References to gender-neutral pronouns will be removed from the University of Tennessee’s Office for Diversity and Inclusion website, reports the News Sentinel. UT President Joe DiPietro made the announcement Friday in a message to university trustees.
“The social issues and practices raised by the Office for Diversity and Inclusion are appropriate ones for discussion on a university campus. However, it was not appropriate to do so in a manner that suggests it is the expectation that all on campus embrace these practices,” he wrote.
DiPietro said he and Chancellor Jimmy Cheek made the change together.
On Friday, DiPietro met with members of the Knoxville legislative delegation at their request. Lawmakers, who have been critical of the suggestion made in an online newsletter to use gender-neutral pronouns, said Friday they are glad the university responded but are still taking a wait-and-see approach.
The topic is on the agenda for an October state Senate Higher Education Subcommittee meeting. State Sen. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains, said he still expects the subject to be discussed then.
“They may drive one last nail in it to make sure it’s dead,” he said.
From “Sex Week to the Lady Vols to xe, xem and xyr,” UT needs help with public relations, Niceley said. He posted “Common sense prevails” to his Facebook page.