Marquette University

Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Type: Private
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Speech Code Rating

Marquette University has been given the speech code rating Red. A red light university has at least one policy that both clearly and substantially restricts freedom of speech. Read more
  • Student Organization Policy Handbook: Distribution of Literature

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    Student organization requests for the distribution of literature and publicity, the sponsorship of visiting speakers and public performers and the screening of films will be considered in light of the educational purposes and the Catholic identity of Marquette University. Specific attention, therefore, will be paid ... Read More
  • Marquette University Title IX Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Sexual Misconduct Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    1. SEXUAL HARASSMENT a. Unwelcome conduct that is of an implicitly or overtly sexual nature, or is based on a person’s actual or perceived sex, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. b. Gender-based verbal or physical conduct that is sufficiently severe, persistent or pervasive that it ha... Read More
  • Student Conduct Code: Community Expectations

    Speech Code Rating: Red
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    Marquette expects its members to behave toward one another with sensitivity, consideration, understanding, tolerance and an active concern for the welfare of others. The university is particularly concerned that its members show respect for others regardless of race, creed, gender, disability, sexual orientation or ... Read More
  • Residence Life Policies and Procedures: Solicitation

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Posting and Distribution Policies
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    Solicitation is defined as any activity that seeks to entice or gain support from students at Marquette. Therefore, this policy applies to a wide range of activities, all of which are prohibited unless specifically approved by Residence Life. These activities may include advertising, selling, petitioning, campaignin... Read More
  • Demonstrations Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Protest and Demonstration Policies
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    A member of the Marquette University community (student, faculty or staff member) must be designated Organizer/Liaison for each protest/demonstration (the “Event”). The Organizer/Liaison must meet with the Dean of Students or designee to coordinate the planned Event and is encouraged to schedule this meeting well in... Read More
  • Division of Student Affairs: Bias Incidents

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Bias and Hate Speech
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    A bias incident is any discriminatory or hurtful act that appears to be motivated or is perceived by the victim or victims to be motivated by race, ethnicity, religion, age, national origin, sex, disability, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, veteran or socioeconomic status. To be considered a bias i... Read More
  • Student Conduct Code: Community Expectations

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Policies on Tolerance, Respect, and Civility
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    The following acts may subject students to disciplinary action: … Physically or verbally abusing or threatening any person, on or off the campus, including especially such persons as student staff and Public Safety officers. … Engaging in behaviors that are disruptive to the educational community, in or ... Read More
  • Religious Activities Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Yellow
    Speech Code Category: Other Speech Codes
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    [T]he university does not allow any other individual or organization internal or external to the university to proselytize its members using facilities, programs or activities controlled by the university. Proselytization is understood as any effort to influence people’s faith convictions, choices, or commitments in... Read More
  • Harassment Policy

    Speech Code Rating: Green
    Speech Code Category: Harassment Policies
    Last updated: November 9, 2018

    Harassment, as defined by this Policy, includes any action, language or visual representation, based on any characteristic protected by law including race, color, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, veteran’s status or national origin, that is sufficiently severe, pervasive, persistent or patently... Read More
  • John McAdams returns to Marquette with upbeat attitude, no regrets

    September 11, 2018

    John McAdams may have won his academic freedom battle against Marquette University this summer, but one might imagine that more than three years of campus banishment, the precarious status of his tenured political science professorship, and a nationally-watched Wisconsin Supreme Court case over whether Marquette could fire him for contentious posts on his personal blog… Read more

  • Wisconsin Supreme Court: Marquette University wrongly fired professor for opinions on personal blog

    July 6, 2018

    Three and a half years after being fired for critiquing a graduate student’s attempt to silence a student critical of gay marriage, professor John McAdams can return to the classroom MADISON, Wis., July 6, 2018 — In a win for academic freedom, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled today that Marquette University wrongly fired Professor John… Read more

  • AAUP files brief in support of Marquette professor John McAdams

    April 3, 2018

    The American Association of University Professors has filed an amicus brief on behalf of Marquette University professor John McAdams in his case before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The brief bolsters McAdams’s case as he seeks to vindicate his due process and academic freedom rights. This legal saga started in November 2014 when McAdams criticized a… Read more

