Andrea Quenette, an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Kansas, must stay off campus as the school investigates, she told the Lawrence Journal-World.
Her suspension came two days after five of her students demanded she be fired in an emotional open letter.
“I didn’t intend to offend anyone, I didn’t intend to hurt anyone. I didn’t direct my words at any individual or group of people,” she told the newspaper Friday.
Quenette’s controversial remarks came during a Nov. 12 class for graduate students who teach undergraduate classes. The class met the day after a contentious university-wide forum on race and discrimination, which followed days of protests at the University of Missouri over concerns about the school’s handling of racial issues.
Diversity in the classroom was already on the syllabus, the 33-year-old professor said, and one of her students asked how they could handle racial problems in their own classrooms.
“As a white woman I just never have seen the racism,” Quenette told her class, according to the open letter calling for her resignation. “It’s not like I see ‘n----r spray painted on walls.”
Quenette said it was her way of acknowledging her own blind side.