A dean at Yale University, whose controversial Yelp reviews drew criticism earlier this week, has been placed on leave and will not participate in commencement activities.
Pierson College head Stephen Davis informed the Yale community of the move Thursday morning, the Yale Daily News reported.
“I am writing to let you know that Dean Chu has been placed on leave and will not be participating in Commencement activities or working with students through the end of this academic year,” the letter read.
He continued: “I am very aware that when I last wrote to you on Saturday morning, it was to ask you to partner with me in envisioning a way forward — to carve out space for grace — in the aftermath of Dean Chu’s email to the college apologizing for two Yelp reviews in which she had used inappropriate and unacceptable language pertaining to matters of class and race.”
Davis goes on to say that he did not believe Chu’s Yelp reviews — in which she called people “white trash,” “sketchy” and “low-classfolks” — reflected her work. “I still had hope for the possibility of envisioning a path toward healing and reconciliation,” he said.
When Davis first addressed students, he had seen only two of Chu’s posts and didn’t know that she had written many more.
It was his discovery of “multiple reprehensible posts” by Chu that lead him to his Thursday morning decision. “The additional posts that surfaced compounded the harm of the initial two, and they also further damaged my trust and confidence in Dean Chu’s accountability to me and ability to lead the students of Pierson College,” he wrote.
“Let me be clear,” he wrote. “No one, especially those in trusted positions of educating young people, should denigrate or stereotype others, and that extends to any form of discrimination based on class, race, religion, age, disability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Yale unequivocally values respect for all.”
Chu became dean of Pierson in 2016. It’s unclear if her leave is temporary or permanent.