Gaylord Hall

Outside Gaylord Hall, home to the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

NORMAN, Okla. — OU professor Peter Gade will step aside from teaching his senior-level journalism class the rest of the spring semester after he used a racial slur in the class Tuesday, Gaylord College administration announced today.

According to a Friday email sent to the Gaylord community by college dean Ed Kelley, Gaylord associate dean and journalism professor David Craig will take over Gade's senior course for the rest of the semester with occasional assistance from other Gaylord faculty.

The class, which meets each Tuesday and Thursday morning, will resume next week with Craig's oversight, Kelley wrote. Craig has past experience in teaching the "Journalism, Ethics and Democracy" capstone course, and has a background in journalism ethics, according to Kelley's email.

"It's been a challenging week at Gaylord College and OU, but also a week of learning and inspiration from our students," Kelley wrote in a letter to Gaylord members. "Our first priority is to ensure an exceptional educational experience for all of them."

Gaylord administrators have been meeting with Gade's students throughout the week after the professor used the n-word in class Tuesday, comparing the use of the slur with the use of the phrase "OK, Boomer."

During Thursday's class, OU administrators — including vice president for diversity and inclusion Belinda Hyppolite and vice president for student affairs and dean of students David Surratt — sat down with the class for 75 minutes and Gaylord faculty, hearing student concerns and plans moving forward. 

Along with stepping down from this semester's class, Gade will engage in sessions with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and take OU's culturally competent communication program over the semester, according to Kelley.

Gaylord College will also be implementing diversity and inclusion training for its entire faculty and staff in the near future, Kelley said.

Emma Keith


Follow me @emma_ckeith

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