Wisconsin GOP Targets Faculty Tenure

From Greg Neumann/WKOW:


“JFC” is Joint Finance Committee. The text of the motion is here. Stein and Herzog/Journal Sentinel here. The article notes the following contrast: “Minnesota raised taxes with part of the new revenue set aside for higher education.”

43 thoughts on “Wisconsin GOP Targets Faculty Tenure

  1. Ricardo

    I love the tweet that says that if there is no tenure teachers may be fired for political reasons. Conservative teachers have to hide their real views until after they are granted tenure because conservative teachers are routinely denied tenure. I am sure that the leftist believe this is perfectly acceptable but look at the lack of diversity of political thought in our schools. It is very obvious when you look at the maps of voting patterns. Most states are bright red with spots of blue around the universities. Duh!

    Not only that would it really be an awful things for teachers to have to teach effectively to keep their jobs?

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ricardo: Uh, huh. That’s why there is a symmetrical tendency for state Democratic parties to use open records laws to investigate professors, as recounted here — NOT. (I do thank you for figuring out how to spell my name, since you commented back then.)

      By the way, do you keep your list of professors denied tenure because of their political leanings in the same place you keep Senator McCarthy’s “list”?

    2. steve

      Do you have a references for the claim that conservative teachers have to hide their values? I have looked for names of people to whom this has happened and have never found any.

      1. Richard Fox

        I love you guys. You use statistical analysis to prove racism because of a lack of participation of a race or an excessive number of a race but you totally ignore one of the most telling statistical data in schools. Over 90% of teachers vote and donate to the Democrat Party totally out of line with the community. There is always a cry for the work force to look like the community. That is true unless it is a school. Schools are propaganda machines indoctrinating with leftist ideology so they need leftist teachers.

        But let’s take a look at teachers who were denied tenure because they do not follow the administrative line.

        Kimberly Theidon claims both gender discrimination and retaliation for her support of students victimized by sexual assault and sexual harassment. Progressives follow the Bill Clinton rule concerning sexual assault. “All pigs are equal but some pigs are more equal than others.”

        Denial of tenure is relatively common at elite universities like Harvard, and so are sore feelings and controversy within a department. Yet a complaint like [Kimberly] Theidon’s is unusual, in part because most professors who are turned away prefer to quietly look for another job rather than risk the cost and embarrassment of a lawsuit or other public grievance.

        Harvard is far from achieving equity for women faculty, nearly a decade after former president Lawrence H. Summers’s comments suggesting women have less aptitude for science brought passionate attention to the issue. Women make up only a quarter of Harvard’s tenured faculty, and 37 percent of junior faculty, according to the university’s data.

        In the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the central academic unit and where Theidon works, female professors had a 66 percent success rate gaining tenure in the last five years, compared to three-quarters of men.

        Then closer to home:

        A former New York college instructor may proceed with a claim that he was denied tenure because school administrators disapproved of his conservative politics and support for President George W. Bush, not for deficiencies as an educator, a federal judge has ruled.

        Michael Filozof has presented sufficient evidence of a possible First Amendment violation … on his free speech claim, Western District Court Judge David G. Larimer has determined.

        The liberal arts dean at the college, Chet Rogalski … recommended against renewal… The trustees at the college ultimately voted against rehiring Filozof.

        “It is clear from Rogalski’s handwritten notes outlining the written recommendation that his conclusion … referred to Filozof’s political views,” the judge wrote.

        I have more. How many do you want?

        UNCW professor who was denied tenure for being conservative awarded $50k in court

        UNCW professor Mike Adams says he has switched from being left-wing to right-wing do to “reality,” and affirmative action. UNCW retaliated against him for his new found conservative beliefs by denying him tenure.

        And these are just a few of the ones reported. As the Boston Globe article in the first quote notes, most teachers do not fight the discrimination and simply more on to other schools.

        But then there is the list of Progressive teachers who hide behind tenure to engage in improper act, especially sexual, against students. As Kimberly Theidon discovered you don’t fight the system. A good friend of mine who is a devoted Democrats activist outside Washington DC teaches at a very respected college. She told me that the Dean of her department “pleasures himself” behind his desk during the day and everyone knows it. But because he has tenure the university will not take action against him.

        Tenure like high political office is a get out of jail free card.

        1. Richard Fox

          Update: The Dean referenced above retired. Some of the teachers who were being denied tenure because they were fighting against him have now received tenure. What no one seems to explain is why teachers have a right to lifetime employment even if they are incompetent. The only other class of people that I can think of who have this protection are federal judges, but they can be impeached. It is easier to impeach and convict a judge than to remove a tenured teacher.

          1. baffling

            “Some of the teachers who were being denied tenure because they were fighting against him have now received tenure. ”
            could you expand on this a little more? you either receive tenure or you do not receive tenure. you typically do not have a situation where you are denied tenure and then receive tenure after some future event. i think you may be receiving second hand stories that are not quite factual.

