Marquette University Placed On FIRE’s List of Worst Free Speech Offenders After Tenure Fight With Conservative Professor

March 3, 2015

By Ashley Dobson at Red Alert Politics

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education announced its fourth annual list of the top 10 threats to free speech on campus this week and to no one’s surprise, the major controversy at Marquette University had caught the attention of the organization.

Marquette is currently in the process of trying to revoke the tenure of conservative professor John McAdams thanks to his personal blog.

The controversy between John McAdams and Marquette stems from a blog post from last November in which he reported on his liberal colleague’s refusal to allow a conservative student to debate the topic of gay marriage in her classroom. The student was told that “some opinions are not appropriate” and the teacher said this student’s opinions might be “offensive” to gay students in the class. McAdams criticized the teacher for silencing the debate.

McAdams was suspended without any real notice or recourse and has not been allowed onto the campus property because the dean called him a “safety threat.”

“Marquette University’s chilling campaign to revoke the tenure of political science professor John McAdams due to writings on his private blog ensures its place on this year’s list,” Greg Lukianoff, FIRE’s president, wrote in its announcement of the “worst of” list.

“Marquette’s disregard of due process and its incredible denial that its campaign against McAdams’s tenure implicates free speech or academic freedom in any way should frighten anyone concerned about faculty rights. Indeed, if the university succeeds in removing McAdams, free speech and academic freedom will lose whatever meaning they had at Marquette.”

Other schools and entities that made FIRE’s list included University of Iowa, Modesto Junior College, Georgetown University, California State University, Fullerton, Brandeis University, Chicago State University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Kansas Board of Regents, and even the U.S. Department of Education.

Read FIRE’s full list of reasoning at the Huffington Post. 

Schools: Marquette University Cases: Marquette University: Faculty Member Facing Loss of Tenure for Opinions on Blog