  • UPDATE: Wisconsin Supreme Court agrees to hear appeal from fired Marquette University professor

    January 29, 2018

    Last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal by Professor John McAdams in his lawsuit against Marquette University. McAdams was fired by Marquette for criticizing a graduate instructor on his personal blog. McAdams’ lawyers petitioned Wisconsin’s highest court to hear the case, bypassing the intermediate appellate court. FIRE filed an amicus curiae… Read more

  • FIRE files amicus brief with Wisconsin Supreme Court in McAdams v. Marquette

    November 29, 2017

    FIRE has filed an amicus brief with the Wisconsin Supreme Court in the case of John McAdams, the tenured Marquette University professor who was fired after criticizing a graduate student instructor’s pedagogical techniques on his personal blog. FIRE filed the brief this afternoon, along with a request that the court consider it as it decides… Read more

  • Marquette professor John McAdams vows appeal after setback in suit against university

    May 5, 2017

    For more than two years now, FIRE has covered the case of Marquette University professor John McAdams, who was suspended by Marquette in December 2014 for criticizing a graduate student instructor on his personal blog. McAdams sued the university over his treatment last year. Yesterday, McAdams’ claims were dismissed by the Milwaukee County Circuit Court,… Read more

  • John McAdams Sues Marquette University for Suspension Over Blog Post

    May 2, 2016

    The tenured Marquette University political science professor suspended in 2014 for blogging about a student’s dispute with an instructor over a class discussion of gay marriage announced today he will sue the university. Marquette suspended John McAdams in December 2014 after McAdams took to his personal blog, Marquette Warrior, to criticize a graduate student instructor… Read more

  • Marquette Continues to Earn ‘Worst School’ for Free Speech Label With New Punishments for McAdams

    March 25, 2016

    A suspension through the fall 2016 semester and a compelled apology: that is the punishment reportedly imposed on Marquette University Professor John McAdams yesterday. The punishment stems from his 2014 online criticism of a graduate student instructor who told a student not to oppose same-sex marriage in her class at the Catholic university. This development… Read more

  • FIRE Announces 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech: 2016

    February 17, 2016

    PHILADELPHIA, February 17, 2016—Nearly half of America’s top colleges maintain speech codes that blatantly violate First Amendment standards. But every year the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes a closer look at the past year’s incidents of college censorship to determine the nation’s 10 worst abusers of student and faculty free speech rights…. Read more

  • Marquette Faculty Hearing Committee to Weigh in on McAdams Tenure Dispute

    September 18, 2015

    Next week, suspended Marquette University political science professor John McAdams will face the next step in his tenure revocation battle with the Jesuit university. Marquette’s Faculty Hearing Committee is scheduled to meet on September 21 to consider whether McAdams should be stripped of his tenure following his December 2014 suspension for commentary on his personal… Read more

  • After Public Criticism, Marquette Removes Mural and Announces Faculty Departure

    May 22, 2015

    Earlier this week, Marquette University painted over a mural in its Gender and Sexuality Resource Center (GSRC) depicting Assata Shakur (also known as Joanne Chesimard), a woman who escaped from prison and fled to Cuba after her conviction for murdering a New Jersey state trooper in 1973, earning her a spot on the FBI’s most… Read more

  • Speech Code of the Month: Marquette University

    March 9, 2015

    FIRE announces its Speech Code of the Month for March 2015: Marquette University. If you’ve been following higher ed news or reading The Torch recently, you are probably aware that Marquette University is no friend of free speech. In fact, FIRE recently named Marquette one of the ten worst abusers of free speech for its… Read more

  • Marquette’s Consistent Inconsistency on Academic Freedom, Tenure, and Civility

    March 4, 2015

    Over recent weeks, my colleague Peter Bonilla has treated Torch readers to a series of articles on the case of Marquette University professor John McAdams, who faces losing tenure for criticizing graduate instructor Cheryl Abbate’s direction to a student not to voice his opposition to same-sex marriage in class because it might offend his classmates…. Read more

  • Yes, Marquette’s Plan to Fire John McAdams Is About Free Speech and Academic Freedom