          2. Ricardo


            Because you apparently don’t understand tenure there may be others with the same confusion. Different institutions have different rules for granting tenure but most of them require that a teacher’s name be brought up to a board once they are eligible. Often if a teacher is not granted tenure within a specified number of years the teacher is let go. If a teacher becomes qualified the teacher can be blocked from being presented to the board, sometimes by just the objection of the dean of his or her school of expertise.

            My friend was one of those teachers who was being blocked. My friend was granted tenure the year after the dean retired and is now head of one of the departments.

          3. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Ricardo: That is the strangest tenure process I have heard of — it certainly doesn’t conform to that operating the four research universities that I am very familiar with. What is this highly respected college (I guess it’s not a university)?

          4. baffling

            it is you who does not understand the tenure process. any tenure track faculty member can apply for tenure at any time during their probationary period. a dean, department chair, etc cannot “block” the tenure process. tenure is granted upon recommendation of a variety of constituents, including the P&T board, the department chair, the dean and the provost. nobody can block the process. certainly somebody can not recommend tenure, but that does not mean it will not be granted. your dean may not recommend, and that could ultimately keep you from getting tenure, but that is not different than a boss not giving promotion. however, if you have a strong record the rest of the tenure committee can override such a negative reaction. the tenure process has become extremely competitive in recent years at research institutions, but the scrutiny of the process minimizes the influence of any one particular person.

  2. rtd

    This is a tough subject. I think the ‘academic freedom’ argument is a bit overstated, but I am worried about older faculty. Are decreases in publications due to diminished skills, or is it a case of moral hazard? Maybe both. So, to an extent I would worry about someone being fired at 60 because due to publications declining. In nearly any other career, you don’t get to slack off just because you’re old and expect your employer to be okay with that. In any case, and from the student’s perspective, ending tenure could potentially be hugely beneficial. I’ve always said many in academia would suffer mightily if instead of ‘publish or perish’ the term were ‘educate or expire.’

    Maybe there should be a change in the balance. Have less researchers. And provide these with tenure later in their careers. Also have a greater volume of researchers/instructors with a greater focus (relative to current trends) on instruction and no tenure. This would need to result in a relative change in compensation, as well.

    1. DeDude

      You can certainly still attract people into universities without a tenure system, its just going to cost a lot more money to compete with the private sector. The VA has discovered that the hard way after it began a process of becoming more “efficient” at its university affiliated hospitals (by demanding that its doctors see more patients and spend less time on research and training new doctors). You either attract people with the work and work environment, or you are forced to pay above market price to get the best to come and work for you. Academia has become less and less attractive as a place to work and I cannot help but wonder what happens when only the worst of the worst (who just cannot find anything else), are willing to accept the jobs as Professors that will educate the next generation.

      1. Jake formerly of the LP

        DeDude- Are you suggesting that researchers and college professors might go somewhere where they can be paid more or be treated with more respect? How right you are, sir.

        As a 2-time UW grad, I am completely disgusted by this. For a bunch of people who claim to be all about the “free market”, Scott Walker and the Wisconsin GOP sure don’t seem to understand how it works. Especially when it comes to competing for talent.

    1. baffling

      bruce, there is a reason why government supports education and basic research. they are not fields that fit into the business world very well. we are unable to efficiently value their products in real time.

      1. Bruce Hall

        I agree that educating our young is a necessary and vital aspect of a healthy economy. Taxpayer funding of schools has been the foundation for achieving a general education opportunity for all income levels (even though the wealthy, including many politicians who advocate for public schools, choose to send their children to private schools … http://www.intellectualtakeout.org/library/chart-graph/congress-kids-absent-public-schoolshttp://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/21/AR2008112103248.html). With the inclusion of charter schools into the taxpayer-funded system, an element of competition and choice has been introduced. Of private schools, about 80% are religious-based institutions… mostly Catholic. Parents still pay the taxes that support the public schools and also pay tuition at these private institutions… their choice. The reason for the success of private schools varies, but often it is simply because they do a better job of educating than public schools. An anecdotal example, my sister-in-law is an administrator at a public high school who sends her son to a Catholic high school. Why? Because the Catholic high school can establish and enforce academic and behavioral codes that are no longer politically correct at public schools.

        Now as to basic research, “knowledge for the sake of knowledge” has never been a corporate strategy. Corporations will do basic research as it relates to their products. Corporations, however, do pay significant taxes part of which go to fund basic research. Sometimes, however, it is difficult to perceive value in some of the “knowledge for the sake of knowledge” efforts: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/6223831/Pointless-research-top-10-Ig-Nobel-award-winners-for-silly-science.html

        But really, it comes down to the fact that there is no etched-in-stone “bailiwick” for government-funded research. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/16/science/billionaires-with-big-ideas-are-privatizing-american-science.html?_r=0

  3. Ed Hanson

    Because of a recent topic posted by Menzie, the title of this post should have been:

    Crony Educationlism

    Why? Because members within the state education system of tenure is using its political power as insiders to demand, by state law, extra protection not available to those within the private education sector. The removal of the state tenure law does not end tenure for the UW System, it simply places it within domain of the Regents of the system. BTW, this makes sense since that System is demanding greater autonomy from the state, there are and should be trade offs.

