LAWRENCE, Kansas (WATE) – A professor at the University of Kansas will keep her job after using a racial slur in class. The communication professor, Andrea Quenette has been on paid leave since the incident 4 months ago. A group of 8 students filed a complaint after she used the offensive language in response to an in class question.
The University’s office of Institutional Opportunity and Access notified her Friday that she did not violate the school’s non-discrimination or racial and ethnic harassment policies, according to the Lawrence Journal-World. It was determined that she used the word in an educational context, and it was not intended to be racist.
“This word is offensive, but it was used in the context of retelling a factual event that occurred at another campus,” Quennette said. “It was not used in racial animus.”
The comment was made in class on Nov. 12 following a heated, campus wide forum on race. She used the word in response to a question about the best way to talk about the forum with other students when she said as a white woman, it was difficult to relate to others’ challenges because she has not experienced racial discrimination herself, then she noted that unlike other campuses where there had been visible racist acts, she “had not seen ****** spray painted on walls at KU.”
The university recommended that Quennette complete cultural competency training, and pair up with a faculty member to ensure that her curriculum include more diversity.