Cheryl Abbate, the former Marquette University philosophy graduate student who had become the target of a smear campaign by associate professor of political science John McAdams, has responded to some of the claims being made in various articles since it was announced that Marquette is seeking to fire McAdams. She writes:
It should be noted that there are a number of online articles that give the wrong impression that Marquette University is seeking to fire John McAdams over just one blog post he wrote about me (the November 9th, 2014 blog post). For instance, The Atlantic just posted an article titled “Stripping a Professor of Tenure Over a Blog Post.” This is a very misleading article title because John McAdams has written a number of blog posts about me which contain lies and defaming statements (for instance, that I called my student homophobic, that I said “any objection to gay marriage is homophobic,” that I have “sexist antipathy towards men,” and so forth). John McAdams has also repeated such lies to various news sources on a number of occasions. John McAdams also has a history of doing this exact sort of thing to other women at Marquette University.
I encourage readers to remain skeptical of any online articles that falsely state that John McAdams is being fired over one blog post–the authors of such articles evidently did not do their research or, if they did, they strangely chose to frame their articles in such a way that would mislead the public about why Marquette is taking such strong action against John McAdams. The attempt to fire McAdams is not about a “one time act of misconduct” on his part. From what I can tell (from reading the Dean’s letter), the attempt to fire McAdams is about his history of attacking vulnerable members of the Marquette community and his repeated lies about me on his blog (that he has also repeated, on a number of occasions, to various news sources). Here are two informed essays, which rightly acknowledge John McAdams’ pattern of harassing women at Marquette: (1) Beware of the Pedagogy Police: Cheryl Abbate v. John McAdams at Marquette (by Professor Peter Kirstein) and (2) Marquette to Fire McAdams for Dereliction of Duty (by Professor Ira Allen). I recommend reading these two articles and ignoring any other articles that frame the controversy as a “controversy over a blog post.”
Her post is here.
UPDATE: The copy of the letter of intent to pursue termination proceedings for McAdams, from Richard Holz, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Marquette, which McAdams linked to, was altered to omit some information. This information includes, among other things, the fact that McAdams was the official academic advisor of the undergraduate who illicitly recorded his conversation with Abbate. This (a) reinforces Holz’s point that McAdams knew, or ought to have known, that the student did not drop the course for reasons concerning personal or political beliefs, and was lying or reckless when suggesting otherwise, and also (b) shows that McAdams acquired the information on which he based his blog posts about Abbate in virtue of his role as an official of the university. The full version of the letter from the dean (which does not reveal the student’s identity), is here.
Left unanswered is whose idea it was to record Abbate, or whether the idea was discussed, in advance, during one of the advising meetings between McAdams and the undergraduate.