BOISE, Idaho — Boise State University wants the public to know it supports women.
The university on Wednesday released a statement to the university community after one of its professor’s comments calling independent women “medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome” spurred widespread backlash.
The email, from President Marlene Tromp and other members of the university administration, said Boise State has a “long tradition” of supporting women and will continue to do so.
“Women have made significant and meaningful contributions to all areas of academia, industry, and society,” the statement said. “We defend their right to seek an education, to pursue a range of academic aspirations and dreams, and to make their mark in whatever ways they choose.”
The email comes after a speech from Professor Scott Yenor, who teaches political science, went viral.
Parts of the speech, made at the National Conservatism Conference on Oct. 31, were included in a Nov. 25 TikTok from a Boise nurse. The TikTok was shared widely, and prompted responses from students, community members and elected officials. Yenor doubled down on his claims in a video response Nov. 30.
In the speech, Yenor condemns feminism and said its teachings are a threat to strong families. He also said men need to inspire women to be “secure with feminine goals of homemaking and having children.”
“Every effort must be made not to recruit women into engineering, but rather to recruit and demand more of men who become engineers. Ditto for med school, and the law, and every trade,” he said in the speech.
Earlier this week, Boise State spokesperson Mike Sharp said the university supports free speech and academic freedom.
“Boise State University understands that the open exchange of ideas, which is fundamental to education, can introduce uncomfortable and even offensive ideas,” Sharp said in an email to the Idaho Statesman. “However, the university cannot infringe upon the First Amendment rights of any members of our community, regardless of whether we, as individual leaders, agree or disagree with the message. No single faculty member defines what Boise State — or any public university — endorses or stands for.”
Community members and elected officials have raised concerns about Yenor being in a position of power over women and have vowed to continue to fight against his comments. Yenor is a tenured professor who can be terminated only under extreme circumstances.
“Women belong on our campus,” said a Wednesday email from the administration to the university community, “and we affirm the broad range of ways they work and live in the world.”