    I will take this opportunity to remind the readers of the case of Marquette University tenured Professor John McAdams previously discussed at this blog. John McAdams was suspended without regard to due process because he came to the defense of a student but caught on the wrong side of an issue vitally important to the ruling Left at that University. The case is continuing and the readers are encourage to read further.

    Menzie showed little interest (at least publicly) within this blog about the lack of due process in the in the McAdams case. Now we have a little insight into that lack of interest. Besides John McAdams perceived stand on an issue opposite to the Left, Menzie did not need to defend due process for tenure because he is among the privilege group of educators to receive guaranteed due process by the power of state law. In other words, Menzie is part of a special class of insiders, who by means of political influence an access have received special privilege not available to all.

    This is Cronyism.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: The public authority provision was deleted in the JFC, so there is no trade-off.

      On the McAdams case, recall that his political pronouncements were not the issue. It was his public disparagement of a GSI.

      If I released the grades of students to the public, well, I’m not sure tenure would protect me against violation of the law.

      On the other hand, I am glad you didn’t again write “Chinese will be Chinese”.

      1. Ed Hanson


        Your such a hoot. Why don’t you just say it? As part of the organized education establishment, you have become the major influence and contributor to the Democratic party. And you expect your cronies in government to do your bidding in return. One example, the current topic, a privileged position of tenure back by the power of state law. And the heck with anyone outside the state system, we got ours. We like the idea of not being the subject of the vagaries of the Regents determining the extent of tenure and its due process, after all, it is nice to know all those campaign funds have resulted in unequal treatment of a few.


        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          Ed Hanson: Let me get this straight, and you on the record. Are you saying because tenure is in the state charter, that if I broke the law, I would be exempt from prosecution?

          Please answer yes or no, as opposed to going on a long rant on “the organized educational establishment”. Next you’ll be talking about “our precious bodily fluids”.

          1. Ed Hanson

            No Menzie

            I limited my comment to the inherent guarantee of due process which comes from state law. I am not sure prosecution is the correct word, as I suspect tenure revocation is a civil matter not criminal. I remind you that due process is system for the accused to receive fairness, not a system for the authority bringing the case, nor is it a guarantee of outcome. I repeat, it is our system to bring fairness for the accused in the face of autocratic rule. Such due process has been denied to John McAdams. And if you remember our first discussion on this issue, due process was invoked extensively for the protection of Ward Churchill in his tenure case in Colorado. Marquette, so far, has not. And you have not publicly demanded for McAdams.


          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            Ed Hanson: I’m not sure what you mean by denial of due process. There is an ongoing process. [1] Apparently he can file a law suit (and plans to if the advisory committee decides against him — gee, why is there a committee if there is no due process?).

            Now, let me note that there are a ton of procedures written down for how to proceed for removing me from a tenured position — enough for MEGO (my eyes glaze over). So I really don’t understand this view you have I am invulnerable. If I publish a bunch of student grades, publicly humiliate one of my teaching assistants, well, I wouldn’t want to see what the outcome would be.

  4. Ed Hanson


    I have no idea how Chinese history and culture is connected to tenure and cronyism of Wisconsin, but you think so, and its partly your blog, so here goes.

    I postulate the first widespread use of the expression “Chinese will be Chinese” came with end of the Mongol empire (Yuan dynasty) in China. Although in the past, China became a large and great country, beginning with the Qin Dynasty, followed by Han, Tang, and Song dynasties. However, even during these great dynasties, I suspect family, clan, and regional identification were paramount. It took the years of rule by a foreign culture to reduce the regional identification and begin the rise of a general Chines culture identification.

    It must have been a wonderful and exhilarating emotion that ,although the faces of local government control were essentially the same, the knowledge that the ultimate authority was now Chinese (Ming dynasty). That is a good thing. But it is also the beginning of xenophobia, and mistrust of outside influences. China has dealt with that deep seated meme ever since.

    If Menzie calls for it, the next installment will be on the Great Wall of China, the destruction of the eunuch class, and end of the greatest trading fleet of its time.


    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Ed Hanson: I mentioned it because (1) it is indicative of your cultural-determinist view of the world, and (2) it is the topic you brought up when you raised McAdams’ case (re-read the comment of yours I linked to). For you, the two seem to be linked, so it seems appropriate for me to highlight your particular approach to viewing the world.

  5. Rick Stryker

    You’d think from a casual look at this post that Walker and the GOP are burning books in downtown Madison.

    I wonder how many people understand how unusual tenure is in the UW system? In Wisconsin, tenure is actually enshrined into state law. If you have tenure in the UW system, you can only be dismissed for just cause after due process. You cannot be dismissed because of financial exigency or because of changes in academic programs and offerings. How many professors or in fact any other workers actually have their jobs protected from budget pressures or from changes in demand for their product?

    Tenure at other institutions is not quite so generous. What’s typical is that tenure is not enshrined in state law but is rather a contract between the Board of Regents and the faculty. In those contracts, you can be dismissed for just cause after due process or because of financial exigency or changes in academic programs and offerings. That’s how tenure works in the University of California system where Menzie’s co-blogger has tenure.

