The author of a controversial 2011 book on parenting says that Yale Law School is punishing her over false allegations raised by students by removing her from a position teaching one of the law school’s “small groups,” which are informal learning groups that meet outside the classroom.
Amy Chua wrote in a letter to Yale Law faculty on Thursday saying that she was not seeking reinstatement to the position, which she stressed repeatedly she had been hesitant to accept in the first place. Instead, she will seek an outside investigation into why details of confidential agreements she made with the school’s administrators were apparently leaked to the school’s student news organization.
“[T]here should be an investigation into how these breaches of confidentiality occurred, with serious punishment for anyone found to be responsible,” she wrote.
Chua added in her letter that the student newspaper, the Yale Daily News, was mischaracterizing a 2019 agreement she made with administrators at the school which the newspaper reported barred Chua from hosting dinner parties or drinking with students in response to previous gatherings at Chua’s house and allegations about the conduct of her and her husband.
Chua’s husband, Jed Rubenfeld, is also a law professor at the school, but is suspended over his own allegations of misconduct including unwanted touching and kissing of students in the classroom and his home.
According to the allegations from former students, Chua is accused of continuing to host private dinner parties at her house at which Rubenfeld was present, according to the Yale Daily News. Some alumni said that Chua and others drank numerous alcoholic beverages at the gatherings.
In some instances, the couple were accused of deliberating on the physical appearances and private relationships of Yale students at the dinners, one person described as a “recent Law School graduate” told the Yale Daily News.
Chua fiercely denied these allegations in her letter to faculty members and statements to The Hill.
“As I wrack my brain to try to imagine what “dinner parties” with students they could possibly be referring to, I can only think of a few possibilities—all of which I not only stand by, but am proud of,” she said, before referring to an instance in which she invited students who felt the Yale Law administration was not supporting them amid a rise in anti-Asian violence and discrimination to her house for a discussion.
“While we cannot comment on the existence of investigations or complaints, the Law School and the University thoroughly investigate complaints regarding violations of University rules and the University adjudicates them whenever it is appropriate to do so,” Yale Law’s dean Heather Gerken, whom Chua singled out in her letter to faculty, told the Yale Daily News in a statement.
“Faculty misconduct has no place at Yale Law School. It violates our core commitments and undermines all the good that comes from an environment where faculty respect and support students,” she continued. “The Law School has a set of clearly articulated norms governing student-faculty interactions and is committed to enforcing them.”
In a statement to The Hill, the school added: “Yale Law School does not comment on, or even acknowledge the existence of, faculty disciplinary cases, and it strictly maintains the confidentiality of faculty employment files.”
Chua’s parenting book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” raised eyebrows for positing that raising children the “Chinese way” is better than Western parenting methods.
–Updated at 10:20 p.m. to correct references to allegations against Amy Chua, specifically to note which allegations were made by former students.