May 18 (UPI) — Yale University placed one of its deans on leave after revelations she posted race- and class-based criticism of local businesses on Yelp, a school official said.
June Chu, dean of the Yale’s Pierson College, the largest of 12 colleges that comprise the university, was placed on leave Thursday and will not participate in the school’s commencement ceremony next week.
The questionable Yelp postings were first reported by the university’s newspaper, the Yale Daily News.
In a dozen posts on the consumer review site Yelp, Chu referred to customers at local establishments as “white trash” and “low class folks.” She criticized movie theater employees as “barely educated” and unable to add “$ 7 and $ 7.” She also praised a New Haven, Conn., theater for its lack of “sketchy crowds” despite being located in the city.
Pierson Head Stephen Davis said in an email to students Thursday that Chu had been placed on leave and asked for the community’s help in rebuilding “trust” between administrators and students. He called Chu’s posts “reprehensible.”
“Let me be clear,” Davis 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.”
When news first surfaced about some of Chu’s Yelp reviews, Davis and school administrators defended Chu, saying the posts were not representative of her as a person. In the wake of the school paper’s publishing several more screeds, Davis said he had changed course.