College Reverses Censure Of Professor Who Failed Student For Using ‘Biological Woman’

The University of Cincinnati (UC) reversed its initial reprimand of a professor who failed a student that used the phrase “biological woman.” The college’s Department of Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies originally censured Professor Melanie Nipper following the incident. 

The issue began when student Olivia Krolczyk used the term in a proposal for a project regarding transgender athletes. The student received a zero on the assignment. The professor told Krolczyk that such terms were “exclusionary and are not allowed in this course as they further reinforce heteronormativity.” 

The gender studies professor asked the student to “reassess your topic and edit it to focus on women’s rights (not just “females”) and I’ll regrade.”

Krolczyk spoke of the issue on Twitter asking how she could “do my project if I can’t use the term ‘biological women?'”

Following the initial complaint, the student received a new grade on the assignment and received an A in the course.

As a result of the student’s complaint, Nipper received a reprimand from her academic department. However, following an appeal, the reprimand will be removed from the professor’s personnel file. The university stated that the censure was “issued in error.”

The professor stated that the failing grade did not violate the college’s free speech policy.

However, Nipper will be required to complete mandatory training regarding the college’s free speech policy.

“UC is affirming that professors will have no consequences for failing students with dissenting opinions,” the student said. Krolczyk said that the college “will not uphold a student’s rights to free speech and will take no action to ensure that the educators hired are acting in a professional manner,” the student said.

The initial reprimand was released by the Cincinnati Enquirer, which reported that it “directed adjunct instructor Melanie Nipper to complete training about UC’s free speech policy and submit her syllabi for the coming school year to her department head.”