The University of Minnesota revealed this week that it has abandoned a proposed policy that would have punished faculty who refused to use a student’s preferred gender pronouns.
According to a report from The College Fix, the University of Minnesota has dropped a proposed plan to discipline employees and faculty who refused to use the preferred gender pronouns of students.
A new version of the policy is most notable for the absence of the clause that would have punished faculty members for refusing to use the preferred gender pronouns of students. Previous versions of the policy included a provision for “disciplinary action up to and including termination from employment and academic sanctions up to and including academic expulsion” for those faculty members that refused to use a student’s preferred gender pronoun.
The policy says that university faculty and staff are generally expected to use and respect the unique gender pronouns of students. “University members and units are expected to use the names, gender identities, and pronouns specified to them by other University members, except as legally required. University members and units are also expected to use other gendered personal references, if any, that are consistent with the gender identities and pronouns specified by University members,” the policy reads.
The most recent version of the policy includes a commitment to academic freedom and free speech.
The University is committed to providing equal access and opportunity to individuals of all gender identities and gender expressions, as set forth in the Board of Regents Policy: Equity, Diversity, Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action. To that end, this policy makes explicit the University’s commitment to non-discriminatory programs, activities and facilities and promotes a respectful University community free from discrimination based on gender identity or expression. Nothing in this policy is designed to, nor will be interpreted to, interfere with principles of academic freedom or free speech.
Professor Jordan Peterson jumped into the spotlight in 2016 after he challenged a Canadian law that would have made it a crime to refuse to recognize a person’s preferred gender pronouns.
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