    All the GOP is doing in Wisconsin is making tenure more consistent with other university systems. They are taking it out of state law and putting it into the Board of Regents, much like the way it works in California.

    I can understand why UW professors are upset. I think everyone would want his job protected by state law from budget shortfalls and changes in demand for services. But almost none of us have those protections.

    Lost in all the kerfuffle is that the GOP reduced the cuts to the UW system by $50 million, which should be noted.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: If one wishes to insulate academia from political influences, then I would think it still makes sense to make the protections as strong as possible (despite what is the norm). I know this is not what you want, so I understand completely your position.

      You should read a bit about how the University of California dealt with the School of Criminology at UC-Berkeley. I’m sure you are in complete agreement with how professors with certain views that did not fit with the government’s view were removed. But that’s not the America I want to live in.

      Also, it’s noted in the Journal Sentinel article that other provisions in the JFC document are likely to push the cuts back to $300 million.

      1. Rick Stryker


        This has nothing to do with academic freedom and everything to do with resisting budget cuts. The UW system must find $250 million in budget cuts. The UW system needs to make those cuts as efficiently as possible, minimizing the impact on the students and on the quality of research. Those cuts are going to be quite inefficient if a large part of the budget, namely tenured faculty headcount, is off limits. Changing tenure to be consistent with the rest of the country gives the UW Administration more leeway to make sensible cuts. When you are forced to make large budget cuts, it does not make sense to exclude from consideration faculty members who no longer do academic research or departments who don’t have sufficient numbers of students to justify the size of the faculty.

        Where does the Journal Sentinel article say that cuts are likely to be pushed back to $300 million?

    2. baffling

      rick, would it be acceptable to close the earth sciences department of a university, and its associated researchers, because the administration or governor did not agree with the research agenda of the department?

      “Tenure at other institutions is not quite so generous.” is that a valid reason to change the wisconsin system? there is a reason why the wisconsin university system is held in such high regard throughout the country. do you think such a change will make the system stronger, or more in line with the other mediocre systems in our country? you can be singular or you can be average, not both.

      1. Rick Stryker


        Well, a malicious government could trump up some charges against tenured faculty members it disagrees with and then fire them for just cause under the present system in Wisconsin. That’s not as far-fetched as it may seem in a state like Wisconsin. Even now, the Wisconsin Left has been sending swat teams in to intimidate and silence conservatives under the so-called “John Doe” laws. And the Left at Marquette University has violated their own tenure policy in an attempt to remove Professor McAdams for the offense of blogging while conservative.

        Is academic freedom so important that the law should be changed so that tenured faculty members should not be removed for even just cause?

        1. baffling

          rick, i am all for a firing due to just cause. but i don’t think that was the intent of the changes in wisconsin policy. it seems to me, if you are making changes, they should be changes which improve the system, not make it more like the rest of the world. wisconsin university system is stellar. are you sure making a changes which puts it in line with the rest of the mediocre systems in the nation creates an improvement in the wisconsin system? if it does not make an improvement, you don’t have much justification for the change.

          as an aside, i recently had dinner with a well known academic at wisconsin who is leaving the school, and the decision in part was due to the current anti-academic atmosphere in the state. not saying this is a trend, but this was a concrete example of losing talented people in part due to policy.

        2. Ricardo


          To demonstrate the absurdity of baffling’s question, “rick, would it be acceptable to close [the Fellowship of Christian Athletes] of a university, and its associated [programs and charitable work] because the leftist administration or governor did not agree with the [Christian] agenda?”

          1. baffling

            the fellowship of christian athletes is not an academic department with research mission within the university. people hold tenure in departments or schools with explicit privilege to do so. i know of no fellowship of christian athletes which holds such privilege, at any institution. tenure does not apply to extracurricular activities and staff. your statement is nonsense.

  6. Samuel

    This Wisconsin state budget is a disaster, from targeting scientists (http://www.jsonline.com/news/statepolitics/walkers-budget-steeply-cuts-dnrs-science-bureau-b99440503z1-291112181.html) to cutting funding for K-12 education (and I am not even talking about the serious cut of $250 million to UW-higher education will be in taters) (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2015/05/28/what-the-heck-is-going-on-with-wisconsin-public-education/ ) to cutting proven cost effective programs for the disabled (http://www.leadertelegram.com/News/front-page/2015/05/29/lt-div-class-libPageBodyLinebreak-gt-Proposed-changes-lt-br-gt-to-IRIS-raising-concerns-lt-div-gt.html). And JFC has not even discussed how we are supposed to pay for roads, yet. Terrible. This budget is short sighted and does even do the things a state should do, fill some potholes, educate children, take care of the disabled.

  7. Joseph

    Ed Hanson: “John McAdams was suspended without regard to due process.”

    From the Dean’s letter to McAdams: “In accord with Section 307.03, we are commencing as of this date the procedures for revoking your tenure and dismissing you from the faculty. Please refer to Chapter 307 of the Faculty Statutes for the procedures that will ensue. If you file a timely objection, we will of course provide the conferences outlined in Section 307.05 and thereafter, if necessary, proceed with the Faculty Hearing Committee process under Section 307.07. You of course will be provided all the process to which you are due. We likewise expect you to comply with these procedures, including but not limited to Section 307.08.”

