Picture 2

Picture 2

Apr 26, 2016

Academia's Adverse Impact on Republicans

At Marquette University, Professor John McAdams has been suspended without pay since December, 2014, for a blog post.  The posting criticized an instructor for telling an undergraduate student that opposition to same sex marriage would not be discussed in her classroom.  Since Marquette is a Jesuit institution, this is a surprising position for the university to take.  The administration and its faculty supporters say this is a matter of professional misconduct because it’s improper for a professor to criticize a teaching assistant in a blog.  This particular policy on blog posts appears to me to be part of a pattern of discrimination in academia.

Let’s consider the statistics.  What percentage of Marquette's social sciences faculty are known or suspected Republicans? If, as in the case of most universities, it's less than 10%, this statistic is very strong evidence that universities in general, and Marquette in particular, have hiring and firing procedures which have a severe adverse impact. Ratios like that must be the result of prejudice.  There is no way this statistic could be a random outcome of fair, unbiased processes. This must be the result of an extremely hostile environment. To conservatives, what you refer to as a normal disciplinary process looks like censorship. Given the background of institutional bias shown in the statistics, the burden of proof is on Marquette to show that this is not just a handy excuse to terminate a conservative as part of a pervasive pattern of political discrimination. I don't see anything in what you have said that would convince a federal judge this is not discrimination, if Republicans were a protected class. If a private workplace had racial minority representation of 10% of employees when the population was 50% minority, would it seem unbiased and fair to you? The background removes Marquette’s credibility.

If tenure doesn't protect Professor McAdams from this kind of manure flowing down hill, then it's useless.  All of those tenured folks who can't teach and haven't done research in years should be laid off.  In the meantime, it's clear that Marquette supports freedom of speech only if they totally agree with what's being said.  Liberation theology does not seem to be very liberating. 

Marquette’s defense of an instructor telling a student that certain subjects may not be questioned with regard to the course content is disingenuous at best. Academic freedom is supposed to allow inquiry into subjects unfettered by preconceived notions. The instructor's comments to her student showed an almost total lack of academic freedom. The fact that the Professor who commented on it is straight and white may have something to do with the fact that he's being tarred and feathered and then run out of Marquette on a rail.  Campus justice, an oxymoron worse than military intelligence, is based almost entirely on identity and politics. Professors, check your privilege. It's possible for identities to come in and out of fashion. Your identity might be eclipsed by some other identities that become more equal than others.


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