A Yale University dean has been placed on leave after writing controversial remarks on her Yelp reviews of local businesses, including calling people who dined at one restaurant “white trash.”
Chu will not participate in commencement activities or work with students through the end of the academic year, according to an email Pierson Head of College Stephen Davis sent to students Thursday morning.
In the email, Davis said he was "grieving" and could no longer "envision a way forward" with Chu in an administrative position at the residential college.
Chu's reviews were discovered after she sent a letter to students in the residential college announcing she had become "Yelp Elite," according to the Yale Daily News. Students then searched the review-sharing site and found messages Chu posted over the past few years.
Chu, who has been dean of Pierson since 2016, has since deleted her account, but the YDN took screenshots of some of the reviews.
Chu wrote for Koto Japanese Resturant:
“To put it quite simply: if you are white trash, this is the perfect night out for you! This establishment is definitely not authentic by any stretch of the imagination and perfect for low class folks who believe this is a real night out. Over salted and greasy food. Side note: employees are Chinese, not Japanese.”
“Remember: I am Asian,” Chu wrote. “I guess if you were a white person who has no clue what mochi is, this would be fine for you.”
In a review written for an Asian fusion restaurant last month, Chu wrote that she is “Chinese American” and typically hates going out to dinner for Chinese food.
“This is not your typical greasy trashy Chinese joint — and I love it,” Chu wrote.
In a review for a burrito restaurant, Chu mentioned that she complained that the rice was not done to the staff, saying, “I am Asian, I know rice.”
The news of Chu’s questionable reviews was brought to the attention of Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale College, by Camille Lizarribar, the dean of student affairs.
Chu has since issued a written apology to the student body, on the advise from Holloway and other administrators. In her apology, she spoke about the “power of words” and taking “accountability” for things she said.
“My remarks were wrong. There are no two ways about it. Not only were they insensitive in matters related to class and race; they demean the values to which I hold myself and which I offer as a member of this community,” Chu wrote in the apology.
Despite her actions, Chu will not be asked to resign from her post any time soon, Holloway said. An email to the Pierson community obtained by ABC News revealed, however, that Head of College Stephen Davis has informed the members of the residential college that Chu had been placed on leave and would be barred from participating in the commencement ceremony or working with the college students in any capacity.
Explaining his decision, Davis wrote it was based on the “multiple reprehensible posts” by Chu that contained "inappropriate and unacceptable language pertaining to matters of class and race".
He further added that, “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."