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Kelly said a woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet.
His comment was made in a recent Rural News article.
Kelly says currently the majority of veterinary students and graduates at Massey University are women. He says women make up 75-85% of vet students in first year and more go on to second year than men do.
“That’s because women mature earlier than men, work hard and pass. Whereas men find out about booze and all sorts of crazy things during their first year.” He said.
Kelly, a veterinary graduate himself, noted how men used to dominate vet schools, but this has changed.
“When I went through vet school, many years ago, it was dominated by men; today it’s dominated by women.” He said.
“That’s fine, but the problem is one woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet throughout her life because she gets married and has a family, which is normal. So, though we’re graduating a lot of vets, we’re getting a high fallout rate later on.”
This comment was met with animosity from both women and men on social media.
“One woman graduate is equivalent to two-fifths of a full-time equivalent vet"??! Shame on Chancellor Kelly for spouting such sexist nonsense.” Wrote Meg deBlanc-Knowles.
“C'mon guys, you can hold this pratt to account, surely to goodness.” Angela McLeod said.
Linda Stewart added, “Really? Did I just wake up in the 1800's?”
“How on earth can a man say that women are worth 2/5 of men?” said Fred Vanholsbeeck.
Women veterinary graduates also shared these views.
Merlyn Hay, a senior vet with 15 years experience wrote, “This is outrageous sexist nonsense and is insulting to male and female graduates. I can't believe it's been published and am very embarrassed that the chancellor would have such an outdated attitude.”
Miriam Bates wrote, “Turns out I've dedicated the last 5 years of my life to becoming 2/5 of a man. Who knew.”
UPDATE: Chancellor Chris Kelly has since apologised.
The Chancellor has apologised and conceded the information he gave in the article was incorrect. pic.twitter.com/5S5xftDWi9— Massey University (@MasseyUni) December 13, 2016