Northwestern University has severely condemned the opinions that have been expressed by Joseph Epstein, a former lecturer of English, owing to the viral piece for Wall Street Journal regarding the usage of the title of ‘doctor’ by Jill Biden.
In the concerned op-ed by Epstein, he made use of some critically offensive and degrading tone like referring to Jill Biden as “kiddo”. Through his arguments, he wanted to imply the honorific title of Lady Biden as “fraudulent” as well as “comic”. Such statements led to facing a severe backlash from Joseph Epstein due to the simple reason of coming off as sexist and patronizing.
Details On The Claims Made By Joseph Epstein
Epstein tried to bring to notice the recent recipients of the honorary degree and the speakers of NU like Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert, commencing the event. He further added complaints against Morton Schapiro, University President, regarding the “low quality” of academic honorands being felicitated by the university.
Epstein also referred to a specific degree of NU as nothing more than a “credential” and not a proper educational degree. He argued that the value of being politically correct has weakened the importance of the honorary doctorates for those deserving.
In retort to this critical op-ed by Joseph Epstein, NU has released a statement on Saturday stating the support for academic freedom along with freedom of speech. However, they condemn the demeaning opinions of Epstein. The University also emphasized the value of their doctoral designation and said that each individual honored with the degree, certainly “well-deserved” an M.D., Ph.D. or, as Biden received, an Ed.D.
Furthermore, the University added that they are committed to the policies of inclusion, diversity, and equity and strongly differs from the misogynistic views of Epstein.
The English Department accused Joseph Epstein of directing “unmerited aspersion” towards the expertise and doctoral credentials of Biden.