Judge rules in favor of Marquette University in case against professor McAdams

On Thursday, May 4, a Milwaukee County judge issued a 33-page decision dismissing all claims against Marquette University. In May 2016, associate professor, Dr. McAdams, filed a lawsuit challenging the decisions of Marquette’s Faculty Hearing Committee and President Michael R. Lovell that he deserved discipline for his conduct.

Marquette University sent the following statement in response to the ruling:

“Today’s ruling is a strong affirmation of our Guiding Values and our efforts to stand up for our students,” President Lovell said. “We’ve maintained throughout this process that a personal attack on one of our students is simply unacceptable. We appreciate the court’s thoughtful consideration of the Faculty Hearing Committee’s work and findings. Dr. McAdams’ tenured peers on the Faculty Hearing Committee concluded, unanimously, that he breached his core duties as a Marquette professor when he used his blog needlessly and recklessly to harm a Marquette graduate student.  We are grateful that the court upheld Marquette’s actions.”

According to Marquette, the judge noted the following in his written decision:

“Academic freedom allows both faculty members and students to engage in intellectual debate without fear or censorship or retaliation and it establishes a faculty member’s right to remain true to his or her pedagogical philosophy and intellectual commitments. Academic freedom also gives both students and faculty the right to express their views without fear of sanction, unless the manner of expression substantially impairs the rights of others. On the other hand, academic freedom does not mean that a faculty member can harass, threaten, intimidate, ridicule, or impose his or her views on students.”

The full ruling can be found here.

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