ON-Lion Letter
John McAdams, a suspended professor of political science at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received the Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom at the Conservative Political Action Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, on February 24th. McAdams was selected for his outspoken criticism of the cult of political correctness on college campuses.

“Professor McAdams is a fearless and outspoken defender of free speech and open inquiry, his opinions, and a martyr to political correctness,’ said Richard Graber, President and CEO of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, which supports the Kirkpatrick Award. “His dismissal from Marquette University flies in the face of the traditions of academic freedom.” 

Writing on his blog, the Marquette Warrior, McAdams made note of a graduate instructor who refused to allow a student in her class to argue against gay marriage. Amid a storm of controversy, McAdams was banned from campus and accused of cyberbullying. Last spring, a faculty committee suspended McAdams until the fall of 2016 with benefits but no pay, and gave him two weeks to apologize for his actions or he would not be reinstated. The committee acknowledged McAdams’s right to academic freedom and his constitutional right to free speech, but that it punished him for how people reacted when the story went national.

The award carries a $10,000 stipend and honors the memory of Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, who was known for her outspokenness in hostile environments, her clarity and determination in the midst of oppression, and her fierce dedication to American ideals and academic freedom.

The Jeane Jordan Kirkpatrick Award for Academic Freedom is sponsored by the Bradley Foundation.

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