The Faculty Hearing Committee was biased from beginning; does not exonerate university, Lovell mishandling of issue
May 4, 2016 – Milwaukee, WI – Monday, in response to the lawsuit filed by suspended Marquette University professor John McAdams, Marquette University released the written report of its Faculty Hearing Committee. The FHC is supposed to be the guardian of a tenured faculty member’s procedural and substantive rights against the power of the University Administration. But as shown in the attachment, the FHC failed in its mission.
On behalf of Professor McAdams, the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty has objected from the beginning to the way in which Marquette has handled the entire matter. Those concerns were compounded by the composition and conduct of the FHC.
Marquette’s self-serving and selective references to the FHC report ignore the fact that the Committee did not exonerate the Administration. To the contrary, it found that Marquette’s summary suspension and banishment of Professor McAdams violated its own rules of conduct. And in many other respects the report is fatally flawed.
- The FHC refused to follow requirements placed in the faculty statutes to ensure that tenured professors receive a fair hearing.
- It permitted a clearly biased member to remain on the committee, did nothing to ameliorate the effects of a summary suspension it acknowledged was entirely improper, and refused to compel the administration to turn over evidence in its possession to assist Professor McAdams in preparing for its hearing.
- Furthermore, it gutted Marquette’s contractual promise of academic freedom and free speech by making up rules after the fact to justify punishing Professor McAdams.
- Finally, it lost sight of the fact that Dr. McAdams was standing up for a student who was being mistreated by a Marquette Instructor.
Professor McAdams maintains that the academic freedom allegedly guaranteed by Marquette allowed him to write about any and all topics of public interest, in particular the mistreatment of an undergraduate student by his Instructor and the subsequent failure of the Administration even to consider his complaint.
A comprehensive response to the Faculty Hearing Committee and process can be found here.