TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Tax Prof Nancy Shurtz Returns To Oregon Law School After Wearing Blackface To 2016 Halloween Party

Register-Guard, UO Professor Who Wore Blackface Costume at 2016 Halloween Party Returns to Law School:

Nancy Shurtz, the University of Oregon Law School professor who ignited a campus-wide controversy after being photographed in blackface at a Halloween party in 2016, has returned to the university.

UO spokesman Tobin Klinger confirmed Shurtz has resumed working at the law school following a brief leave and a year-long sabbatical.

The Halloween incident set off a firestorm across the university, with many law school students and faculty calling on Shurtz to resign, and others defending her costume as ill-advised but not a fireable offense.

The UO determined after an investigation that Shurtz violated UO policy by committing racial harrassment.

Shurtz apologized in a letter for her costume — a white lab coat and stethoscope, with blackface and an afro wig — which was meant to depict Dr. Damon Tweedy and his best-selling memoir, “Black Man in a White Coat.”

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It perplexes me why Professor Shurtz would even want to come back to a law school to teach where half of her colleagues signed a petition to have her fired for exercising her constitutional rights in her own home. I have no doubt she could have found a superior venue at which to continue her academic life, particularly given Oregon Law School's abysmal rankings, and the fact that the university of which it is a part is headed by an ultra-PC president who went out of his way to excoriate her at the time of this incident.

Posted by: Gregory V. Bader | Apr 14, 2018 8:28:09 PM