A Republican lawmaker is rebuking a University of Iowa professor who sent an inflammatory email response to U-of-I College Republicans. 

The group touted its “Conservative Coming Out Week” in a message sent last week to everyone on the campus email system. Representative Betty DeBoef, a Republican from What Cheer, suggests professor Ellen Lewin’s email reply — with an expletive thrown in — was over the line.

“This is very inappropriate,” DeBoef said during remarks on the House floor this afternoon. “I am appalled that a professor at our state university has taken this action.” 

DeBoef noted the national calls for civility after the January shooting of an Arizona Congresswoman and constituents who went to a Saturday morning town hall meeting.  And DeBoef suggests there would have been broader repercussions on the University of Iowa campus if the vulgarity had come from a conservative rather than from a liberal. 

“It seems like civility applies one way, but not the other,” DeBoef said.

Representative Mary Mascher, a Democrat from Iowa City, said Sally Mason — the president of the University of Iowa — did respond, sending an email to everyone on campus.

“She asked for civil discourage and that people not respond to each other in that inflammatory way,” Mascher said on the House floor, after DeBoef’s remarks. 

Mascher did not condone the professor’s rant.

“Professor Lewin recognized that she was in error and she did apologize,” Mascher said. “It was inappropriate.  It was not professional.”

Lewin is a professor who studies same-sex relationships and she typed in all capital letters in her emailed reply to the “Conservative Coming Out Week.” Typing in “all caps” is generally considered to be the equivalent of shouting – and she typed “F___ YOU, REPUBLICANS.”