    Looks like a lot of procedures and due process!

    McAdams is accused of malicious defamation and making false statements while violating the privacy rights of a graduate student. He will have his chance to defend himself against those charges in accordance with written procedures and process.

    1. Rick Stryker


      No, Ed is absolutely right. Before McAdams received the letter you cite, he received the following email from the Dean:

      “Dear John:

      The university is continuing to review your conduct and during this period–and until further notice–you are relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with Marquette students, faculty and staff. Should any academic appeals arise from Fall 2014 semester, however, you are expected to fulfill your obligations in that specific matter.

      Your salary and benefits will continue at their current level during this time.

      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. 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.


      Richard C. Holz, Ph.D. Dean”

      Thus, McAdams was summarily relieved of all duties and ordered off campus because he was being investigated for unspecified charges. McAdams speculated that the email might involve his blog post since that was the only controversial thing he had recently been involved with, but he wasn’t sure what it was about. He knew that it must have something to do with harassment, since the Dean enclosed the policy. When McAdams wrote the Dean to ask what he was being investigated for, he received no reply and no justification for the Dean’s action.

  8. Rick Stryker

    Liberal Kirsten Powers’ new book The Silencing: How The Left is Killing Free Speech discusses the case of tenured Marquette Prof John McAdams, who is being threatened with dismissal because of a conservative blog post he wrote that the Dean disagreed with. We should keep this case in mind if we are truly worried about academic freedom. Here’s an excerpt from her book:

    “The relentless stereotyping and demonizing of people who oppose same-sex marriage has paid enormous dividends for the illiberal left. Their views have seeped into the culture to the point that many people think that denying same-sex marriage opponents the right to speak about their views is acceptable. In 2014, an instructor in a philosophy class at Marquette University, a Catholic school, let it be known that opposition to same-sex marriage was unworthy of discussion. In a conversation recorded by a student following the class, instructor Cheryl Abbate explained “there are some opinions that are not appropriate, that are harmful” and compared questioning same-sex marriage to sexism and racism. Abbate went on to say that no one should express views that might be “offensive” to any gay student. Abbate told the student, who opposed same-sex marriage, “You don’t have a right in this class …to make homophobic comments” and said the student could drop the class. The student complained, but the university took no action against the instructor.

    Marquette political science associate professor John McAdams wrote a blog post criticizing Abbate for refusing to allow criticism of same-sex marriage in class discussions and quoted the conversation Abbate had with the student. He then found himself the object of illiberal scrutiny. Inside Higher Ed’s Colleen Flaherty wrote that University of South Carolina associate professor Justin Weinberg argued that McAdams had made Abbate the “target of a political attack,” likely stemming from “sexism.” Louisiana State University French studies professor John Protevi posted an open letter of support of Abbate on his blog blasting McAdams’s “one-sided public attack.” Abbate characterized McAdams’s post as “cyberbullying and harassment” and noted, “It is astounding to me that the university has not created some sort of policy that would prohibit this behavior which undoubtedly leads to a toxic environment for both students and faculty.”

    Just to be clear here: the illiberal left considers the victim in this story to be the professor who preemptively silenced a student and compared his views to racism and sexism. Disagreement expressed by McAdams, in an academic environment where rigorous debate should be encouraged, was cast as a bullying attack. Rather than his motivation being reasonably interpreted as wanting to expose illiberal silencing on a campus, McAdams was accused of being motivated by sexism. This is all standard fare for the illiberal left. Why make a substantive argument when it’s just as easy to smear dissenters as sexist bullies?

    While the university brushed off the student’s complaints of being silenced, the administration became vigorously engaged when the illiberal left complained about McAdams’s post. Incredibly, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences sent McAdams a letter informing him he was “relieved of all teaching duties and all other faculty activities, including, but not limited to, advising, committee work, faculty meetings and any activity that would involve your interaction with Marquette students, faculty and staff.” He was ordered to stay off campus while he was being investigated for an unnamed transgression. Enclosed was a copy of Marquette’s harassment policy, which appears to be modeled on Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book. According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), screenshots of a faculty training session on the policy include “a slide about hypothetical peers Becky and Maria, who ‘have been talking about their opposition to same-sex marriage.’ Hans overhears the conversations, is offended, and reports the two for harassment. Hans’s action is condoned.”

    It’s hard to imagine a more intellectually chilling policy than one that turns students and faculty into informants and punishes them for discussing issues in a manner not sanctioned by university authorities.

    When a reporter inquired about the investigation against McAdams, a Marquette spokesperson straight out of Orwell’s 1984 asserted that McAdams had violated the university’s “Guiding Values to which all faculty and staff are required to adhere, and in which the dignity and worth of each member of our community is respected , especially students.” Clearly Marquette’s “Guiding Values” don’t apply to students who oppose same-sex marriage. Marquette was also violating its expressed commitment to free speech in its official handbook, which states, “It is clearly inevitable, and indeed essential, that the spirit of inquiry and challenge that the university seeks to encourage will produce many conflicts of ideas, opinions and proposals for action.”

