Northern Ireland

Calls to revoke 'sexist' Ulster University professor

A sign for Ulster University
Image caption The title of 'emeritus professor' is often given to influential retired academics

Ulster University's (UU) students' union has called for the university to end its association with a psychology professor.

The union has passed a motion calling for UU to revoke Richard Lynn's role as emeritus professor.

The motion alleges Prof Lynn advocates views that are "racist and sexist in nature".

UU said Prof Lynn no longer worked at the university but it was considering the matter.

'Racist and sexist in nature'

The title of emeritus professor is often bestowed on retired academics who have been eminent at a particular university.

Prof Lynn taught at UU and some of his work has proved controversial.

He has argued that people from east Asia have a higher average IQ than Europeans and that men have a higher average IQ than women.

On his own website Prof Lynn refers to himself as emeritus professor at UU.

He also refers to research he conducted, which concluded that black people in sub-Saharan Africa had lower IQs than black people in the USA.

The students' union motion said that by continuing to bestow the emeritus professor honour to Prof Lynn UU was "giving weight to his statements".

It has called for the university to revoke his title.

'A decision will be reached shortly'

The union's president Kevin McStravock said it had raised its concerns with the university alongside staff from the University and College Union.

"We're aware that they are currently reviewing the situation, closely observing due process and hope they will come to a sensible solution," he said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for UU said that Prof Lynn no longer contributed to its research or teaching.

"The university reserves the right to withdraw an emeritus title after due consideration of all relevant information and notification to the retired academic of a decision reached to do so," they said.

"The university has been actively considering this and a decision will be reached shortly."

BBC News NI has contacted Prof Lynn for comment but he has not yet responded.

More on this story