Northwestern University piles on 'Dr. Jill Biden' outrage, labels former lecturer's views 'misogynistic'
Northwestern University criticized a former lecturer for suggesting that Jill Biden should "drop the ‘Dr.’" from her name.
The former lecturer's profile was removed from the university's website.
Former Northwestern University lecturer Joseph Epstein published an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal arguing that former Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill Biden, should not use the “Dr.” title because she is not a medical doctor. Jill Biden has a doctorate of education and teaches at Northern Virginia Community College, a role in which she plans to continue even if she becomes the first lady.
Northwestern University issued a statement describing Epstein’s views as “misogynistic” and wiped him from its website. Epstein is a former adjunct lecturer of thirty years in the Department of English at Northwestern University, according to the op-ed.
In the recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Epstein called on Jill Biden to “drop the doc” referring to her insistence on the title "Dr. Jill Biden."
“Madame First Lady—Mrs. Biden—Jill—kiddo: a bit of advice on what may seem like a small but I think is a not unimportant matter. Any chance you might drop the ‘Dr.’ before your name? 'Dr. Jill Biden' sounds and feels fraudulent, not to say a touch comic,” Epstein wrote.
“A wise man once said that no one should call himself 'Dr.' unless he has delivered a child. Think about it, Dr. Jill, and forthwith drop the doc,” Epstein continued.
Citing the fact that obtaining a doctorate is not an “arduous proceeding” anymore, Epstein argued that Jill Biden should not take the title of “Doctor.”
“The Ph.D. may once have held prestige, but that has been diminished by the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards in university education generally, at any rate outside the sciences,” Epstein stated.
The former lecturer further pointed out that Jill Biden received her doctorate after the “prestige of honorary doctorates” diminished.
“Dr. Jill, I note you acquired your Ed.D. as recently as 15 years ago at age 55, or long after the terror had departed,” Epstein said.
Northwestern University issued a statement the day after the op-ed’s publication.
“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. or an M.D,” the statement read.
“Northwestern is firmly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion, and strongly disagrees with Mr. Epstein’s misogynistic views,” the statement continued.
Northwestern University’s English Department issued a parallel statement making it clear that Epstein has not worked in the department for “nearly 20 years," and said that the op-ed casts an "unmerited aspersion."
“[The op-Ed] casts unmerited aspersion on Dr. Jill Biden's rightful public claiming of her doctoral credentials and expertise. The Department rejects this opinion as well as the diminishment of anyone's duly-earned degrees in any field, from any university,” the department said.
Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot responded to the criticism on Sunday, defending the paper's decision to publish Epstein's op-ed.
"If you disagree with Mr. Epstein, fair enough. Write a letter or shout your objections on Twitter. But these pages aren’t going to stop publishing provocative essays merely because they offend the new administration or the political censors in the media and academe. And since it’s a time to heal, we’ll give the Biden crowd a mulligan for their attacks on us," Gigot wrote.
Northwestern University did not respond to Campus Reform’s request for comment in time for publication.
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