Friday, May 14, 2021
Home Faculty Northwestern Disowns Ex-Lecturer Epstein for 'Dr' Comments

Northwestern Disowns Ex-Lecturer Epstein for ‘Dr’ Comments

-

Following an op-ed in which Joseph Epstein asked incoming first lady Jill Biden to stop using the “Dr” honorific because she had a doctorate in education, not an MD, Northwestern University distanced itself from their former lecturer with a statement released last Saturday.

“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 wrote.

The university’s English department released a separate statement on the matter, saying that it was aware of Epstein’s opinion piece.

“The Department rejects this opinion as well as the diminishment of anyone’s duly-earned degrees in any field, from any university,” it said. 

“No Prestige” in the PhD

In Epstein’s opinion piece, he claimed that the value of a PhD has lessened significantly throughout the years because of “the erosion of seriousness and the relaxation of standards in university education generally, at any rate outside the sciences.”

He referred to Jill Biden as “kiddo,” and wrote that he was offering advice on a “small” but “not unimportant matter.”

Epstein also mentioned sending a complaint to Northwestern regarding television host Stephen Colbert and comedian Seth Meyers, claiming that the men were “low quality” yet had the privilege of receiving academic honorands.

Further, he expressed his disappointment at the university choosing to have tennis player Billie Jean King as the commencement speaker and honorand the year after he submitted his complaint. 

‘First Lady, Not Dr’

“Between the honorary degrees given to billionaires, the falsely intelligent, entertainers and the politically correct, just about all honor has been drained from honorary doctorates,” Epstein wrote.

“As for your Ed.D., Madame First Lady, hard-earned though it may have been, please consider stowing it, at least in public, at least for now. Forget the small thrill of being Dr. Jill, and settle for the larger thrill of living for the next four years in the best public housing in the world as First Lady Jill Biden,” he concluded. 

Netizens reacted strongly to his comments, going so far as to condemn the Wall Street Journal for agreeing to publish his article.

You Might Also Like

Latest Posts

St. John’s University Planning to Open Nursing Program This Fall

St. John’s University in New York plans to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing when in-person classes recommence this fall.

Ohio Lottery Offers Free College or $1M for Getting COVID Vaccine

A vaccination lottery drawing in Ohio will give vaccinated individuals in the state the chance to win either $1 million or a full college scholarship.

EPA Funds UNM Drinking and Wastewater Projects

The University of New Mexico is receiving $3.7 million in funding to assist in the operations and train the workforce of small drinking water and wastewater systems across the country.