The faculty at NMU had the most to lose in the McClellan case. Although some viewed McClellan as a bit of an eccentric, they could not deny that he was mistreated in his dismissal. The other faculty members viewed the dismissal as unjust and arbitrary. They considered the non-reappointment a sign that the university intended to control what the faculty could and could not say.
The faculty treaded in dangerous waters to support McClellan. In an act of defiance, a large number of faculty members marched in opposition to the administration's decision. The united faculty helped sway the administration's stance with rumors that more than half the faculty would resign if McClellan was not reinstated.
The McClellan controversy prompted the faculty, acting through the AAUP, to submit a list of issues to be resolved to the administration. These issues included the lack of faculty participation in governing the university, the infringement of the right of a faculty member to act as a voting citizen of Marquette, and the need for all communications involving termination, tenure, or other substantive matters to be formatted in a signed written document.