A reader, a PhD candidate, writes about the political correctness controversy at Marquette:
My view, from inside a university (and probably from reading too much of Freddie DeBoer on higher ed) is that it’s probably not about PC (or privilege, or homophobia) at all, at its core. That’s just a tactical move — though I’m sure there are some in the Marquette admin glad they could take down a “bad guy” while achieving their real goal.
Instead, McAdams got sacked because an administration that was already salivating at the dream of breaking tenure, faculty governance, et al. so that full-time teachers could be replaced by harried, part-time, benefit-less, probably-less-than-minimum-wage-in-reality-if-not-on-paper contingent faculty saw the opportunity of, ahem, their wet dreams. They got to set precedent — which WILL be jumped on by other universities (keep an eye on the LSU and Wisconsin systems once the funding cuts go through) — while setting those who stand to lose at each other’s throats. PC gave the cover, lets them make this about homophobia, sexism, privilege, etc. — when the issue at stake is really the economic and professional future of the university. There’s a lot wrong with the tenure system. I’ll admit that even while I aspire to it. But the only alternative being proposed right now is more or less an adaptation of the for-profit model. (You know, the kind that makes bundle of money, but which the federal government admits is probably a scam. Not that they’re going to do anything about it, though.)
I know, I know. Grad school done gone turned me into a Marxist agitator. But it hasn’t been anything I’ve read or discussed in a classroom that makes me talk like this — it’s everything outside the classroom.