McAdams spent much of the summer preparing for a September hearing of a faculty committee that will recommend whether he be stripped of tenure. “I’d much rather be there,” he says. “I’d much rather be teaching.”The imbroglio has already gone on longer than the Siege of Petersburg, and yet Professor McAdams will continue to fight it out on this line.
At 69, McAdams could simply have gone quietly, as perhaps Marquette thought he would. But that’s not his nature. “First of all, I enjoy a good fight,” he says. “It is also a matter of principle. That is, some people need to be taught a lesson — people who think they can run roughshod over people’s academic freedom.”
How far will he take his fight to get his job back? “As far as necessary,” he says, “including a lawsuit.”
So McAdams finds himself at the center of what is shaping up to be one of the most unusual academic freedom cases in the country. Even in an era of rising political correctness — trigger warnings, speech codes and the battle against “micro-aggressions” — the decision to fire McAdams nearly stands alone.
As far as anyone knows, no other major university has tried to fire a tenured professor for something that he wrote on a blog.
Knowing the hostile environment he would face, would he want to return to Marquette if he wins his fight? “I would,” McAdams says without hesitation. “And continue to make trouble. Just to spite the authoritarians.”There's a longer version of the story here.