- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Marquette University professor John McAdams has been suspended from teaching and banned from campus after blogging about another instructor who supposedly shut down opposing views to gay marriage in her ethics class.

In November, Mr. McAdams, who runs the Marquette Warrior blog, wrote a post critical of a philosophy instructor, Cheryl Abbate. Ms. Abbate reportedly told a student in her class that his views against pro-gay policies weren’t welcome in the classroom setting because he could offend students who are gay.

Mr. McAdams accused Ms. Abbate of stifling the student’s free speech rights that academics have a duty to protect.

On Tuesday he received a letter from Dean Richard Holz saying the Marquette Warrior is under investigation and he is suspended from all faculty activities indefinitely.

“You are to remain off campus during this time, and should you need to come to campus, you are to contact me in writing beforehand to explain the purpose of your visit, to obtain my consent and to make appropriate arrangements for that visit,” Mr. Holz says in the letter. “I am enclosing with this letter Marquette’s harassment policy, its guiding values statement, the University mission statement, and sections from the Faculty Handbook, which outline faculty rights and responsibilities; these documents will inform our review of your conduct.”

Mr. McAdams responded to the letter in a new blog post: “The fact that Holz sends the ‘harassment policy’ suggests that somebody thinks that merely blogging about questionable conduct by a Philosophy instructor constitutes ‘harassment.’”

“[E]ven mental discomfort (which should be a normal part of having one’s opinions challenged in a university) is considered harassing” under the university’s policy, he scoffed.

“Any attempt to censor our blog not only would violate the canons of academic freedom, but would reverse years of precedent, since we have been free to criticize things going on at Marquette for nearly ten years now. And an ‘investigation’ constitutes a form of harassment. Any charges against us should have been summarily dismissed,” Mr. McAdams continued. “Marquette, in other words, has again shown itself to be timid, overly bureaucratic and lacking any commitment to either its Catholic mission or free expression.”

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