Petition Closed
Petitioning Michael H. Schill, President and Michael Moffitt, Dean of the School of Law, University of Oregon

Support Academic Freedom at the University of Oregon

On October 31, 2016, longtime University of Oregon law professor Nancy Shurtz attended an off-campus Halloween party in costume as Damon Tweedy, a black physician and author of the 2016 book Black Man in a White Coast: A Doctor’s Reflection on Race and Medicine. Her intent was to encourage discussion about racism in the medical profession.  Professor Shurtz is white.  Outrage, of course, ensued.

It is the official policy of the University of Oregon that:

"Free inquiry and free speech are the cornerstones of an academic institution committed to the creation and transfer of knowledge. Expression of diverse points of view is of the highest importance, not solely for those who present and defend some view but for those who would hear, disagree, and pass judgment on those views. The belief that an opinion is pernicious, false, and in any other way despicable, detestable, offensive or "just plain wrong" cannot be grounds for its suppression."

Wearing a costume is protected speech.  While we regret the fact that Professor Shurtz’s costume may have caused offense to some, we unequivocally support her right to engage in that speech on an important subject without retribution.

This petition was delivered to:
  • Michael H. Schill, President and Michael Moffitt, Dean of the School of Law, University of Oregon

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