Paul L. Caron

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Oregon Tax Prof Nancy Shurtz Says She Wore Blackface To Halloween Party To Teach Lesson As Author Of Black Man In A White Coat

Oregon 2

Following up on this morning's post, 23 Oregon Law Profs Call On Colleague To Resign For Wearing Blackface At Halloween Party:  KEZI 9 News, UO Law Professor Under Fire for Controversial Halloween Costume:

KEZI learned that the professor involved is [tax professor] Nancy Shurtz.

Students are outraged by the incident and have even started a petition demanding her resignation. The petition needs 100 supporters before it can be delivered to the dean of the law school.

Shurtz sent a letter to students explaining why she chose her costume. She said she read a book and wanted to portray the character. She also said she apologizes and never meant to offend anyone.

"I chose my costume based on a book that I read and liked—Black Man in a White Coat.  I thought I would be able to teach with this costume as well (or at least tell an interesting story).

When I asked my daughter who is at Brown Medical School the demographics of her medical school class, she said “they do not give those statistics out mom”, but later when she asked the administration, they said there was not one black male student in the class. She and others were outraged. She was able to get the administration to assign a portion of this book (the one where the black medical student was thought to be the janitor) out to students.

I am sorry if it did not come off well.  I, of all people, would not want to offend.

KEZI spoke with Shurtz. She said she didn't want to share her side until she talked to her attorney.

Schill said the matter will be sent to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity officials. They will decide if the incident was against university policy.

The dean sent a letter to students stating that there will be an open forum on Thursday at 1 p.m. in room 110 at the University of Oregon School of Law.

Daily Mail, University of Oregon Law Professor Is Suspended After Dressing in Blackface at a Halloween Party:

A University of Oregon law professor has been suspended from her job after she dressed in blackface for a Halloween party. 

The professor has been identified by local news station KEZI as Nancy Shurtz, 68. 

A photo of Shurtz's alleged costume, obtained by the Register-Guard, shows her wearing black face paint, a black afro and a white lab coat. ...

According to her profile on UO's website, Shurtz has degrees from the University of Cincinnati (B.A.), Ohio State University (J.D.) and Georgetown Law School (LL.M). She has been teaching at UO since 1982.

Book Club, Legal Education, Tax | Permalink


The real scandal is Brown Medical School. Not one black male?

Posted by: EricMack | Nov 4, 2016 8:56:21 PM

I recall taking Schurtz's Tax Law class when I was a student at UO Law School in 1987. Mostly what I remember was that she talked so fast and so non-stop that I couldn't scribble my notes fast enough to keep up with her. Main takeaway from it all was that the closest I ever wanted to get to the Internal Revenue Code afterward was the 1040EZ.

Mildly surprised she's still there. Not surprised at all that both faculty and students at UO Law are still taking themselves far, far too seriously.

Posted by: Taylor A Lake | Nov 4, 2016 11:34:49 AM

When leftists eat their own, I am happy to supply the steak knives and ketchup.

Posted by: Micha Elyi | Nov 4, 2016 9:50:47 AM

"Tolerance" certainly seems to have become a one way street lately.

Posted by: Pete | Nov 4, 2016 9:27:06 AM

'Doesn't anybody retire at a normal age any more?"

Who can afford to?

Posted by: D Palmer | Nov 4, 2016 8:47:16 AM

Shurtz is slightly flaky but she's def. not a racist. They should let her apologize and let it go.

Posted by: mike livingston | Nov 4, 2016 4:08:46 AM

Laughable explanation. Another reason to stop celebrating an absurd "holiday." Doubt that's a current photo of her at 68. Doesn't anybody retire at a normal age any more?

Posted by: Diogenes | Nov 4, 2016 3:57:03 AM