Yesterday we looked at the situation of Lake Ingle, a student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania who had been ejected from one of his classes for telling his professor that there are only two genders. He was scheduled to appear before the Academic Integrity Board yesterday to find out if he would still be barred from Professor Alison Downie’s class, a course which was required in order for him to graduate this year.
It turns out that the Integrity Board didn’t need to meet after all. Before the situation could come to a head, the university president stepped in and overruled the professor, ordering Ingle to be returned to class. (Fox News)
IUP President Michael Driscoll announced at a press conference Monday his decision to go against Professor Alison Downie’s controversial request to ban Ingle from class for “disruptive behavior.”
Ingle told Fox News he was booted out of Downie’s classroom for challenging the feminist theology professor on the biology of males and females and the gender wage gap during a Feb. 28 lecture in which she allegedly asked only women to speak following a TED Talk by transgender ex-pastor Paula Stone Williams…
Driscoll said he is “disappointed” in how the university handled the situation, adding it had “fallen short” of devotion to the First Amendment.
I suppose we can offer props to the university president for making this call, though it’s something of a half-measure to treat this as simply a First Amendment question. True, the school did “fall short” in that regard, but Driscoll quickly latched onto a separate subject to hammer home his point. A student group there had invited Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk to speak at the campus, whereupon he was promptly labeled a “Nazi” by liberal faculty and students. Driscoll called the student body to task for that, reminding them of the importance of freedom of speech.
But still, this is a research university which includes multiple programs in health sciences. Writing off Ingle’s comments to his professor as nothing more than a free speech question, particularly when pairing his situation with a conservative speaker, strikes the wrong tone. It sounds as if he’s simply accepting that gender isn’t something which can be quantified through medical science and he’s only tolerating Ingle’s “crazy talk” in the interest of fairness. Is that the guiding principle of this allegedly science-oriented university?
Either way, I suppose it’s good enough for now that Lake gets to return to class and graduate. He’s hoping to come back as a professor some day and set some of the young minds straight. I hate to break it to him, but he’s been labeled as anything approaching being a conservative he’ll likely have a tough time getting tenure. But best of luck anyway!
Exit question: Would the school president have jumped in and defused this situation if it hadn’t been splashed all over Fox News and every conservative outlet in the country? If it had stayed quiet on the local level, would Ingle simply be washed out of getting his degree?