MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Marquette University has begun the process of firing tenured political science professor John McAdams from the university. McAdams announced this development on his blog on Wednesday evening, February 4th.
This story has gotten national attention and has drawn passionate responses from faculty across the country. Some believe Marquette is silencing McAdams for his politically incorrect views. Others say the professor had no business publicly attacking a graduate student.
Nearly three months after he published a controversial blog post, Marquette University has begun the process of firing the long-time, tenured political science professor.
"I don`t regret what I did. It was straightforward journalism," McAdams said.
It all started with a discussion in a philosophy class back in October 2014. An unidentified student felt Graduate Assistant Cheryl Abbate blew off his request to discuss same-sex marriage. After class, he went up to Abbate to talk about it, and he recorded the conversation. In part, he said: "Regardless of why I'm against gay marriage, it's still wrong for the teacher of a class to completely discredit one person's opinion when they may have different opinions." Abbate responded by saying: "There are some opinions that are not appropriate, that are harmful -- such as racist opinions, sexist opinions and quite honestly, do you know if anyone in the class is homosexual?"
The student took the recording to McAdams, who posted it on his conservative-leaning blog.
Marquette Associate Professor Erik Ugland says McAdams went too far.
"There`s no inherent conflict in being both a blogger and a professor, but when you use your blog to go after students, the people who you`re principally in charge of nurturing, then you have a problem," Ugland said.
In December, Marquette University asked McAdams to stay away from campus. All of his second semester classes were cancelled.
In a letter dated January 30th, Marquette officials informed McAdams the university is moving to fire him. In part, the letter reads: "Instead of being a mentor to a graduate student instructor learning her craft, including how to deal with challenging students, you took the opportunity to publicly disparage her."
McAdams believes the issue isn't what he did, but rather, the belief he expressed.
"Anything someone says that we don`t like can be said to be somehow inconsistent with Marquette`s values," McAdams said.
McAdams' attorney says they will appeal Marquette's decision to terminate him. McAdams himself says he won't rule out taking this to court of that appeal fails.
Cheryl Abbate has since left Marquette University.