Advanced

Nancy Shurtz, University of Oregon

From October 2016 to October 2016
University of Oregon (Public college or university)
Eugene, Oregon, USA

Identity of Speakers

  • Nancy Schurtz
    Faculty/Staff
    Other

    Nancy Schurtz is a Professor of Law at the Universtiy of Oregon.

Resources

Additional Information

  • Incident Nature:
    Other
  • Incident Responses:
    University administration not protective of speech
    University administration invoked formal speech code in response to incident
  • Incident Status:
    No litigation
  • No protest Occured
  • Was Speech Code incident

Summary

In October 2016, Professor Nancy Shurtz of the University of Oregon was suspended after images circulated depicting her dressed in blackface at a Halloween party. Shurtz reportedly arrived dressed as Damon Tweedy, author of “Black Man in a White Coat”, which describes Tweedy’s experiences with racism as a black medical student. Schurtz claimed she was aiming to “challenge racism and provoke thought” through her costume choice. The event, although off-campus and non-university affiliated, had a number of students and faculty in attendance. University of Oregon quickly condemned Shurtz behavior, suspending her. A mass student petition circulated calling for Schurtz’s resignation and 23 faculty members penned an open letter asking for Schurtz to leave her post. An internal university investigation found Schurtz in violation of university anti-discrimination policies. Schurtz took a one year sabbatical and returned to her job in July 2018.