UPDATE (1/28/2021) — The University of Dallas has provided a response to this report:
Joint Statement by President Hibbs & Provost and incoming President Jonathan J. Sanford:
The university is following its existing policies and protocols in this matter, and will not yield to internal or external demands to divert from them. We are not in the business of limiting the speech of our faculty and staff when they speak on personal social media sites. If anyone is wondering whether we uphold Catholic teaching, we do. Our Catholic identity and fidelity to its teachings is at the core of our mission. The university embraces unreservedly the Church's articulation of the moral law, including its articulation of those truths that deal with the embodied nature of the human person and human sexuality. If anyone is wondering whether we will protect the civil rights of all the members of our community, we can say unequivocally that we will. UD endeavors to respect the intrinsic dignity of each and every person in a spirit of truth and charity.
Clare Venegas, Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Communications:
As our mission statement clearly states, UD is fully and wholeheartedly "committed to the Catholic Church and its teaching." The university is committed to protecting the civil rights of all our students, faculty, staff and we are committed to a Catholic vision of difference and unity. President Hibbs sent two recent communications to the UD community reiterating this commitment. In the first, he noted a number of ongoing initiatives to promote our common good as rooted in our inherent dignity as children of God, and in a subsequent email on Jan. 25th, he also announced a series of information sessions led by our general counsel and Office of Civil Rights to ensure all faculty and staff are aware of UD's civil rights policies.
Dr. David Upham is being targeted by Bethany Beeler, who identifies as a "trans woman." Beeler wrote a public open letter to the university chastising Upham for "espousing hate" by upholding the Church's teaching on biological sex on his private Facebook page.
Beeler all but called for Upham's immediate removal. In turn, a responding open letter was written to the university by defenders of Upham, who also defended free speech and Catholic doctrine in a Catholic university.
"We are called to write this letter for two reasons," the letter defending Upham begins. "First, we seek to defend an honest educator, a charitable mentor and a good Catholic man. Second, we seek to defend the University of Dallas from those who claim to love her yet strive to change her."
The letter explains that, like so many Catholic institutions before her, there is a movement afoot to transform the University of Dallas into a secular institution.
Beeler addressed his initial accusatory letter to the board of trustees, bishop chancellor, faculty senate, president and provost. He began his condemnation of Upham by introducing himself with his feminine name, revealing that he graduated UD in 1985 and that he has three adult children that all went to UD. He even met his wife at the university.
"I met my wife of 33+ years (we're still joyfully married) at UD, and she is also an alumna (Class of 1987)," the so-called trans woman wrote.
He then directed his attention to a Facebook post by Upham without including the date. The post, Beeler informed, "has since [been] scrubbed from [Upham's] Facebook page."
Upham's Facebook post centered on Joe Biden's new appointee for assistant secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and how the Left wants to force others to violate their consciences:
Dr. Rachel Levine was born Richard Levine. He was married and became the father of two human beings whom God made in His image, male and female He created them. Dr. Levine has since, through ingesting various drugs, put on a somewhat convincing hormonal costume to go along with his conventionally feminine dress. He may also, in addition have surgically mutilated his once functioning organs of generation — powers of procreation given to him by God Almighty. Dr. Levine is to now to be called a "woman" ... [and] in concert with the whole Biden administration, will try to use the powers of the federal government to FORCE others — by their words and their deeds, including their medical expertise and know-how — to participate in these falsehoods, these hormonal and surgical harms — these wrongs.
"Dissenters will have to say 'SHE' and 'WOMAN' or 'HE' and 'MAN' even when they know it's false," Upham added.
Beeler attacked not Upham's arguments, but Upham himself: "I write to ask the Trustees, the Faculty Senate, the President and Provost to consider the judgment, character, and fitness of Prof. Upham in his publicly posting these remarks."
[H]is inflammatory descriptions of trans persons only promotes prejudice against, misconceptions about, and violence upon us. Please know that I personally do not wish to be in his presence online, in-person, or otherwise, let alone 'force' him to do anything other than to stop inciting hatred of my existence.
Beeler asked rhetorically: "Is this the kind of behavior and person UD wants to place in front of children growing into young adults?"
The letter defending Upham, whose author remained anonymous, took an entirely different tone:
Dr. David Upham has served the UD community for many years. He is a hardworking, kind, joyful man, who openly loves our school, our country, and our Lord. He courageously and respectfully discusses and defends what he loves in the classroom and in the public square. There are times when Dr. Upham's opinions may anger those who disagree with him, and we are living in an age where those who disagree with him increasingly feel that they have every right to silence him as well as anyone who holds similar opinions.
"The letter calling for Dr. Upham's termination is proof of this sad truth," it added.
Upham currently chairs the university's Politics Department.