‘Incensed and disgusted:’ Boise State Faculty Senate condemns Yenor

Boise State University’s Faculty Senate has condemned political science professor Scott Yenor’s comments rejecting feminism, saying his words “do not represent the perspectives of the Faculty Senate.”

While acknowledging the “vital importance” of academic freedom and freedom of speech, the Faculty Senate statement sharply criticizes Yenor, a tenured professor who has taught at Boise State since 2000.

“We, like many others, are incensed and disgusted by recent misogynistic comments by a Boise State faculty member, even while we recognize his fundamental rights to his opinions,” the Senate said Friday.

During an Oct. 31 conservative conference in Orlando, Fla., Yenor condemned the feminist movement, saying it causes women to reject marriage and motherhood. He described career-oriented women as “more medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome than women need to be.” He also said higher education should be de-emphasized in the interest of preserving the family, calling campuses “the citadels of our gynecocracy.”

In the weeks since a video of Yenor’s remarks went viral, Boise State administrators have twice issued statements on the uproar. Administrators have said women belong on their campus, but have stopped short of directly criticizing Yenor’s remarks.

Comments from the Associated Students of Boise State University were more pointed. In a resolution, the student government said, in part, “Members of the Boise State community, including faculty, staff, and students, who perpetuate regressive notions that women do not belong at our University can be detrimental to the educational pursuits of women at Boise State.”

As the Faculty Senate weighed in Friday, instructors cited the ASBSU resolution.

“We commend ASBSU for their strong statement, and we, as one of the governing bodies of this university, would be remiss in our responsibility if we did not also respond,” faculty members said.

Here, in full, is the Faculty Senate statement:

Dear Boise State University Community,

Academic freedom and freedom of speech are of vital importance to scholarly inquiry, higher education, and democracy. The Faculty Senate unanimously stands in support of both rights. “Academic freedom carries with it duties correlative with rights,” as stated in our Faculty Constitution. We have listened to students, faculty, alumni, and community members engage in their freedom of speech to express sorrow, outrage, and frustration in response to Dr. Scott Yenor’s October 2021 speech at the National Conservatism Conference and subsequent media appearances. We commend ASBSU for their strong statement, and we, as one of the governing bodies of this University, would be remiss in our responsibility if we did not also respond.

We, like many others, are incensed and disgusted by recent misogynistic comments by a Boise State faculty member, even while we recognize his fundamental rights to his opinions. Dr. Yenor’s statements about women’s roles in higher education and professional life do not represent the perspectives of the Faculty Senate. We have the duty to educate all of our students to be responsible citizens as they pursue their educational and career goals. Boise State strives to provide a culture of civility and success where all feel safe and free from discrimination, harassment, threats, and intimidation. We encourage faculty, staff, and students to seek positive mentors, peers, and university resources in pursuing their goals. We also support individuals in reporting concerns or instances of discrimination via these resources:
Discrimination and Harassment Complaint Form
Compliance Reporting Hotline
Contact Faculty Ombuds
More information on defining academic freedom here: https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/12/21/defining-academic-freedom

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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