New Gender, New Diploma

The Dutch University of Amsterdam agreed Tuesday to grant a replacement diploma to Justus Eisfeld, a Dutch man living in New York who graduated from the school 2001. He was, however, a woman back then.

According to an Associated Press article in the Columbus Dispatch:

Justus Eisfeld will get a new diploma after Education Minister Marja van Bijsterveldt said a law barring universities from issuing replacement diplomas was “interpreted too strictly,” university spokesman Paul Helbing said, adding the university is “very happy” to be able to issue the replacement diploma.

[Helbing] said the university offered in 2008 to give Eisfeld a document confirming he had graduated, but Eisfeld said it was not enough. “It is a question of principle for him.”

Exactly what principle that is remains unclear. Eisfeld was a woman in 2001 when he graduated. The fact that he had earned a degree from the University of Amsterdam was never in dispute. Women all over the United States routinely live out their entire professional lives armed with undergraduate degrees they earned with prior surnames.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer