Associate Professor of Political Science John McAdams released Dean Richard C. Holz’s, January 30, 2015, letter of dismissal. This is the redacted version of the letter of intent to seek a revocation of his continuous tenure. At the top of the document, Professor McAdams, in red letters, informs the reader of the redaction of just two “phrases.”
“NOTE: Two phrases have been redacted in the following, since they would tend to compromise the confidentiality of a source.”
The first redaction is on page 3, line one: “since you are the student’s academic advisor.”
The second redaction, “later as his academic advisor,” appears on page 9 in the first sentence under the heading: “Student Meets with You, The Week of November 3.”
Professor McAdams did not reveal a third and more extensive redaction of “Exhibit A.” He retains merely a reference to the exhibit at the end of the dean’s letter. It contains a nine-person “Witness List,” and a specific claim of alleged violations of Marquette University Statutes: Section 306.03. The unredacted Dean Holz letter is here.
I would argue he did not redact to conceal the identity of Cheryl Abbate’s undergraduate student who taped, without authorization, a conversation with the Philosophy graduate teaching assistant. The student’s name is not revealed, and I certainly do not know his identity. Dr. McAdams’s redaction, however, conceals his role as the student’s academic advisor. Professor McAdams was clearly engaged in the professorial activity of advising, and not as an independent journalist.
The professor’s claim that his blog posts on Cheryl Abbate and other Marquette students constitute journalism is not credible. The original Holz letter removes any pretense that Professor McAdams was acting as a journalist shielded from revealing sources, but claiming the right to identify with impunity a graduate teaching assistant. If Professor McAdams were intent in protecting the student, and not himself, why did he not redact the student’s grade in Cheryl Abbate’s Philosophy class?
My source for the unredacted letter is John Protevi’s Blog.
Kindly see my initial post on the Marquette controversy here.