Given the threats I’ve had from past UO presidents, interim presidents, provosts, interim provosts, presidential advisors, VP’s, AVP’s, VPAA’s, general counsels, interim general counsels, faculty athletic representatives, and former journalism deans, which have ranged from vague to specific, I’m always curious about where the line on faculty blogging is.
This story out of Marquette shows that one of their faculty bloggers crossed it. Their Senate carefully investigated the situation with full recognition of academic freedom, and specifically noting the tendency of administrators to use civility clauses against free speech. The Senate then came down in support of the administration and a one-year suspension without pay. Their argument is persuasive.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has the story here. The Marquette administration has posted the documents here, with explanation. The Senate’s Faculty Hearing Committee’s report, here, is well worth reading in its entirety.
Note the contrast in transparency between UO and Marquette (which is private and not subject to WI FOIA). When UO gets sued they use it as a reason to hide documents. When Marquette gets sued they use it as a reason to post documents on the web. Or at least documents that make them look good.
Ouch. I don’t know if he should be suspended. But he could have made the same point in his blog post without naming the specific graduate student and publishing her contact information. That’s low.