    March 3, 2015

    In two previous Torch entries on Professor John McAdams’s fight to keep his tenure at Marquette University, I’ve focused on Marquette’s abuses of McAdams’s due process rights and the subversions of basic free speech principles it has used first to justify his suspension, and then to justify its aim of revoking his tenure. In this… Read more

  • FIRE Announces 10 Worst Colleges for Free Speech in 2014

    March 2, 2015

    PHILADELPHIA, March 2, 2015—More than half of America’s top colleges maintain speech codes that blatantly violate First Amendment standards. But every year the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) takes a closer look at the previous year’s incidents of college censorship to determine the nation’s 10 worst abusers of student and faculty free speech… Read more

  • Marquette’s Dangerous Subversion of Free Speech

    February 16, 2015

    Last week, I wrote about the systemic due process failures at Marquette University, which plans to fire tenured political science professor John McAdams for criticism of a graduate student and philosophy instructor published on his blog. As I wrote, “No one concerned for fundamental fairness in campus proceedings should be okay with the extent to… Read more

  • The Travesty of Due Process at Marquette

    February 10, 2015

    As we announced last week, Marquette University is moving to revoke the tenure of professor John McAdams and fire him from the Marquette faculty because of opinions and criticisms voiced on his blog, Marquette Warrior. The controversial decision was triggered by McAdams’s criticism of a graduate instructor, who he felt wrongly suppressed the expression of certain… Read more

  • After Gay Marriage Flap, Marquette Moves to Fire Tenured Prof

    February 5, 2015

    MILWAUKEE, Wisc., February 5, 2015—Disregarding freedom of speech, academic freedom, and its own policies, Marquette University will attempt to revoke Professor John McAdams’s tenure and fire him. Marquette is taking action against McAdams, a political conservative and frequent critic of the administration, supposedly in response to his online criticism of a graduate student instructor who… Read more

  • Marquette Professor’s Lawyer Smacks Down Dean’s Weak Justification for Suspension

    January 22, 2015

    Over a month after he was suspended from teaching and banned from campus, Marquette University professor John McAdams has yet to be presented with clear disciplinary charges against him. Marquette’s Dean of Klingler College of Arts and Sciences Richard Holz did, however, offer his explanation as to why the university was “review[ing McAdams’s] conduct and… Read more

  • Marquette Fails to Follow Procedures in Suspending Professor

    December 30, 2014

    Earlier this month, Marquette University professor John McAdams was suspended from his teaching duties, apparently for a November 9 blog post criticizing a class instructor. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), representing McAdams, wrote a letter to the university (PDF) on December 22 arguing that the suspension violates Marquette’s explicit promises to its… Read more

  • Eyes on Marquette University as Faculty Blogger Suspended

    December 18, 2014

    In recent weeks, FIRE has written about a controversy at Marquette University brought to light by political science professor John McAdams, in which an instructor informed a student that expressing opposition to same-sex marriage was not appropriate for a classroom setting. We expressed our concerns in a pair of Torch entries. This week, FIRE and… Read more

  • On Marquette Classroom Controversy, Rebuttal Ignores Facts

    November 18, 2014

    On his philosophy news site Daily Nous, University of South Carolina associate professor Justin Weinberg responded today to a blog post I wrote about hostility towards certain viewpoints at Marquette University. In his post, Weinberg argued that graduate student Cheryl Abbate was the “target of a political attack” by one of her students and that… Read more

  • Marquette U. Prohibits Disagreeing with Classmates—If You Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

    November 11, 2014

    Marquette University, a Roman Catholic institution in Wisconsin, is swiftly establishing itself as a place where not all viewpoints are welcome—even if those viewpoints align with those of the Catholic Church. On his (non-university-affiliated) Marquette Warrior blog, Marquette political science professor John McAdams wrote this weekend about an incident that occurred in Cheryl Abbate’s “Theory… Read more

  • Marquette Harassment Training Forbids Certain Viewpoints

    October 1, 2014

    FIRE hopes readers are hungry for more news about problematic Title IX training courses, because professors and graduate assistants at Marquette University in Wisconsin are evidently required to complete a course that grossly misstates what kind of expression is acceptable in the university workplace. Campus Reform and Marquette Warrior, a blog run by Marquette political… Read more

  • Marquette University Threatens Academic Freedom with Chilling Investigation of Classroom Speech

