Friday, June 11, 2010

Marquette U: Money Well Spent, Questions Remain

Marquette University has reached a settlement with Professor Jodi O'Brien. She is the Seattle University professor whose offer of a deanship at Marquette was withdrawn when someone at Marquette read her published work. Her now-rescinded appointment caused Archbishop Jerome Listecki to share his concern with Marquette President Fr. Robert A. Wild, SJ. We've followed this story here.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports:

"Marquette offered the deanship to O'Brien, a lesbian who has written scholarly works on gender and sexual orientation, but withdrew the offer in early May, saying that some of O'Brien's writings "relating to Catholic mission and identity" made her an unacceptable candidate. The withdrawal was criticized by more than 100 faculty members at Marquette and hundreds of students."

The Journal Sentinel also cites a knowledgeable Marquette source to the effect that the university will offer a financial settlement to Professor O'Brien off, although the university had no comment. That would be money well spent if it ended the story, but the article implies there may be more than money involved:

"(University spokesman Pat) Pfeil said the university was considering research projects, conferences, courses and service learning projects exploring the topics of Catholic identity and gender and sexuality issues, and details about some of these projects might come out when the fall semester nears. Pfeil would not say whether the settlement requires Marquette to explore any of these issues.

O'Brien said: "I appreciate the responsiveness of the Marquette representatives to suggestions regarding a legacy of community betterment, including research and education regarding issues of gender and sexuality."

Let's see if I have this straight. Marquette is now taking advice from a Professor "regarding issues of sexuality and gender," whose writings on those very issues caused Marquette to rescind her appointment in the first place.

What could possibly go wrong?

h/t Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit

Posted by Gibbons J. Cooney

1 comment:

Joseph Fromm said...

"canary in the mine"