by WorldTribune Staff, July 8, 2018
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ordered Marquette University to “immediately reinstate” a professor who was suspended after writing a blog post critical of another instructor who had told students not to question the propriety of gay marriage, a report said.
“The undisputed facts show that the University breached its contract with Dr. (John) McAdams when it suspended him for engaging in activity protected by the contract’s guarantee of academic freedom,” the court wrote, according to a July 6 report by Campus Reform.
“Therefore, we reverse the circuit court and remand this cause with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Dr. McAdams, conduct further proceedings to determine damages (which shall include back pay), and order the University to immediately reinstate Dr. McAdams with unimpaired rank, tenure, compensation, and benefits,” the court added.
Campus Reform had previously reported that McAdams was put on paid suspension in December 2014 after he wrote the blog in which he criticized instructor Cheryl Abbate, a philosophy instructor, who had said about “gay rights” that “everybody agrees on this, and there is no need to discuss it.”
McAdams also noted that Abbate’s argument that “gay marriage cannot be discussed,” made Marquette, which is a Catholic university, “less and less a real university.”
In March 2016, Marquette University President Michael Lovell announced that the professor would be suspended until January 2017, and would be required to issue a public admission of “guilt” for expressing his views, the report said.
The Milwaukee County Circuit Court initially ruled against McAdams, arguing that Marquette was justified in issuing the suspension. The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty (WILL) challenged the ruling in 2017, taking the case to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.
WILL President Rick Esenberg told Campus Reform that “the Wisconsin Supreme Court has struck a major blow in favor of free speech,” arguing that “the only thing Professor McAdams wanted to do was to teach students without having to compromise his principles.”
“Yet Marquette refused to honor its promises of academic freedom and now, thanks to the Supreme Court, he will be able to teach again,” Esenberg said. “Make no mistake about it, this is a major day for freedom. It is our sincere hope that Marquette University appreciates and learns from this episode and takes care to guard free speech on campus.”
Marquette spokesman Chris Jenkins, in a press release, wrote that the university “will comply with the terms of this decision,” but added that “it does not change the university’s commitment to the safety and well-being of our students. This case has never been about academic freedom or a professor’s political views.”
See McAdams’ blog post here