A Yale University dean has left her position following outrage among students when insulting reviews on her personal Yelp account surfaced last month.
June Chu, who was dean of Pierson College at the prestigious New Haven, Connecticut, university, was placed on leave in May after screenshots began circulating of her calling people “white trash,” “low class” and other derogatory terms on the crowdsourced reviews site.
Chu’s decision to leave was announced Tuesday by Stephen Davis, head of Pierson College, in an email to students.
“Dean Chu has left her position at Pierson College and wishes the best to the students,” Davis said in his email. “As a result, I am initiating the process of the search for a new dean, who will be in place before the start of the fall term.”
The university’s student-run newspaper published the inflammatory screenshots two weeks before Chu was placed on leave. Students accused the former “Yelp Elite” reviewer of posting “racist” and “classist” comments on the site. In one instance, Chu described local movie theater employees as “barely educated morons.” In another post, she praised a different movie theater for not having “sketchy crowds.”
Chu has since deleted her Yelp account. She sent an email to Pierson students the same day the screenshots were published, apologizing for her “insensitive” remarks.
“I have learned a lot this semester about the power of words and about the accountability that we owe one another,” Chu wrote. “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.”
Neither Davis nor Yale College Dean Jonathan Holloway asked Chu to submit her resignation, according to the Yale Daily News.
A representative for Pierson College did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
An email to Chu’s Yale address yielded an automated response, which said “I am unavailable” and directed “questions concerning academic issues” to an associate dean.