To the editor:
In response to Mike Snider’s question as to why Dr. Daniel Maguire has not been excused from teaching at Marquette University, the answer if fairly simple. Marquette has explicitly stated, in both in its Mission Statement and Faculty Handbook, that the presence of academic freedom in the classroom is necessary to the advancement of knowledge and scholarship.
Or more simply, it is a right guaranteed to faculty so that they may freely explore the boundaries of their discipline without being fearful of retaliation.
The reason why Marquette has chosen to guarantee this right to its faculty is a question of identity. Marquette is not a seminary. Marquette is not school of religion, but a religious school. Marquette recognizes itself as a scholastic institution which cherishes its religious identity, not vice versa.
As a note, the same constitutional right that gives Mr. Snider the ability to publicly question whether or not Dr. Maguire’s presence is appropriate also grants Dr. Maguire’s the ability to speak his mind in his classroom. As such, the removal of Dr. Maguire on such grounds would be legally bankrupt.
However, Mr. Snider does have the right to question Dr. Maguire and his teachings as suitable to the Catholic belief. And as Mr. Snider has noted, the Archbishop Dolan already responded to such concern.
In all, I would suggest we all take the following course of action. Save our breath, realize we are not always going to agree with professors and worry about ethical and legal violations on campus before ideological differences in the classroom. Or at least, review the rights accorded to faculty before we ask, “Why is he still employeed?”
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