One professor from Duke University sent out an email asking Chinese students not to speak Chinese in school building. pic.twitter.com/6xGkIeScJo
— (@siruihua) January 26, 2019
"Both faculty members picked out a small group of first year students who they observed speaking Chinese (in their words, VERY LOUDLY) in the student lounge," said Neely in the email. "They wanted to write down the names so they could remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master’s project.
"They were disappointed that the students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand," Neely continued.
Neely concluded with a warning to students to "PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak Chinese in the building," and urged the students to "commit to using English 100% of the time when you are in Hock (Hock Plaza, a property at the campus) or any other professional setting."
The email was circulated on social media, where a second, similar note from Neely, from early 2018, also made the rounds.
The response was swift, with the Dean of Duke's School of Medicine, Mary E. Klotman, sending an email of her own, apologizing for Neely's email, and clarifying that there is no requirement to speak a specific language on campus.
Update: Here's the letter from Mary E. Klotman, Dean of School of Medicine. "I have asked the university’s Office of Institutional Equity (OIE) to conduct a thorough review of the Master’s of Biostatistics Program..."pic.twitter.com/Z8JksiJywU
— (@siruihua) January 27, 2019
"To be clear: there is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse or communicate with each other. Your career opportunities and recommendations will not in any way be influenced by the language you use outside the classroom. And your privacy will always be protected," said Klotman.
Klotman also added, "Dr. Neely has asked to step down as director of graduate studies for the master’s program effective immediately and will be replaced by an interim DGS to be named shortly."
While she has been removed from the directorship, she is still an assistant professor. A full review of the School of Medicine program is underway according to the Duke Chronicle.
Image by Tjcalboy [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
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