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Emory Wants to Fire Law Professor Who Said N-Word Twice

September 6, 2019
 
 

Emory University is seeking to terminate Paul Zwier, the professor of law who was suspended last year for saying the N-word during a torts lesson about a case involving the word "negro," apologizing, and then allegedly saying it again later in explaining his actions to a student. Zwier declined comment. His attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to a letter to Emory from the American Association of University Professors, Dean James Hughes, interim dean of law, recommended Zwier's termination to the campus Faculty Hearing Committee. Zwier's second use of the slur, in particular, "demonstrates extremely poor judgment," Hughes wrote to the committee, according to the AAUP. The incident caused "disruption and turmoil" and negatively impacted the law school's reputation, and Zwier's previous request for a hearing about his suspension casts "doubt on the sincerity of his apology and his fitness for continued service," Hughes added.

The association's letter says that Zwier's speech is protected under academic freedom, "notwithstanding any repercussions of that speech." Zwier is set to meet with the faculty committee later this semester.

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