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READER SUBMISSION: McAdams’s treatment of instructor is deplorable

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Eisenberg Hall located on the third floor of Sensenbrenner Hall, the building now home to the College of Arts & Sciences. Photo courtesy of the Marquette History Department

Eisenberg Hall, located on the third floor of Sensenbrenner Hall, the building now home to the College of Arts & Sciences. Photo courtesy of the Marquette History Department

A letter to the Marquette community:

The following department chairs in the Klingler College of Arts & Sciences deplore the recent treatment of a philosophy graduate student instructor by political science professor John McAdams on his Marquette Warrior blog.  We support Ms. Abbate and deeply regret that she has experienced harassment and intimidation as a direct result of McAdams’s actions.
McAdams’s actions—which have been reported in local and national media outlets—have harmed the personal reputation of a young scholar as well as the academic reputation of Marquette University. They have negatively affected campus climate, especially as it relates to gender and sexual orientation.  And they have led members of the Marquette community to alter their behavior out of fear of becoming the subject of one of his attacks.
Perhaps worst of all, McAdams has betrayed his role as a faculty member by pitting one set of students against another, by claiming the protection of academic freedom while trying to deny it to others, and by exploiting current political issues to promote his personal agenda. This is clearly in violation of this passage from the Academic Freedom section of Marquette’s Faculty Handbook:
“The college or university teacher is a citizen, a member of a learned profession, and an officer of an educational institution. When he/she speaks or writes as a citizen, he/she should be free from institutional censorship or discipline, but his/her special position in the civil community imposes special obligations. As a man/woman of learning and an educational officer, he/she should remember that the public may judge his/her profession and institution by his/her utterances. Hence, he/she should at all times be accurate, should exercise appropriate restraint, should show respect for the opinions of others, and should make every effort to indicate that he/she is not an institutional spokesperson.”
McAdams has ignored both the spirit and the letter of this statement and has failed to meet the standards we aspire to as faculty, as well as the broader ethical principles that guide Marquette’s mission as a Jesuit, Catholic institution.
Other members of the Marquette University community are invited to join us by “signing” this letter in the comment section.
-Lowell Barrington, Political Science
-Nancy Snow, Philosophy
-James Marten, History
-Jane Peterson, Social and Cultural Sciences
-Krista Ratcliffe, English
-John Grych, Psychology
-Anne Pasero, Foreign Languages and Literatures
-Robert Masson, Theology​

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36 Comments

36 Responses to “READER SUBMISSION: McAdams’s treatment of instructor is deplorable”

  1. JL on November 26th, 2014 6:49 am

    Janna Wrench, College of Professional Studies & Center for Teaching and Learning.

  2. sharon chubbuck on November 26th, 2014 3:00 pm

    Sharon Chubbuck, Education

  3. kathleen Rehbein on November 26th, 2014 8:33 pm

    Kathleen Rehbein Management Department

  4. Walter-marie Miller on November 26th, 2014 11:56 pm

    Students, do not allow these despicable fine words to coax you into the bridle. The wares peddled here are silence and obedience. Rage against these swindlers!

  5. Beth Godbee on November 28th, 2014 8:40 am

    Beth Godbee, Department of English

  6. Leah flack on November 28th, 2014 9:06 am

    Leah Flack, English department

  7. DR on November 28th, 2014 9:56 am

    Jenn Fishman, Department of English

  8. Sarah Wadsworth on November 28th, 2014 10:02 am

    Sarah Wadsworth, English

  9. Anne B. on November 28th, 2014 10:47 am

    Anne M. Bartelt, Arts and Sciences Advising Center

  10. BP on November 28th, 2014 12:18 pm

    Brittany Pladek, English

  11. Jodi Melamed on November 28th, 2014 1:25 pm

    Jodi Melamed, Associate Professor, Department of English and Africana Studies

    Professor McAdams regularly attacks female instructors, female students and even female undergraduates in his columns. I believe woman members of the MU community are derided at a 3 to 1 ration in his columns, though this is merely my anecdotal sense. (Tribune reporters, feel free to check this out.) This gender-oriented harassment should be looked at carefully by anyone who cares about the climate for women on Marquette’s campus; it certainly contributes to a climate that normalizes sexual harassment on campus.

  12. Ed de St. Aubin on December 1st, 2014 11:34 am

    McAdams has repeatedly demonstrated that he is a bully. His actions and his employment here are incongruent with the social justice values we try to maintain and profess at Marquette University. We need to stand up to this bully now.

