O’Brien case makes Journal Sentinel, Advocate

JSOnline here, Advocate here. Also, the Tribune, from whom I cribbed the picture.

It’s nothing most of us don’t know already. The real news is that this is news. This is a big fucking deal. This will probably make the rounds on LGBT and Allied blogs nationally and internationally. Marquette is the new Itawamba Agricultural High School.

However, one new bit of information struck me, from the Journal Sentinel piece:

Nancy E. Snow, a philosophy professor who said helped O’Brien hunt for houses in Shorewood last month, said the discussion of O’Brien’s work is a smokescreen.

“I think it’s all about her sexual orientation,” she said. She sent an e-mail to several faculty members saying that she suspects donors criticized the hire and that Marquette Wild fears losing their support.

Pfeil said she didn’t know of a donor threatening to pull a donation from Marquette because of the hire.

“This is a travesty that will have long-term impact for our ability to retain and hire high quality faculty,” Snow said. “It’s a public disgrace and an embarrassment.”

Snow makes a good point; this is a black eye for MU. To put it in the Machiavellian language of PR, it has damaged the brand. It will discourage not only quality faculty applications, but a lot of bright and good students as well.

But that’s not why I highlighted Snow’s statement; I was struck by the fact that O’Brien was already looking for a house in Milwaukee. That says a lot. She was that sure she had the job. She was that ready to uproot her life on another coast. And then Wilde, Pauly et. al. rescinded.

Just like that.

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One Response

  1. It gets worse. See advocate.com for an interview with Prof. O’Brien:

    Marquette ASKED her to apply.

    She was on the short list for the job last year but decided to step back then. So when the search reopened this year, Marquette ASKED her to apply.

    And of course she “thought she had the job.” She DID. Marquette made the offer, and she accepted it several weeks ago. Yet only now does Marquette rescind it.

    So she may have given notice at Seattle U. She may have put a home on the market there, at some cost — or rents and may have given notice to a landlord and lost the place by now. There are all sorts of actual and potential costs to be calculated in this, and Marquette will have to make a settlement — if it’s lucky, and she doesn’t sue.

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