Professor Who Trashed Pro-Life Abortion Display Apologizes, Will Retire

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 19, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Professor Who Trashed Pro-Life Abortion Display Apologizes, Will Retire Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 19, 2006

Highland Heights, KY ( — The Northern Kentucky University professor who encouraged her students to vandalize a pro-life display — and then led them in trashing it — has apologized. Dr. Sally Jacobson, a tenured 27-year British literature professor, issued her apology just days after saying she saw nothing wrong what she did.

"I deeply regret my impulsive action in dismantling that display," Jacobson said late Tuesday. "It was a mistake of judgment for me to invite my students to participate in that action."

Jacobson told WKRC-TV in a taped interview that she hoped her actions did not damage the reputation of the college.

"I really love NKU and care very much about my students and don’t want them to be harmed," she said. "At this point, I really want the university to be able to defuse the firestorm of attention around this."

NKU has suspended Jacobson and she will officially retire at the end of the school year. WKRC reports that other professors have taken over her classes for the remainder of the semester.

Local police are investigating the vandalism, which saw Jacobson and several students destroy a pro-life cross display Northern Right to Life set up in the grass outside the student center. A reported from the student newspaper caught Jacobson and her students destroying the display.

University officials authorized the pro-life display, meant to memorialize the 47 million babies who have died since the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

NKU President James Votruba, who issued a statement Monday apologizing on behalf of the school, appreciated Jacobson’s apology but said the infringement of free speech and the disregard for the exchange of ideas couldn’t be tolerated on a college campus.

"This was a very serious lapse in judgment," he told the television station.

"You don’t invite students to participate in breaking the law or inhibiting other’s free speech. You just don’t do that if you’re a faculty member," Votruba said.

He indicated he thinks NKU has "responded appropriately" to the concerns about the vandalism.

Votruba said he and Jacobson will meet soon to discuss the professor’s retirement.

Read prior coverage:
Professor Who Vandalized Pro-Life Display on Abortion Placed on Leave

Professor Who Vandalized Pro-Life Display Defends Actions

College Professor Leads Students in Vandalizing Pro-Life Display on Abortion

Related web sites:
Northern Kentucky University –

PHOTO NOTES: (1) Dr. Sally Jacobson tears down the main "Cemetery of Innocents" sign displayed by the campus pro-life group. (2) Pro-abortion students remove crosses from the display. Photos copyright 2006 The Northerner newspaper.