    Ed de St. Aubin, Psychology Faculty Member and Assistant Chair

  13. Astrida Kaugars on December 1st, 2014 12:26 pm

    Astrida Kaugars, Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

  14. Debra Oswald on December 1st, 2014 1:04 pm

    Debra Oswald
    Associate Professor, Psychology

  15. Ana Garner on December 1st, 2014 1:07 pm

    Ana C. Garner
    Associate Professor, Journalism and Media Studies

  16. Dawne Moon on December 1st, 2014 1:09 pm

    My hope is that a new president will take this opportunity to finally take a stand. Harassment is not an “intellectual freedom” issue, and McAdams’s targeting of students is particularly deplorable.

    Dawne Moon, Associate Professor, Social & Cultural Sciences

  17. Amy Blair on December 1st, 2014 1:17 pm

    Amy Blair, Associate Professor, Department of English

  18. Desiree Valentine on December 1st, 2014 2:15 pm

    Desiree Valentine, Alum, B.A. Philosophy, Communication Studies, and Women’s Studies, 2010

    McAdams’ attacks contribute to a hostile learning and teaching environment at Marquette. during my time as an undergraduate student, I had numerous friends attacked on his blog and was personally subject to abuse from a reader of McAdam’s blog who called my cell phone line an inordinate amount of times in response to a student event I was hosting.

    I urge the current president to take some sort of action to address these continued assaults.

  19. RP on December 1st, 2014 2:16 pm

    At the moment I’m writing this, everyone who has identified their academic rank in their comment is an Associate Professor or higher. I wonder how many untenured Assistant Professors there are who would like to speak out against this deplorable behavior but fear what “rocking the boat” might do to their chances at promotion. Hopefully more tenured faculty will step up and serve as their voice as well.

  20. kaiserk on December 1st, 2014 2:26 pm

    Kate M. Kaiser, Associate Professor Emerita IT, College of Business

  21. Lezlie Knox on December 1st, 2014 3:26 pm

    Lezlie Knox, Department of History

  22. Jean Grow on December 1st, 2014 3:29 pm

    Jean Grow, College Of Comm and Director of Univ. Fine Arts Program

  23. Jean Grow on December 1st, 2014 3:41 pm

    Jean Grow, Associate Prof, Strategic Communication & Director of MU Fine Arts Minor

  24. Sameena Mulla on December 1st, 2014 4:42 pm

    Adding my name as a signatory: Sameena Mulla, Assistant Professor, Social and Cultural Sciences

  25. Cheryl Maranto on December 1st, 2014 5:01 pm

    It is long since time for the university to address the corrosive influence of Professor McAdams and his blog on academic freedom and the climate for women at Marquette.

  26. Monica Adya on December 1st, 2014 5:03 pm

    Associate Professor, Management

  27. Lynn Turner on December 2nd, 2014 7:43 am

    Lynn H. Turner, Professor, Communication Studies

  28. eugenia.afinoguenova on December 2nd, 2014 7:43 am

    Eugenia Afinoguénova, Foreign Languages and Literatures

  29. Stephen Franzoi on December 2nd, 2014 4:48 pm

    Stephen Franzoi, Professor, Psychology

  30. Anthony Peressini on December 2nd, 2014 8:48 pm

    I agree that Prof. McAdams contributes to an already negative climate for female philosophers. I find it deplorable that he disseminates hate under the aegis of academic freedom.

  31. Riley Hoerner on December 2nd, 2014 10:15 pm

    Riley Hoerner, College of Education, former ex officio member of the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center Advisory Board.

  32. Julia Paulk on December 4th, 2014 11:25 am

    Julia C. Paulk, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures

  33. Corinna Lee on December 4th, 2014 8:00 pm

    Corinna Lee, English Department

  34. HR Friman on December 4th, 2014 9:18 pm

    Add as signatories:
    Dr. H. Richard Friman, Professor of Political Science, Department Chair, 2000-2003
    Dr. Barrett McCormick, Professor of Political Science, Department Chair, 2009-2012
    Dr. Duane Swank, Professor of Political Science, Department Chair, 2003-2006

  35. Anna Kohrs on December 5th, 2014 4:17 pm

    Anna Kohrs, College of Nursing ’16
    CommUNITY ’13
    Dorothy Day ’14

  36. Erik Ugland on December 19th, 2014 10:44 am

    Erik Ugland, Associate Professor, Diederich College of Communication.

    If you belittle and harass your students, you’re not entitled to call yourself “professor.” John McAdams’s fireable offense is not that he opposes gay marriage, or that he’s a conservative, or that he criticizes faculty on his blog. His fireable offense — which he has committed numerous times — is that he treats many of our students as political enemies to be exposed and vanquished rather than as friends and colleagues to be supported and mentored.

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