Scariest People of 2016: No. 8-Michael Lovell

John Bicknell
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Posted: Dec 27, 2016 11:00 AM
Scariest People of 2016: No. 8-Michael Lovell
Part 3 of 3 in the series Scariest People of 2016

2016 might go down as one of the most unusual years in the history of American politics. Voters chose historic change, but in all too many ways, it was business as usual.

Too many bureaucrats still put their own interests over the interests of the people they were supposed to be serving. Too many officials – elected and unelected – continued to act more like petty tyrants than servants of the people, imposing their own vision of how others should live their lives on citizens perfectly capable of making those decisions for themselves. 

This week we’ll highlight the scariest examples by shining a light on those who seem to think your liberty is less important than their power.

Here’s No. 8.

Marquette University President Michael Lovell has brought back the Inquisition to Catholic universities.

When political science professor John McAdams criticized Philosophy Department instructor Cheryl Abbate on his blog in November 2014 for not allowing a student to defend Catholic teaching on same-sex marriage in her classroom, Lovell dropped the PC hammer on McAdams by suspending the professor and banning him from campus pending termination.

McAdams’ crime, in the view of Marquette University, was criticizing Abbate publicly because, in addition to being an instructor, she was also a prized graduate student. But what made it worse was that McAdams’ blog post went “viral” and Abbate received hate mail, even though McAdams did not encourage anyone to contact her.

Photo: Marquette University

Marquette University President Michael Lovell

McAdams appealed his termination and was placed in limbo while a faculty committee debated his fate. The suspension continued until April of this year when the panel completed its investigation. It recommended his suspension continue through the end of 2016, but that wasn’t good enough for Lowell.

Lowell said McAdams could not be reinstated until he acknowledged the blog post was “reckless,” accepted the judgment of the faculty committee and expressed regret over the hostile emails Abbate received. McAdams refused, instead demanding that Marquette live up to the promise of academic freedom in McAdams’ contract.

Now McAdams is suing to get reinstated, and the two sides are scheduled to appear in court Feb. 2.

Lovell’s actions have placed Marquette University on the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education’s list of Ten Worst Universities for Free Speech. Meanwhile, McAdams, a nationally respected expert on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, is unable to teach students or even visit the campus.

But Lovell continues to govern Marquette, turning a once-proud university into a bastion of political correctness.