The live sex demo held on campus as part of a human sexuality class last month doesn't define Northwestern University, the school's president said in a rallying statement on Monday.
"Controversy attends all universities, including ours," Morton Schapiro wrote in a letter posted on the school's website.
"I'm confident, however, in our ability to work through this situation, guided, as we must be, by the light of reason," he said.
On Feb. 21, Prof. John Michael Bailey invited students from his human sexuality class to observe a naked woman being stimulated with a motorized sex toy on stage. About 120 students attended the demonstration, which was curated by Chicago sex tour guide Ken Melvoin-Berg.
On Saturday, Bailey issued an apology for "upsetting so many people" in the wake of the demonstration that surfaced in the media last week. He also said he's not yet heard a thorough argument as to why it was improper.
The school said on Thursday it would investigate the incident, backtracking on initial support of the optional, after-class demonstration.
In his statement today, Schapiro acknowledged there will be disagreement on how the University should respond to the incident.
But he pointed to recent school achievements -- including the Dance Marathon benefit over the weekend and a Law School visit on Monday from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- as things that represent the school and make him "proud as ever to wear Northwestern purple."
"Those activities, and the many other wonderful things that occur each and every day at Northwestern, aren't likely to attract the same amount of media coverage that the recent incident has," he said. "But they define who we are."