As we have reported, a professor at Marquette, John McAdams, was suspended after criticizing a graduate student who said she would not tolerate criticism of gay marriage in her classroom His suspension is drawing criticism from some unlikely quarters.
“The sanction you imposed is not just a ‘severe sanction,’” Professor Daniel Maguire, also at Marquette, wrote in a letter to the university’s president that the professor allowed the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to publish. We have noted that the AAUP is also looking into this case and asking some pointed questions of Marquette administrators.
“In almost half a century in the academe, I have never seen a similar punishment imposed on a professor in this ‘blunt instrument’ fashion,” Professor Maguire averred. “The banning of the professor from campus unless he gets permission from the dean strikes me as bizarre, demeaning, and unjust.”
“It announces on the public record that Professor McAdams is some sort of threat to the persons in this academic community…..leaving volatile suspicions in the air as to what that threat could be. Is he less a threat when he has the dean’s permission to be on campus? If the unavoidable inference that Professor McAdams is so threatening as to merit banishment is true, has campus security been alerted to protect us from Professor McAdams?”
“Over the years Professor McAdams and I have disagreed on many issues—and he has excoriated me on his blog—but all my personal interactions with him have been uniformly civil and urbane. Again, as Cardinal Newman said, in a university many minds are free to compete. That’s the glory of it.”
“This ‘unnecessary roughness’ to borrow a term from the NFL, has already inflicted damage on Professor McAdams’ professional reputation. I am not surprised at the report that he has retained counsel.”
Incidentally, it bears noting that while McAdams is a rather traditional Catholic, Maguire is not. Indeed, we have reported that his “own college president admitted that the theologian’s views are ‘not totally consonant with Catholic teaching.’ Nevertheless, we have to give him credit for coming to his colleague’s aid.