Campus Reform | Northwestern scrubs prof over 'Dr.' Jill Biden op-ed, keeps Holocaust denier

Northwestern scrubs prof over 'Dr.' Jill Biden op-ed, keeps Holocaust denier

Former Northwestern University lecturer Joseph Epstein wrote an op-ed stating that Jill Biden should stop using the title “Dr.”

Though Epstein was harshly condemned by Northwestern, the university issued a much more nuanced rebuke of a tenured professor who denied the Holocaust.

Former Northwestern University lecturer Joseph Epstein, who wrote an op-ed stating that Jill Biden should cease using the title “Dr,” was harshly and publicly condemned by Northwestern. 

Epstein wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Jill Biden’s use of the term “Dr.” is “fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” as she has a doctorate degree in education instead of a medical degree. 

To justify his position, he referred to his 30 years as a Northwestern lecturer and lamented the school’s denigration of academic credentials by granting honorary degrees to Stephen Colbert and Seth Meyers.

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The day after the op-ed’s publication, Northwestern scrubbed Epstein's faculty profile from its website and issued a statement condemning Epstein’s argument: “While we firmly support academic freedom and freedom of expression, we do not agree with Mr. Epstein’s opinion and believe the designation of doctor is well deserved by anyone who has earned a Ph.D., an Ed.D., an M.D. or any other doctoral degree.”

The university noted that it is “firmly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and strongly disagrees with Mr. Epstein’s misogynistic views.”

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The university reacted differently when professor Arthur Butz commended then-Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for declaring that the Holocaust never happened.

In 2006, the university admitted that “Butz is a Holocaust denier who has made similar assertions previously,” calling his statement “a contemptible insult to all decent and feeling people.”

Yet, the school also clarified that Butz was “entitled to express his personal views, including on his personal web pages, as long as he does not represent such opinions as the views of the university.”

To this day, however, Butz’s profile has not been removed from Northwestern’s website, as Epstein's profile was.  Epstein told Campus Reform that Northwestern University has generally “never been noted for courage or honor.”

Campus Reform reached out to Northwestern for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft