Thursday, February 5, 2015

No process due McAdams says Marquette

Karen Herzog reports in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Marquette professor John McAdams says he's facing termination.
"McAdams blogged that his attorney received a letter Friday from Arts & Sciences Dean Richard Holz, stating: 'We are commencing as of this date the procedures for revoking your tenure and dismissing you from the faculty.'"
Marquette has given the impression that this was its aim from the start. It's hard to imagine what substance there was to the 'review' is said it was conducting in the interim.
"Holz reportedly told McAdams: 'It is vital for our university and our profession that graduate student instructors learn their craft as teachers of sometimes challenging and difficult students. Great teachers develop over time; many benefit from experienced mentors who share hard-earned insights. Thus, graduate student instructors should expect appropriate and constructive feedback in order to improve their teaching skills.'"
"Thus"? That's a leap from saying that graduate student instructors benefit from mentoring, to implying that everyone on the faculty is a mentor to every graduate student instructor. And with both parties represented by counsel, why don't Holz's communications with McAdams ever sound like they've first been run past Marquette's attorneys?

Marquette President James Lovell, on the other hand, seems to telelgraph MU's litigation strategy in a Facebook post quoted in the article.

"'... Until all procedures required under university rules and policies are complete, we will not publicly disclose further details.'
[...]
"'The decisions here have everything to do with our Guiding Values and expectations of conduct toward each other and nothing to do with academic freedom, freedom of speech, or same-sex marriage...'"
As far as I can recall, this contiues Marquette's streak of not citing any specific provision of its rules and procedures. Its claim will be, it appears, that none apply.

P.S. Lisa Kaiser reported at the Shepherd Express that, allegedly as a result of then-Chancellor Lovell's actions, UWM Civil Rights Lawsuit Heads to Federal Court: Students say administration has taken control of student fees. I'm not commenting on that suit's legal merits, but you might note some parallels in the fact pattern.

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