    December 29, 2011

    Over at the blog Marquette Warrior, John McAdams provides a good example of how unwarranted investigations of campus speech can cause a deeply problematic “chilling effect” at a university. Universities must not pursue investigations of protected expression just because someone submits a complaint; as soon as it is clear that the expression in question is… Read more

  • This Month in FIRE History: Muzzling Dave Barry at Marquette

    October 17, 2011

    Fresh on the heels of our case at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, it seems appropriate to look back five years at a similar case involving an overzealous administration and an “offensive” poster. In October 2006, Marquette Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler came to FIRE for help after Philosophy Department Chair James South removed a flyer quoting… Read more

  • This Month in FIRE History: Dave Barry Speaks Out on College Censorship

    July 30, 2010

    Exactly one year ago, FIRE released a video of Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist Dave Barry in which he discusses the value of free speech on college campuses. The video, which now has over 24,000 hits, shows Barry’s perspective on FIRE’s work and why it’s so important. In 2006, Barry’s writing was the subject of a FIRE… Read more

  • Marquette’s Strained Relationship with Freedom of Expression

    May 11, 2010

    Marquette University made headlines recently for offering the job of Dean of Arts and Sciences to sexuality and gender scholar Jodi O’Brien. Marquette is a major Catholic university, and although O’Brien is open about being a lesbian, there is no evidence that this was an obstacle for either the search committee or Marquette administrators. Marquette,… Read more

  • Dave Barry, Award-Winning Humorist, Speaks Out on College Censorship in New FIRE Video

    July 30, 2009

    Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist and author of more than 30 books, is no stranger to critics trying to censor his writing. The nationally syndicated humorist has written some of our nation’s funniest columns—and with the First Amendment on his side, he’s been winning the battle for free speech for over 25 years. Today,… Read more

  • Dave Barry, Award-Winning Humorist, Speaks Out on College Censorship in New FIRE Video

    July 30, 2009

    PHILADELPHIA, July 30, 2009—Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist and author of more than 30 books, is no stranger to critics trying to censor his writing. The nationally syndicated humorist has written some of our nation’s funniest columns—and with the First Amendment on his side, he’s been winning the battle for free speech for over… Read more

  • Radical Speech: Dave Barry Talks About Politically Correct Campuses

    July 30, 2009

    Dave Barry, Pulitzer Prize-winning humor columnist and author of more than 30 books, is no stranger to critics trying to censor his writing. The nationally syndicated humorist has written some of our nation’s funniest columns—and with the First Amendment on his side, he’s been winning the battle for free speech for over 25 years. This… Read more

  • Today’s ‘Campus Alert’: Banning Dave Barry

    June 11, 2007

    Our Campus Alert column in today’s New York Post focuses on the FIRE case we have crowned our most ridiculous case of the past academic year—Marquette University’s banning of a Dave Barry quote.   Last October, Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler posted a Barry quote on his office door that read, “As Americans we must always… Read more

  • Looking for a Straight Answer from Marquette University

    January 15, 2007

    Marquette University’s censorship of a Dave Barry quote was one of the more confounding cases of 2006. Marquette’s reaction to the quote—a benign criticism of the government—went from baffling to exasperating when administrators tried to justify the censorship, first by claiming that the quote was “patently offensive,” then that office doors are not “free speech… Read more

  • Still No Answer from Marquette

    December 27, 2006

    As the year draws to a close and we reflect on all of FIRE’s activities in 2006, the case of Stuart Ditsler at Marquette University stands out not only for its absurdity but also because the case has yet to be resolved. Torch readers will recall Ditsler’s case from earlier this fall, when administrators removed… Read more

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Questions Marquette

    December 5, 2006

    The AFT features FIRE in its new AFT On Campus column “Academic Freedom Forum.” Discussing the Stuart Ditsler case, the column reads: We think of faculty doors as a place for posting office hours, inspiring quotes, and other provocative or silly items at the occupant’s discretion. But at Marquette University, one philosophy grad student has… Read more

