Education

Emory Investigates Law Professor’s Alleged Use of Racial Slur In Class

Emory Professor Paul J. Zwier, discussing a case stemming from the 1960’s civil rights movement in the South, allegedly used the ‘N-word” in class Aug. 23.
Emory Professor Paul J. Zwier, discussing a case stemming from the 1960’s civil rights movement in the South, allegedly used the ‘N-word” in class Aug. 23.
Credit Alison Guillory / WABE
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Emory University has launched an investigation after a law professor allegedly used a racial slur during a class lecture.

Professor Paul J. Zwier, discussing a case stemming from the 1960’s civil rights movement in the South, allegedly used the ‘N-word” in class Aug. 23. Zwier apologized the next day, according to student newspaper The Emory Wheel. Zwier also wrote a letter explaining the incident, in which he says he doesn’t consciously remember using the word. Emory has assigned his classes to another professor.

The university issued the following statement:

“Emory University reinforced its commitment to the principles of equity, inclusion and respect in a letter to the Emory Law community outlining action the university has taken in response to a law school professor’s use of the “n-word” during a classroom lecture.  The topic was 1960s civil rights lunch counter protests in the South; however, the offensive language was not part of the case law cited.

In a joint letter signed by the university president, provost and law school dean, Emory leaders stated that the use of any “racial slur in our community is unacceptable.” The incident currently is under investigation by the Office of Equity and Inclusion.  The office is expected to make finding of fact and recommend further actions, if any, required to address the situation.

The courses of the professor involved in this incident have been assigned to another professor.”