Proving once again that tenure offers little protection to more conservative scholars, Marquette’s president recently fired a tenured professor who possessed a more traditional outlook.
“On November 9, 2014, you chose to post on the Internet a story prompted by a secretly-taped conversation between a student and a graduate student instructor,” Marquette Dean Richard Holz wrote to Dr. John McAdams on January 30, 2015. “While you left the student’s name out of your post, and later insisted that his anonymity be protected, you posted without permission the graduate student instructor’s name, Ms. Cheryl Abate.”
“In addition, you gave an account of what happened in a class you did not attend and was not taped, describing Ms. Abate as ‘airily’ making a statement about ‘gay rights.’ You further purported to describe how the student’s concerns were ignored by university officials in the College of Arts & Sciences and the Department of Philosophy.” The American Association of University Professors (AAUP) linked to the letter in its critique of the dismissal.
Abate taught Ethics and allegedly told a student she would tolerate no criticism of gay marriage in her classroom. It is worth noting that on Rate My Professor.com, Dr. McAdams reviews are overwhelmingly favorable while Abate’s are a bit less so.
The one outlier on the Abate page is a student who clearly disagrees with her viewpoint. That review seems to back up Dr. McAdams assertions. “Her opinion is the only one that matters,” the reviewer wrote. “She is the least tolerant person I’ve ever met.”
“Take anyone but her or a community college class, you will get better quality. Luckily I’m good at learning on my own so I did well. She is the reason I take online classes and avoid a dictator for a teacher.”