  • FIRE Continues to Follow Dave Barry Incident at Marquette

    November 15, 2006

    FIRE continues to follow the case of Stuart Ditsler, the graduate student at Marquette University who was forced to remove an innocuous political quote by humorist Dave Barry from his office door. Although the Marquette administration claimed that the situation was resolved within the philosophy department, Ditsler told FIRE he was never notified of this… Read more

  • Student Editorial Highlights FIRE Case at Marquette University

    November 8, 2006

    A recent editorial in The Daily Barometer, the student newspaper at Oregon State University, picked up on the absurdity of FIRE’s recent case at Marquette University where the chair of the philosophy department, Dr. James South, removed a quote from humorist Dave Barry from a graduate student’s office door because South found the quote “patently… Read more

  • Marquette’s Student Newspaper on Censorship at Marquette

    October 30, 2006

    The Marquette Warrior blog brought to my attention an editorial by the Marquette Tribune, Marquette’s student newspaper, on the university’s failure to respond to FIRE’s letter about the philosophy department’s censorship of a Dave Barry quote.  Usually, student newspapers are fairly reliable friends of liberty on campus. However, this does not appear to be the… Read more

  • A Belated Response from Marquette

    October 24, 2006

    FIRE just received Marquette University’s response to our September 27 letter. Marquette said publicly that it sent us the letter on October 16, and the letter is indeed dated October 16, but the postmark is dated October 19, the day after FIRE’s press release on Marquette’s censorship of a Dave Barry quote. Curious indeed. Even… Read more

  • No Marquette Letter Yet

    October 20, 2006

    Although it has appeared on several blogs, FIRE has still not received the response from Marquette University it claims to have sent on October 16. Perhaps the letter got lost it the mail, or perhaps Marquette backdated the letter in order to appear responsive to FIRE’s concerns. In any event, FIRE hopes that it will… Read more

  • ‘Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’ Covers Marquette/Dave Barry Controversy

    October 19, 2006

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covered FIRE’s recent case at Marquette University where an administrator removed an innocuous quote by comedian Dave Barry from the office door of graduate student Stuart Ditsler, claiming the quote was “patently offensive.” The quote read: “As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy… Read more

  • Marquette Controversy Rapidly Gaining Attention

    October 19, 2006

    FIRE’s involvement at Marquette University has been picked up by the Associated Press, Special Report with Brit Hume on Fox News, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Add to this blogs on several websites—from organizations including the John Locke Foundation and the Cato Institute to Dave Barry himself—and numerous responses from individuals who have written to… Read more

  • TV Critic Glenn Garvin Calls Evil by its Name: Dave Barry

    October 18, 2006

    Miami Herald television critic Glenn Garvin has caught wind of FIRE’s recent case at Marquette University, where an administrator removed a quote from comedian (read: Evil Incarnate) Dave Barry that a graduate student had posted on his office door. Garvin came down squarely against the raw tyranny of freedom of expression and against the “practically… Read more

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Just Plain Silly

    October 18, 2006

    As a free speech organization, we see pretty much every type of censorship out there. People are frequently censored at colleges and universities for engaging in controversial political speech. Other times, people are censored for engaging in speech that is crude and repugnant, but that is wholly protected. And then there are times that people… Read more

  • Dave Barry Quote Sparks Dispute at Marquette University

    October 18, 2006

    Today’s press release highlights a free speech dispute at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Philosophy Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler posted a quote by writer and humorist Dave Barry on his office door. The quote read, “As Americans we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful, and relentless…. Read more

  • Marquette Bans Dave Barry Quote from Office Door

    October 18, 2006

    MILWAUKEE, Wis., October 18, 2006—Writer and humorist Dave Barry probably never expected that one of his jokes would spark a university free speech dispute. But in early September, a Marquette University administrator removed a Barry quote about the federal government from Ph.D. student Stuart Ditsler’s office door because the quote was “patently offensive.” Facing this… Read more

  • FIRE Letter to Marquette University President Robert A. Wild, September 27, 2006

    September 27, 2006

    September 27, 2006 President Robert A. Wild, S.J. Marquette University O’Hara Hall, 101/102 P.O. Box 1881 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201-1881 Sent via U.S. Mail and Facsimile (414-288-3161) Dear President Wild: As you can see from our directors and board of advisors, FIRE unites civil rights and civil liberties leaders, scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals across the… Read more