Thursday, December 18, 2014

What Is Going on at Marquette University?

Last I checked the Catholic Church was opposed to same-sex marriages. In addition, the last time I checked, Marquette University in Milwaukee is a Catholic university. This story was first reported last month and picked up here at Fousesquawk. I find this story about the suspension of a tenured professor confusing and troubling.  Todd Starnes of Fox News has the followup report.

So Professor John McAdams, a conservative professor who has taught at Marquette for 37 years, has been suspended for writing this post on his blog about graduate teaching asst. Cheryl Abbate.

After reading McAdams' post, I do not think that he was harassing Abbate. Personally, I would probably have left her name out of the post. In my own position as a part-time teacher at UC Irvine, I feel that there is a line between teacher and student that must be respected. Thus, I don't attack UCI students by name. That is my personal policy, but I suppose there is a lesson to be learned by the Marquette example. I should add that I have not bothered to delete the names of students at other universities though I still feel that their tender age should always be a mitigating factor when they say something stupid. Professors? That's a different story. They are fair game, and that is especially so when they become activists in issues of public interest; they are, in effect, public figures.

Do I think Ms Abbate was wrong in what she reportedly told the student? Yes, I do. Being against the idea of gay marriage does not necessarily mean you are homophobic or a hateful person. The student had every right to raise that question-in a respectful way- in the class.

I should also add that I have a bias against the idea of graduate assistants being the teachers in a college class to begin with. Parents are students are not paying those high tuition fees to be taught by graduate students. Professors, of course, need all that time to do their research.

Not that some professor couldn't have made the same comments that Abbate did.

PS: I have just linked McAdams' blog, Marquette Warrior here at Fousesquawk. Check it out.

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