Duquesne U. prof put on leave after using ‘N’-word multiple times in video class with student

By: - September 12, 2020 7:07 am

(Photo via Pittsburgh City Paper)

By Ryan Deto

PITTSBURGH —viral video posted Friday shows a Duquesne University professor repeatedly using the n-word during a video class with a student.

“And that word is [n-word]. OK? When I was a young man, alright? That was a very commonly used word,” said the professor, according to the video.

“You know what Brazil nuts are, right?” said the professor.

“Yeah,” responds a student in the video.

“When I was a kid, people called them [n-word] toes. Could we do that nowadays?” asked the professor.

“No, absolutely not,” said the student.

“Absolutely not. Um, when I had a little extra money and I was spending it extravagantly, somebody might say I was [n-word] rich. OK? Would we do that today?” said the professor.

“No,” replied the student.

“No,” said the professor.

As of Friday, that faculty member has been placed on paid leave, and the university is investigating the matter, according to Duquesne University spokesperson Gabriel Welsch.

Welsch added that another professor is taking over the course.

A Duquesne University student who asked to remain anonymous told Pittsburgh City Paper that the professor who said the n-word was Gary Shank of the university’s School of Education.

Within moments of learning of the incident, School of Education Dean Gretchen Generett sent a letter to the students of the class, and she apologized for the incident and thanked those students who emailed the offending professor directly.

“I want to thank students for using their voices to share the troubling and disturbing language that was used by your professor in class,” wrote Generett in her letter.

Ryan Deto is a reporter for Pittsburgh City Paper, where this story first appeared.

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