The administration of Marquette University set up a grievance center that took too favorable a view of domestic terrorists until embattled political scientist John McAdams alerted the sentient world to its existence, at which time the university fired the griever in charge and removed the offending mural.

Within the Marquette faculty are enough fellow-travelers, er, sympathizers with the Perpetually Aggrieved, er, avatars of multicultural transformation to mount a faculty push-back to the administration's action.  Professor McAdams has the details, and commentary.  Go there for the details.  I'll just indulge in Schadenfreude.  The perception among the pushers-back is that the proper politically correct climate is more important than, oh, proper support for doing teaching and scholarship.
  • A number of junior faculty members are asking themselves if Marquette is the right place for them. We need to be concerned both with the retention and recruitment of junior faculty.
When my siblings or I would offer the "everybody else" argument my parents would challenge us to name three.
  • Dr. McAdams influence and reach appears to be in full force even though he has been suspended. This has a chilling effect on the campus community. Some faculty members are now more than ever concerned with what they are saying/doing in the classroom because it seems that legitimate discussions of controversial topics can be used against them.
This is hilarious. Do the Perpetually Aggrieved at Marquette really think that they would be able to get away with their radical chic if not for one or two dissident professors with a weblog?  Here's Professor McAdams.
It’s amazing how much “influence and reach” one can have by simply reporting things that certain people would like to be secret.

Did they think they had silenced us when they got Marquette to suspend us? If so, they now know better.
It helps that Professor McAdams has colleagues in Milwaukee political media, but I bet that any university, and particularly any university with a national presence, whether earned in the library or on the basketball court, is going to have external critics, and those external critics with a platform are able to cultivate sources.  That Marquette suspended the professor in such a way as to bring down the ire of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education and the American Association of University Professors alike on it only makes public scrutiny more likely.

I further enjoyed this.
  • The university finds itself in the media spotlight and is immediately reactive. Rather than talking about the concern/issue in an intellectual manner, the university satisfies the Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors.
The grievance center, and the mural, were introduced as if by fiat.  Had there been a university-wide forum prior, with a proper conversation about the proper role of grievance politics, there might not have been the mural, or the purge.

And the faculty at Marquette ought be careful what they ask for.  If, instead of a Catholic, conservative base of alumni and donors, their expense-preference playground were a state university, they might be dealing with a legislature not necessarily interested in safeguarding the higher learning.  Just ask a colleague at Milwaukee or Madison.

No comments: