women.

Edited by Steven Gaal
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As pointed out in the excerpt from Abbate's article, the emails she received did not contain explicit threats, but only "suggested" she should die or be raped. As a result, it seems unlikely any charges will ever be filed. Should one choose to wonder if she invented these emails, moreover, one might want to contact the email addresses of those sending her the emails. She printed them in her article!

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The termination letter indicates that he was on thin ice with admin for some time, for having taken similar liberties with others' reputations. This time the case was too high profile, too fraught with issues, and too divisive of a community that admin - like some police force - must shackle together or lose control of. The McAdams supporting commentary on the Marquette Warrior webpage goes beyond journalistic ethics concerns and students-vs.-admin rhetoric in its willingness to create more division. War, indeed. The national press and the academic journals are going to keep this affair alive for some time. Who would have given McAdams credit for being larger than life?

Edited by David Andrews
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