The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #155: Honor in the University

14119377855lor9Nathan Gilmour leads Michial Farmer and David Grubbs in a discussion of Stanley Hauerwas’s cranky 1991 speech “Honor in the University.”

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4 thoughts on “The Christian Humanist Podcast, Episode #155: Honor in the University

  1. Heh.  I don’t think I got over my Impostor Syndrome until after I turned 40.

    I have bookmarked the essay that you linked to.  This is definitely going into my plagiarism material, and possibly an example for a future lecture involving MacIntyre (I already use the example “what is the telos of education?” to introduce teleology).  Thank you.

  2. Charles H I actually used this essay as reading material for a faculty workshop back in 2009.  Those folks didn’t know me as well as David and Michial do, but they as well thought that Stan was extraordinarily cranky. 🙂

  3. I don’t think that even cranky Hauerwas is going with guns blazing at junior faculty at colleges with heavy teaching loads and sometimes you can’t do as much as you’d like.  First of all, your jobs ARE vulnerable to bad teaching evaluations (though this was drastically less true in 1991 and that raises a whole other set of problems for Hauerwas to get cranky at).  But also, he’s spent his career at research universities and I have it on good authority that there are more than a few senior faculty at such places who find teaching undergraduates to be a chore and pretty much skate past it in order to go back to researching their lemurs because that’s where the grant money is.

  4. Great episode, but I do have one bone to pick.You mention Marquette University’s revocation of tenure and attempted of John C. McAdams due to his calling out a graduate student on his private blog.
    I was shocked that during the course of that discussion, no one even mentioned the circumstances surrounding that incident – specifically, that the graduate student was teaching a class wherein she refused to allow a student to even discuss opposition to same-sex marriage.  This, by the way, at an ostensibly Catholic institution.
    You make much of the power dynamic between the professor and the graduate student, but fail to note the much more direct power dynamic that the graduate student, as an instructor, wields over the student.  Further, the graduate student was refusing to allow a point of view in the classroom that is shared by the Catholic Church at large.  To put it starkly, the Pope would not have been allowed to express the position of the Catholic Church on the topic, in a classroom of a Catholic university, given the stated rules of the classroom. 
    This seems absurd, and it seems to be a bit of a failure to even bring that aspect up.  Graduate students, when they are given classes to instruct, act in an official capacity for the university, and as such, should be held to account.  While it is true that she was not a full colleague of McAdams, insofar as she was acting in capacity of a graduate instructor — which is the capacity in which he criticized her — she was much more analogous to a colleague that your discussion made it seem.

    I should note, by the way, that even the Huffington Post ran an article listing Marquette among the 10 worst offenders of free speech in 2014 due to the incident:
    “Marquette University
    Marquette University’s chilling campaign to http://www.thefire.org/gay-marriage-flap-marquette-moves-fire-tenured-prof/ of political science professor John McAdams due to writings on his private blog ensures its place on this year’s list. McAdams criticized a graduate instructor for what he viewed as her inappropriate suppression of certain viewpoints for in-class discussion (one student’s opposition to same-sex marriage in particular), and the instructor came in for heavy criticism. Marquette then suspended McAdams http://www.thefire.org/marquette-fails-follow-procedures-suspending-professor/ and abruptly cancelled his classes for the next semester. It also publicly insinuated that McAdams violated its harassment policy and was a http://fox6now.com/2015/01/12/im-exiled-tenured-mu-associate-professor-john-mcadams-second-semester-classes-cancelled/ to the campus, despite a complete lack of proof for either charge. Marquette’s http://www.thefire.org/travesty-due-process-marquette/ and itshttp://marquettewire.org/2015/02/04/tribune/tribune-news/john-mcadams-says-marquette-starting-process-to-dismiss-him-from-faculty/ that its campaign against McAdams’s tenure implicates free speech or academic freedom in any way should frighten anyone concerned about faculty rights. Indeed, if the university succeeds in removing McAdams, free speech and academic freedom will lose whatever meaning they had at Marquette.”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-lukianoff/10-worst-for-free-speech_b_6769564.html

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