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Dear Marquette community,

In light of media coverage triggered by information Associate Professor John McAdams shared publicly, it is important that I share additional perspective with you. While we will not discuss details of personnel matters, I can inform you that the university’s review process is now complete. Professor McAdams has been advised of the action that the university intends to take as a result. Until all procedures required under university rules and policies are complete, we will not publicly disclose further details. I do, however, want to reinforce important principles that I have discussed previously that will be at the forefront of our efforts going forward.

The decisions here have everything to do with our Marquette University Guiding Values and expectations of conduct toward each other, and nothing to do with academic freedom, freedom of speech or same-sex marriage. As I noted in my recent Presidential Address, our Guiding Values were drafted with extensive input from our campus community to keep us all accountable and to provide the foundation for a collegial environment based on mutual respect.

As your president, I assure you of my full support for academic freedom. My academic experiences are rooted in my time as a tenured faculty member, where I saw first-hand the great privileges and responsibilities bestowed upon me and my academic colleagues.

Debate and intense discussion are at the heart of who we are as a university, but they must be balanced with respect – our Catholic faith and Jesuit tradition demand nothing less. There are dozens of ways disagreements can be handled with respect and civility on campus, many of which are outlined in our handbooks. And, there are dozens of ways a professor can productively help a student learn and grow.

We must always remember that academic freedom must be grounded in integrity, be accurate at all times and show respect for others’ opinions. When these standards are not met, the power of tenure can abuse and silence our students – the very minds we are seeking to cultivate, grow and ultimately transform.

In closing, you have my promise that the safety and well-being of our students will come first in every decision I make as president of this great university.


Dr. Michael R. Lovell

Marquette University

Marquette University : Be The Difference

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