Shurtz was dumb to think it would work out well to dress in blackface, but she seems to have been sincere in thinking she was provoking a beneficial conversation about racism by dressing as the black male doctor who'd written a book she liked, "Black Man in a White Coat."
The law school acknowledged that "Professor Shurtz did not demonstrate ill intent in her choice of costume." But the point was that "her actions had a negative impact on the university’s learning environment" because of how students would have thought about it. And: "[T]he effects of Shurtz’s costume constitute disruption to the University significant enough to outweigh Shurtz’s interests in academic freedom and freedom of speech in the type of speech at issue."
Blackman gave a talk about intellectual diversity at the the University of Oregon Law School recently and afterwards:
One student told me that he attempted to defend Prof. Shurtz’s First Amendment rights on Facebook, and he was savagely attacked by other students, who charged that he was racist. Another student said that certain professors were dedicating class time to the issue (which upset some students), and other professors were not dedicating class time to the issue (which upset other students). Another mentioned the “fear of retribution” among students on the right. Another said that only one professor on campus offered a tepid response of Shurtz, and this professor was lambasted by colleagues. All noted that there was a tension in the air, and a distinct fear of defending Professor Shurtz’s rights.What sad, timid people!