Wednesday, May 26, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, I noted that Marquette had offered the deanship of Arts and Sciences to sociologist Jodi O'Brien. O'Brien, who is on the faculty of the Jesuit Seattle University, is an out lesbian who writes about issues of religion and homosexuality. For whatever reason - Marquette's official position amounts to "we were lazy and never bothered to read her controversial work" but some now hint that the turnabout was in response to pressure from Archbishop Jerome Listecki - Marquette (also a Jesuit school) reneged on its offer and told Professor O'Brien to go away.
Folks at Marquette have been stewing about this. Monday, faculty members from both Marquette and Seattle joined to buy a critical full page ad in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Among other things, the ad stated that the university's decision: "puts academic freedom at risk at Marquette University. We reject an intellectual 'litmus test' for our faculty, staff, and leaders in the administration."
Showing the signs of a school that perhaps worries more about sports than Arts and Sciences, the faculty added: "We note with chagrin that while the administration encouraged the university community to discuss the name change of our basketball team for a full year, less than two weeks after this egregious action, which strikes at the heart of our functioning as a university, we were told it is time for 'healing' and 'moving on.' We will not be silent until the integrity of our university is restored."