Oxford University boss says tackling homophobia is not her job

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Professor Louise Richardson, the vice-chancellor of the University of Oxford and one of the most respected university bosses in UK shocked her students saying that tackling homophobia was not her duty. Professor Richardson was speaking in London at the Times Higher Education World Academic Summit when she said that many Oxford professors are against homosexuality and students complain that it makes them feel uncomfortable. But she insists that creating comfortable conditions for students is not her duty as education and comfort, to her mind, oppose one another. “If you don’t like his views, you challenge them, engage with them, and figure how a smart person can have views like that. Work out how you can persuade him to change his mind. It is difficult, but it is absolutely what we have to do,” she said

Reaction from students came soon. University student union’s LGBTQ Campaign wrote a statement saying: “The Oxford SU LGBTQ+ Campaign is angered and dismayed by Vice-Chancellor Richardson’s comments. These appear to indicate support for tutors expressing homophobic views to their students, as professor Richardson believes that students do not have a right to be offended and must take on the responsibility of challenging their tutors on such matters. Whilst we recognise that individuals are entitled to personal views and opinions, we see no way in which these are relevant to an academic context, and believe that the expression of such views has detrimental effects which go far beyond making students feel ‘uncomfortable’.

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