Duke University professor steps down over 'Speak English' email

Duke University professor steps down over 'Speak English' email

A Duke University professor was asked to step down from an administrative role following an email she sent to students Friday, advising them not to speak Chinese in order to improve on speaking English and better their chances of getting jobs. In an earlier email from Neely, she expressed similar sentiments, castigating Chinese worldwide students for speaking in Mandarin while carrying on private conversations.

"To global students, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak in Chinese in the building", Neely wrote, according to screenshots of the message.

In her letter, Klotman, the dean, apologised to students and said she had asked the university's Office for Institutional Equity to conduct a "thorough review".

She added that she had the utmost respect for worldwide students.

Screenshots of the email were leaked on social media on Saturday. "I have no idea how hard it has been and still is for you to come to the U.S. and have to learn in a non-native language". She will remain an assistant professor of biostatistics and bioinformatics. But universities have seen a decline in global student enrollment.

Neely, meanwhile, also included a personal note in DeLong's email to students, apologizing directly for her actions.

The Duke Asian Students Association also issued a statement over the weekend slamming the Friday email as discriminatory and hypocritical, especially 'given Duke's dependence on worldwide students and faculty for their undergraduate and graduate programs'.

Mary Klotman, dean of the medical school which oversees the biostatistics programme, wrote to students over the weekend, telling them: "There is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse and communicate with each other".

"Students are free to speak whatever language they want in their down time", wrote one. "This is discriminatory and utterly shameful". They said they wanted to take down their names to blacklist them for future intern or other applications. About 10 of the 50 faculty members in that program are Chinese, the university said. "Let's guess how many times I've been asked not to speak French", one Twitter user wrote, appending three eye-roll emoji to the message. "This behavior is not only hypocritical-given Duke's dependence on worldwide students and faculty for their undergraduate and graduate programs, desire to present itself as a 'global university, ' and partnership with Duke Kunshan University-but also discriminatory", they write.

Diana Sojda, a 27-year-old Duke nursing student, said language used outside of the classroom shouldn't be restricted. But in private conversations with only Chinese students, we would prefer Chinese, ' Zhang said. "You have this email to the Chinese students saying ... if you speak Chinese you will be remembered and identified, and that will affect your performance".

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