(Norman, OK) University of Oklahoma administration says a journalism professor who used a racial slur during a Tuesday class is protected by his First Amendment rights, despite student calls for action. Peter Gade, a faculty member at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, used the slur during his senior-level capstone journalism class Tuesday.

According to OU, Gade equated using the n-word with using the popular phrase “OK, Boomer.” “Calling someone a boomer is like calling someone a (n-word),” Gade said, according to the OU Daily student newspaper.

While the professor said the slur in its entirety, OU Interim President Joe Harroz said in a statement that Gade’s words are protected by his right to free speech. Gade serves as director of graduate studies and an endowed chair in Gaylord, where he has been a faculty member since 1998.