CHICAGO The president of Northwestern University said on Thursday he was launching an investigation into an on-campus presentation of a live sex act performed for students at an after class event.
President Morton Schapiro said he was "troubled and disappointed" after hearing about the use of a sex toy on a naked woman by her fiance in front of more than 100 students.
The demonstration was performed as part of an after-class event for a popular human sexuality course, according to The Daily Northwestern, the campus newspaper. The prestigious private university is located in Evanston, Ill., just north of Chicago.
Schapiro said in a statement that although the February 21 incident took place in a session which students were not required to attend -- and that students were advised in advance of the explicit nature of the activity -- "I feel it represented extremely poor judgment on the part of our faculty member."
"I simply do not believe this was appropriate, necessary, or in keeping with Northwestern University's academic mission," said Schapiro.
Schapiro said he has directed that the incident be fully investigated, and he wants to clarify what constitutes "appropriate pedagogy."
"Many members of the Northwestern community are disturbed by what took place on our campus," Schapiro said. "So am I."
Psychology Prof. J. Michael Bailey, who teaches the class, could not be reached for comment. In an e-mail to his students, published in The Daily Northwestern, he wrote that he organizes optional after-class events which feature speakers addressing interesting aspects of sexuality.
Bailey wrote that "some experiences are educational and interesting in non-traditional ways" and that student feedback has been "uniformly positive." He wrote that it was "too early to say" if he had any regrets.
(Writing by Mary Wisniewski, Editing by Greg McCune)