Duquesne University Professor Sent on Paid Leave for Continuously Using 'N-Word' During Online Class

The School of Education Dean Gretchen Generett in a statement has offered her sincere apologies to all the students

A professor of the Pennsylvania university has been placed on a paid leave after a clip shared on social media platforms showed him using the 'N-word' continuously during an online class. The Duquesne University gave a confirmation that the education professor Gary Shank was no longer teaching and is currently pending an investigation.

Another member of the faculty is going to take over the educational psychology course, WTAE confirmed on Friday. As per audio from the Friday class that got posted on Twitter, Shank who is a white man tells his students that he is giving permission to use racial slur as they are using it in a 'pedagogical sense'. "What's the one word about race that we're not allowed to use?", he can be heard saying to the class. "I'll give you a hint. It starts with 'N.'"

Professor Placed on Paid Leave

Gary Shank
Gary Shank Twitter/Chris Lovingood WTAE

After the students did not give any response, the professor said that he is only using the word for demonstrating a point before using it and then giving a description of some of its common, derogatory uses from when he was a young man. "Could we do that now, guys?", he can be heard asking as a few of the students responded by saying no. The professor then agreed with the students.

The School of Education Dean Gretchen Generett in a statement offered her sincere apologies to the students and also thanked them who emailed the professor after the class got over. "I understand that sending those emails was not easy and I want to thank students for using their voices to share a troubling and disturbing language that was used by your professor in class," she stated.

"To be clear, I believe that there is never a time, pedagogically or otherwise, for a professor to create a hospital learning environment," she added. The officials at Duquesne, which is a private Catholic university in Pittsburgh, stated that the matter is being treated quite seriously and is currently under investigation.