Emory Law School Dean Mary Anne Bobinski speaks at a Sept. 27 law symposium celebrating the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949/Jessie Wang, Contributing Amid recent controversies surrounding Emory Law School, Dean Mary Anne Bobinski addressed the use of racial slurs in class and her vision of the school’s future in an exclusive interview with the Wheel.
Bobinski became the first woman dean in the school’s 103-year history on Aug. 1 of this year. She will remain in that position for five years. Addressing Recent Controversy
Prior to Bobinski’s appointment, Law Professor Paul J. Zwier II was placed on paid administrative leave after reports that he used the N-word on two separate occasions in front of students in Fall 2018. On Sept. 9, two Emory Law School adjunct professors were accused of using the same racial slur in their respective classes.
Bobinski said that although the incidents involving Zwier occurred before she came to the school, she feels responsible for learning how such events impact the law community.
She noted that the incidents involving Zwier occurred in contexts different from those that occurred under her tenure and that Zwier’s incidents should be evaluated separately. The Wheel reported that Adjunct Law Professor Robert Saunooke, who is Native American, used the word while explaining how racial slurs are used to describe Native Americans.
Zwier allegedly used the slur word while discussing the case Fisher v. Carrousel Motor Hotel, Inc. , which does not include the N-word.
Bobinski stressed that the University should consider such events alongside its values of academic freedom and its stance against discrimination. She noted, however, that these values can occasionally come into conflict.
“Emory has very strong commitments around academic freedom and the ability of faculty members to determine how to best teach their subject matter in order to facilitate student learning,” Bobinski said. “At the same time, Emory is strongly committed to ensuring that students are able to pursue their education without worrying about discrimination or harrassment.”
Bobinski said the Law School provides a variety of educational resources to faculty and students to help facilitate better decision-making that balances […]