Duke University Prof Steps Down After Telling Chinese Students To Speak Only English

3 years ago



One of the Duke University officials was forced to step down Saturday as a result of scandal caused by the email she had sent out to international students.  As reported by USA Today, the email that sparked severe outrage on the web, was telling foreign students to "commit to using English 100% of the time."  The Typical Student team learned the details of the scandal.


What Happened At Duke University?







The director of graduate studies in the biostatistics dept., Megan Neely, sent out an email last Friday that many foreign students found discriminatory. The email titled "Something to think about…" was telling foreign students at Duke to speak English on campus and in professional settings. This resulted in a petition demanding to investigate prof’s Megan Neely’s discriminatory emails that garnered more than 1.900 student signatures


Are Chinese Students Forbidden to Speak Their Mother Tongue At Duke?




As seen from the email screens, what Neely had written was targeted at a group of students speaking Chinese "very loudly" in a common area. The email claims that two faculty members whose names remained unknown were complaining to her about Chinese students. As told by USA Today, these faculty members, allegedly asked Neely to see photos of the first and second-year students. They wished to "remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master's project."


Student Petition Forced Neely To Step Down



The petition got over 1,900 student signatures as of Sunday afternoon and was calling for an investigation of Neely's emails as well as demanded to reveal the identities of the unnamed faculty members. Also, the petition called for an independent committee and "appropriate remedial measures."

By Sunday afternoon, the med school's dean informed the program's students in an email that "Neely asked to step down as director, effective immediately." An official apology was issued to students: "There is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse and communicate with each other." 

UPDATE: As of Monday, the Chronicle student newspaper reports Neely still works as an associate professor. 


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