College President: Reaction Good to Handling of Professor’s Abortion Vandalism

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 20, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

College President: Reaction Good to Handling of Professor’s Abortion Vandalism Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
April 20, 2006

Highland Heights, KY ( — The president of Northern Kentucky University says he’s been getting a very positive reaction from people who have written to him and university officials following the decision to require a professor who vandalized a pro-life display to retire.

Last week, a professor encouraged several pro-abortion students to destroy a pro-life display the campus Right to Life group set up. She then led the students in its destruction.

NKU president James Votruba said in a statement he issued earlier this week to apologize for the incident that the university’s ability to foster debate and free speech on campus was jeopardized.

He indicated the actions of British literature professor Dr. Sally Jacobson and pro-abortion students violated the free exchange of ideas a college should foster.

"It jeopardized the university in the sense that anything that has the potential of politicizing the campus puts it at risk," he told the Cincinnati Post. "If anything suggests that the university is not a place in which ideas are allowed to stand or fall on their merits, then you’re not a university."

Votruba said the feedback has been positive and he’s proud of the way he’s handled the problem. He indicated it was important to have handled the issue quickly and the 300 emails he’s received back his decision.

"There have not been more than a half-dozen that were negative in terms of how this was handled," he said. "The overwhelming reaction was one of support for the focus on free speech and expression."

According to the Post, NKU received one email from a woman in another state who indicated her teenage daughter is interested in admissions information because of how the college handled the vandalism.

Votruba also said he doesn’t think the handling of the incident will adversely impact alumni donations and said he checked with the admissions office and found interest from prospective students hasn’t dropped off.

"Of course, you don’t know if there are others who don’t bother to contact you because they’re not coming, but I haven’t seen anything that would suggest it’s going to affect our enrollment," he told the Post.

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