    Due process was also out the window. McAdams was not informed of his offense, nor was he given an opportunity to defend himself. This treatment blatantly violates another one of Marquette’s show documents, the faculty handbook, which states that the university protects professors’ “full and free enjoyment of legitimate personal or academic freedoms of thought, doctrine, discourse, association, advocacy, or action.” Apparently, Marquette’s professed commitments to their students and professors are trumped by their enigmatic and creepy “Guiding Values.” One might also note the irony of an orthodox Catholic position on marriage being ruled as outside the bounds of legitimate discussion at a Catholic university at the hands of the illiberal left who dominate or run so many college and university campuses.”

  9. Joseph

    If McAdams is claiming he had no idea about the reason for his suspension then he is a liar as well as his other misdeeds.

    The suspension did not come out of the blue. He had been warned by the dean several times previously for the very same offense, disclosing private information about students, and advised of the consequences. That is the due process leading to his suspension.

    To get an idea of the seriousness of his offenses you should understand his malicious intent. He took the side of one student is a dispute between two students, an undergraduate and a graduate. He chose to conceal the identity of the student he supported while publicizing the name of the student he opposed. There was no other purpose to this than to threaten the student and expose her to public scorn. Even though he was a direct adviser to one of the students, he made no attempt to work through the standard procedures for dispute resolution. He took an internal matter public without exercising the due process that he himself now benefits from.

    The reason for the immediacy of the dean’s action is that McAdams’ activity resulted in death threats and rape threats to a student. This had happened before in the previous incidents for which he had been warned. He was suspended to prevent further harm to students. He had his due process before the suspension and he will have his due process in the dismissal.

    Think about your own daughter. As a direct result of McAdams’ activities, which he had been repeatedly warned about, this woman student received hundreds of emails and public attacks in which she was called a bi**h, a c*nt, dyke, pus*y, fag enabler, and many more. There were other threats that she needed a good raping, she needed to be as* f*cked, needed d*ck, her brains should be blown out, she should puke and die. It is unfortunate to have to bring this sort of language to this forum, but it is necessary to illustrate the seriousness of McAdams’ offenses. The ugliness needs to be brought to light.

    My own opinion is that McAdams is one nasty piece of work. He abused his position of authority to bully, intimidate and incite vigilante justice on students whom he didn’t like. He has no business being anywhere near a classroom.

    1. baffling

      thanks joseph, i think your statement puts into better context the case of mcadams. this was not simply a case of penalty for conservative blogging. this was a violation of a graduate student by a faculty member. the university chose a path which was meant to protect that graduate student. i would hope all educational institutions protect their students. or is it ok for faculty members to create conditions on campus (and online) which result in harassment of students? mcadams was out of line, and as such deserves the scrutiny he is now under.

    2. Rick Stryker


      In your attempt to justify the Left’s attempt to squelch academic freedom, you’ve not surprisingly gotten key facts about the case wrong, made up some facts, and failed to deal with exculpatory evidence. Let’s go through it:

      “If McAdams is claiming he had no idea about the reason for his suspension then he is a liar as well as his other misdeeds.”

      As I made clear in my comment, McAdams did not claim he had no idea about the reason. He speculated that it was probably his blog post but he was not sure. He asked the Dean to clarify and got no response. That was Ed’s point. The Dean suspended McAdams while investigating him and did not inform him of why they were investigating him or level any formal charges. Do the hanging and have the trial later.

      “The suspension did not come out of the blue. He had been warned by the dean several times previously for the very same offense, disclosing private information about students, and advised of the consequences. That is the due process leading to his suspension.”

      First, that’s a misstatement of fact to say that McAdams was warned about disclosing private information about students. The Dean clearly alleges in his letter that McAndrews was warned on 2 occasions about publishing student names, not their private info such as grades. However the Dean did not provide any documentary evidence to back that up and McAdams denies that he was so warned about using student names in his blog posts. In fact, on one occasion, McAdams published some students name in an a blog post and the Dean said in in an email that the blogpost was not an issue, contradicting the Dean’s assertion in his letter.

      “To get an idea of the seriousness of his offenses you should understand his malicious intent. He took the side of one student is a dispute between two students, an undergraduate and a graduate.”

      No, he related the facts as he understood them in a blog post acting as a journalist and opinion writer. And the tenure rules explicitly protect his right to express his opinion or to advocate. To quote from Section Section 306.03 of the rules governing revocation of tenure at Marquette:

      “Discretionary cause shall include those circumstances, exclusive of absolute cause, which arise from a faculty member’s conduct and which clearly and substantially fail to meet the standard of personal and professional excellence which generally characterizes University faculties, but only if through this conduct a faculty member’s value will probably be substantially impaired. Examples of conduct that substantially impair the value or utility of a faculty member are: serious instances of illegal, immoral, dishonorable, irresponsible, or incompetent conduct. In no case, however, shall discretionary cause be interpreted so as to impair the full and free enjoyment of legitimate personal or academic freedoms of thought, doctrine, discourse, association, advocacy, or action.

