John McAdams Sues Marquette University

Marquette University Professor John McAdams filed a lawsuit in Milwaukee County Circuit Court against Marquette University for allegedly illegally suspending Professor McAdams in the fall of 2014 and making the decision to terminate his tenure and fire him from Marquette.

According to a press release, Marquette University guarantees its tenured faculty academic freedoms, including the right to free speech.

The release from McAdams attorney goes on to say, Marquette suspended Professor McAdams for blogging about an incident between an undergraduate student and a graduate instructor where the Instructor told the student that any discussion on gay marriage in an ethics course would be considered homophobic and inappropriate.

In February Marquette University President Michael Lovell announced that he would follow the recommendation of Marquette’s Faculty Hearing Committee and suspend McAdams without pay through January 2017, and adding the requirement that McAdams apologize in order to be reinstated.

McAdams attorney said, “Professor McAdams will not apologize because he has done nothing wrong. “

WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg  said, “Professor McAdams will not do that. He wrote an accurate blog post about an issue – the treatment of certain points of view as offensive or beyond the pale.  The issue is one of great public interest. The university has said that it welcomes debate and self-criticism. That is precisely what Professor McAdams was engaged in.”

Professor McAdams said, “I have spent nearly my entire career at Marquette University. I am proud to be part of the Marquette community and I have used my voice to both defend and criticize the university to ensure it holds to its Catholic traditions.”

Professor McAdams also stated that, “I think the most overlooked aspect of this matter is that no one in the Marquette Administration has taken seriously the complaint of the undergraduate student who was silenced by the Instructor.  I’m saddened that Marquette’s treatment of the undergraduate student at the center of this controversy failed to adhere to its guiding principle of Cura Personalis.”

Marquette released a statement that reads in part – “We welcome this issue being addressed in court, Where the public will hear a comprehensive account of Dr. McAdams' mistreatment of our former graduate student, rather than the select details he has handpicked to promote his false narrative. Once all the facts are made clear, Marquette fully expects that the decision to suspend him will be upheld.

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