Postscript to My Post on the McAdams Case


John Wilson’s post containing the letter from the national AAUP to the Marquette administration somewhat clarifies several of the issues with McAdams—that is, clarifies the issues without presuming to resolve them. The university’s position has become that McAdams has repeatedly referred to students by name in his personal blog or other public communications–not simply that he has engaged in various types of unprofessional behavior. That specific behavior is, indeed, a serious breach of professional standards, especially if it has been repetitive.

But, and this is a big “but,” that behavior would warrant discipline as serious as a suspension only if the student were actually harmed and only if the university had formally documented and disciplined him in some way for the previous instances in which he did this.

I’ll address the second “if” first. The basis for the suspension cannot simply be, as the one newspaper headline cited in my…

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