      “He chose to conceal the identity of the student he supported while publicizing the name of the student he opposed. There was no other purpose to this than to threaten the student and expose her to public scorn.”

      No, he agreed to protect the identity of a source, which is standard journalistic practice.

      “Even though he was a direct adviser to one of the students, he made no attempt to work through the standard procedures for dispute resolution. He took an internal matter public without exercising the due process that he himself now benefits from.”

      McAdams, not being a professor in the Philosophy Department, has no obligation to work through any standard procedures.

      “The reason for the immediacy of the dean’s action is that McAdams’ activity resulted in death threats and rape threats to a student. This had happened before in the previous incidents for which he had been warned. He was suspended to prevent further harm to students. He had his due process before the suspension and he will have his due process in the dismissal.”

      No, you are making up facts. There has been no explanation for the Dean’s decision to suspend McAdams without any formal charges. Your hypothesis that the Dean did it to protect the students makes no sense. How does suspension without any formal charges prevent McAdams from continuing to blog? And in fact he did continue to blog.

      “Think about your own daughter. As a direct result of McAdams’ activities, which he had been repeatedly warned about, this woman student received hundreds of emails and public attacks in which she was called a bi**h, a c*nt, dyke, pus*y, fag enabler, and many more. There were other threats that she needed a good raping, she needed to be as* f*cked, needed d*ck, her brains should be blown out, she should puke and die. It is unfortunate to have to bring this sort of language to this forum, but it is necessary to illustrate the seriousness of McAdams’ offenses. The ugliness needs to be brought to light.”

      No one condones threats or vicious attacks. I’d like to see the perpetrators of these emails investigated and punished. But we’re in a lot of trouble as a country if we deny people their free speech rights just because other people might react in a nasty or illegal way. That’s the price we pay for liberty.

      This case is very simple. McAdams was suspended from his duties and ordered off campus without any formal charges being filed or explained to him, with charges coming later. And yet his blogging advocacy is very clearly protected in the University’s own tenure rules. Why is this happening? Because McAdams exposed the suppression of a conservative student’s views in the classroom by a Left Wing instructor. Even more infuriating for the University Administration, the instructor was caught red-handed on tape by the student.

      1. baffling

        rick, mcadams publicly named a student at the university in connection with academic performance. that is why he is in hot water. you can spin the story any way that you want, but at the end of the day publicly condemning the performance of a graduate student is not acceptable at any university. perhaps the university could have handled the follow on actions better, but his actions created this situation in the first place.

    3. Joseph

      McAdams complains about due process, yet he denied due process to the object of his attack, a female graduate student. McAdams was an adviser for one of the students in the dispute. If he had a problem with this student dispute, he had a duty to follow the university process to resolution. Instead he took a student dispute and went public with it for the purpose of causing harm to the other student.

      This wasn’t journalism. This was vigilantism. He knew exactly what would happen because he had repeatedly done it before and been reprimanded for it — with undergraduate students, all women it turns out.

      That you would support this sort of reckless indifference to a foreseeable outcome — death and rape threats to a female student — tells us a lot about you. Now we all know what kind of person you really are, Rick Stryker.

      1. Rick Stryker

        There you again–making up the facts.

        Why does McAdams have a duty to follow some alleged University policy, assuming that there is such a policy in the first place? What is this policy?

        You also claim that he “had repeatedly done it before and been reprimanded for it — with undergraduate students, all women it turns out.” Really? Where does that come from? The fact is that the Dean in his letter referred to 2 incidents, one involving a student at the Marquette Tribune and other concerning a student who was organizing a performance of the vagina monologues. In neither case did the Dean allege that the students received threats. And, that’s just the Dean’s version of the facts. McAdams denies that the student from the Marquette Tribune contacted him as the Dean claims. In the other case, the Dean uses the passive voice, saying, “the harmful consequences of your unilateral naming of students were pointed out.” Pointed out by whom? But notice that the Dean is not alleging that the student received any threats or anything like that. No, McAdams has not repeatedly done “it” and been reprimanded for it.

        Moreover, contrary to your initial assertion, the Dean is complaining about McAdams mentioning students by name in his blog. But the Dean contradicted that complaint in the email I linked to earlier.

        When I read the Dean’s letter, I’m very much reminded of Dean Wormer putting Delta House on double secret probation. Marquette seems to be making up the rules as they go along. Here’s a rule that perhaps they should consider following. In their own policy, Chapter 307, which governs procedures for cause, states in 307.07.2:

        “A faculty member who has been awarded tenure at Marquette University may only be dismissed upon a showing of absolute or discretionary cause, as these terms are defined by the Handbook for Full-Time Faculty (hereinafter University Statutes), Section 306.02 (absolute cause) or 306.03 (discretionary cause).Dismissal will not be used to restrain faculty members in their exercise of academic freedom or other rights guaranteed them by the United States Constitution.

