JUNE 9, 2010
University reaches resolution on A&S search
Marquette University and Dr. Jodi O’Brien have reached a mutually acceptable resolution regarding the university’s decision to rescind a contract with Dr. O’Brien to serve as dean of the Helen Way Klingler College of Arts and Sciences. Terms of the agreement are confidential.
“We regret the upset and unwanted attention that this decision caused Dr. O’Brien, and we are grateful for the graciousness with which she handled this matter,” Marquette President Robert A. Wild, S.J., said.
Father Wild said his decision to rescind the contract reflected his judgment for the university on issues arising from aspects of Dr. O’Brien’s writings as they pertained to the university’s mission and identity. He acknowledged that “while I stand by my decision, different individuals and institutions could reasonably reach a different conclusion.”
Father Wild said the student forum May 11 and subsequent letters and conversations with small groups of students made him “very aware of the anguish and divisiveness” that resulted from his decision. “I want every student, every employee to be able to proudly declare that this is their Marquette,” he said. To that end, he pledged that the issues raised as part of the controversy over the decision – about Marquette’s Catholic, Jesuit identity, academic freedom, shared governance and the needs of the LGBT community – will be a focus of continued dialogue and reflection with students, as well as faculty/staff, during his last year as president.
Provost John Pauly is working with Dr. Jeanne Hossenlopp, interim dean of the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, department chairs within the college and other university leaders to identify the next interim dean for the college. Hossenlopp will become vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School, an appointment announced in January 2010.