WILL Press Release | Marquette University Mulls Further Speech Restrictions As McAdams Settles

September 21, 2018 — Milwaukee, WI — This week, there were two significant updates in academic freedom at Marquette University.

After being sued for removing Dr. John McAdams from his professorship for his blog post defending a student against a graduate-student instructor, Marquette University has officially agreed to reinstate Dr. McAdams as a professor, compensate him with back pay and damages, and pay the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty’s court costs.

The settlement agreement also states that Dr. McAdams will return to the Marquette faculty with unimpaired rank and tenure and shall be on sabbatical for the fall semester of the 2018-2019 school year to complete his book: “60 Politically Incorrect Things You Should Know.”

“With the settlement finalized, our client Professor John McAdams is finally reimbursed for back pay and damages and can return to the classroom and do what he does best – teach students,” WILL President and General Counsel Rick Esenberg said.

This was reaffirmed by Professor McAdams who said “It’s good to be back doing what academics do – writing, researching and teaching – after three and a half years in exile.  The fight was worth it, but if Marquette were the sort of university it should be, the fight would not have been necessary.”

However, academic freedom could still be facing opposition at Marquette. Also this week, the Marquette University Academic Senate met to discuss the “balance of academic freedom and professional behavior” and to “consider what to include in its professional conduct/cyberbullying policy.”  The latter, of course, is an inaccurate description of Dr. McAdams’s blog post about a graduate instructor.

Esenberg reacted: “The Wisconsin Supreme Court made clear that academic freedom is not just allowing popular notions a voice, but all ideas, even those that to some may seem controversial. It would be very disappointing if Marquette University refused to learn its lesson and took actions to further suppress speech on campus.”

To celebrate this victory for academic freedom and WILL’s continued freedom-fighting efforts, please join us and Dr. John McAdams at the WILL Gala on September 27.

Professor McAdams take on Marquette’s Senate meeting can be found on his blog.

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