        The bolded statement in Marquette’s policy is the crux of the dispute. McAdams maintains that he has a right to engage in opinion journalism while the Administration disagrees. But Marquette’s own policy shows that McAdams is right. Even if you somehow don’t accept that academic freedom includes the freedom to advocate by blog, McAdams is guaranteed freedom of speech under the Constitution.

        Of course, like so many on the Left, you end your fact-free argument with an ad hominem.

        1. baffling

          rick, mcadams is free to advocate any position he wants on his blog. the dispute arises when he names the graduate student. he obtained that information not as a journalist, but as the academic advisor of another student. his information was not gained as a journalist, but as an academic, and he did not respect that aspect. by naming the student, he crossed a line which is not protected by academic tenure. the proper procedure would have been to file a complaint with the graduate student instructor’s department chair. not a public airing of grievances on a blog.

  10. JBH

    Academic tenure enables untruth to accumulate and calcify in the precise place that causes most damage to America’s once free society. Academia is the basin where society’s most gifted youth are easily propagandized to and deceived in their early formative years. Departments of economics and history are the most reprehensible. Hard sciences not. Economics because the destruction of society requires financial capital to shape and control the institutions causing the damage (mainstream media, Hollywood, tax-free foundations, government bloated beyond what’s necessary for a good society, and so forth). The reigning paradigm of economics has inoculated at least three generations of youth with elite misinformation, reinforcing and perpetuating a dynamic that for over a century has systematically expropriated an ever-greater share of wealth away from those who created it into the hands of a tiny global elite who own and control the international banks and industrial cartels. The keystone of the elite’s march to global domination, which leads to eradication of national sovereignty and hence individual liberty, is the network of central banks put in place by secretive and deceptive means starting with the Bank of England and, in 1913, the US Federal Reserve. These privately-owned corporations enable usury as distinct from interest when they create private money out of thin air, so that from one crisis to the next the global elite is able to use their privately created money to seize ownership of an ever-greater share of the legal claims on society’s physical production due to their insider status and corruption of government officials.

    The Rhodes-Milner secret society was formed in 1890. Within a decade it had infested both the British crown and British cabinet. By duplicitous means, the Milner-laced cabinet and its Anglo-American banker allies maneuvered Britain, France, and Russia into fomenting WWI. Germany was not the causal party. Massive propaganda on both sides of the Atlantic, however, made it out to be. America was by this propaganda drawn into that horrific war. WWI led to the Versailles Treaty, which ravaged an already wronged Germany and set up the conditions for WWII. The British delegation at the Peace Conference was almost exclusively from the Milner Group. Also increasingly Zionist. The Milner group and Anglo-American bankers instigated and helped fund the Russian revolution in 1917. This revolution extinguished the Romanov line, which by this point in history was more loved than not by the Russian people, causing the Tsar and his entire family to be murdered in a bloody, ghastly way. Similarly they funded Hitler, who because of the preceding sequence of events entered history with a mission to save and renew the German people, save the Aryan race, and safeguard Western civilization and culture. Hitler wanted Germany’s pre-war boundaries back, more lebensraum toward the East, and a halt to the international Marxism spewing out of Moscow that was infesting Europe with Bolshevism designed to overturn the reigning order country by country. The Milner group had earlier in 1919 established Chatham House. Chatham gave birth to its US counterpart, the Council on Foreign Relations. The CFR presently dominates the US Departments of State, Defense, and Treasury. In direct line came Rockefeller’s Trilateral commission and the Bilderberg group. The most recent manifestation is the New World Order.

    Much history has been suppressed. The historical record carefully edited. Mainstream publishers will not touch the unvarnished, unedited truth. There are hundreds of well-footnoted authentically documented books going far back in time, but the public is kept unaware of them. Whole truth does not show up on the History Channel. Students of economics are taught that central banks should be independent of politics. What they are not taught is that throughout history nations whose governments created their own money (rather than private-sector money) saw interest on the credit created flow back to its citizens as the debt was paid down, thereby relieving the need for much income tax. (Far from coincidence, the income tax had to come into being the same time the Fed was created.) These nations or empires nearly always outperformed their surrounding peers economically. Academic tenure is a mortar that helps hold the deception together. It helps calcify important parts of the historic and economic record in a way the elites want it to appear. The logic is simple. Those who attempt to publish the unvarnished truth as they find it rarely get published by the mainstream. Nor are they likely to get tenure. Carroll Quigley was a notable exception. You can do no better than start with Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope, 1966. Quigley, The Anglo-American Establishment, 1981. John Cafferky, Lord Milner’s Second War: The Rhodes-Milner Secret Society; The Origin of World War I; and The Start of the New World Order, 2013. Stephen Mitford Goodson, A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind, 2014. G. Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve, 5th edition, 2010. Ellen Hodgson Brown, The Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth About Our Money System And How We Can Break Free, 5th edition, 2012. R.H.S. Stolfi, Hitler: Beyond Evil and Tyranny, 2011. William Cooper’s Behold a Pale Horse, 1991, is alone worth the price of admission for its Chapter One – a mapping of basic electrical principles onto the economy as how the NWO can achieve total control over society.

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