Using https://www.onlineocr.net/ I converted the images to text. In displaying below, I’ll merge the first two since they’re from the same email as well making few corrections to the OCR.
From: Megan Neely, To: biostatistics-mbstudents-firsty… Hide biostatistics-mbstudents-secondyear@duke….
Something to think about … Today at T49 PM
I had two separate faculty members come to my office today and ask if I had pictures of the MB students. I shared with them the head shots of the first- and second-year cohorts taken during orientation. Both faculty members picked out a small group of first-year students who they observed speaking Chinese (in their words, VERY LOUDLY) in the student lounge/study areas. I asked why they were curious about the students’ names. Both faculty members replied that they wanted to write down the names so they could remember them if the students ever interviewed for an internship or asked to work with them for a master’s project. They were disappointed that these students were not taking the opportunity to improve their English and were being so impolite as to have a conversation that not everyone on the floor could understand.
To international students, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE keep these unintended consequences in mind when you choose to speak in Chinese in the building. I have no idea how hard it has been and still is for you to come to the US and have to learn in a non-native language. As such, I have the upmost respect for what you are doing. That being said, I encourage you to commit to using English 100% of the time when you are in Hock or any other professional setting.
Copying the second-year students as a reminder given they are currently applying for jobs.
Happy to discuss more. Just stop by my office.
Megan Neely Assistant Professor Director of Graduate Studies Master of Biostatistics Program Dept of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics Duke University Medical Center Hock Plaza 11106 2424 Erwin Road, Suite 1104 Durham, NC 27705 Phone: (919) 684-8783 Fax: (919) 681-7918
I recall once in a department lounge, I was chatting with some graduate students from China in Chinese and then when a professor came by, I felt more hesitant to do so. You see, it’s kind of understandable and more or less acceptable when they do that, but unlike them, I actually am fully US educated, so what is expected from me is different. Still, I can say that I never made the choice to come to the US to justify such behavior.
It’s kind of needless to say that Chinese, especially mainland Chinese, are not really wanted in America. They’re for the most part only accepted when they actually bring something that some institution needs and even then the acceptance is often a reluctant one. It is really annoying and also kind of rude when they speak Chinese amongst themselves, when I put myself in the shoes of a white guy who doesn’t know the language. Still, schools need the undergrads for their money and the graduate students for their cheap labor, so all that is just a price you pay for what you get out of them.
To be fair, I also find it really, really awkward to speak English with a Chinese from China. Which means I can be equally annoying. 😉
Duke University School of Medicine
Dear Masters of Biostatistics Students,
I am writing to you directly to apologize for the message that was sent yesterday by Professor Megan Neely, the director of graduate studies, regarding the use of Chinese and English in the department.
I understand that many of you felt hurt and angered by this message. To be clear: there is absolutely no restriction or limitation on the language you use to converse and communicate with each other. Your career opportunities and recommendations will not in any way be influenced by the language you use outside the classroom. And your privacy will always be protected.
Please be assured that Duke University, the School of Medicine and the Biostatistics Department respect the value of every student, every culture and every language that is spoken. This rich diversity of cultures and languages at Duke only strengthens our academic community.
I have asked the university, Office of Institutional Equity (01E) to conduct a thorough review of the Master, of Biostatistics Program and to recommend ways in which we can improve the learning environment for students from all backgrounds. In addition, Dr. Neely has asked to step down as director of graduate studies for the master, program effective immediately and will be replaced by an interim DGS to be named shortly.
We will always be committed to ensuring that you are welcomed and included in every aspect of university life. Sadly, this matter demonstrates that we must continue to work on overcoming deep-seated concerns about our cultural awareness and understanding. We take this challenge seriously and you have my personal pledge that it will be addressed quickly and sensitively.
Mary E. Klotrnan, MD Dean, Duke University School of Medicine
The political correctness here is just lolzy. Of course their career opportunities and recommendations will be limited by the ethnicity and nationality. That alone will make it extremely unlikely that they get promoted to a managerial position within a US company. Just try speaking Chinese amongst themselves in a workplace when there are non-Chinese around listening and see how far that gets you career wise within the company.
The “step down” part led me to a Google search of Megan Neely, which led me to https://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2019/01/duke-university-emails-director-of-grad-studies-steps-down-after-telling-students-not-to-speak-chinese. I can’t believe it! Now, the Chinese in America are starting to act JEWISH!!! At the end though, it says she didn’t get completely canned, she’s still an assistant professor, just no long director of graduate studies. I bet this will negatively affect her tenure chances though.
My name is LB Bergene and I am the Dean on Call this week for Student Affairs. I wanted to let you know that we have received the report you filed about the memo sent out by Professor Neely.
Your report was shared with the Office of Institutional Equity. Their office will investigate your complaint and will work with you to find the best resolution possible. I am sorry that this situation happened and I am glad that you chose to file a report so that it can be addressed.
I also wanted to let you know about a resource available to you. In addition to the Office of Institutional Equity, we also have an Ombudsperson who is available to meet with students or faculty about concerns. The Ombudsperson can help to sort through options, brainstorm paths forward, and help navigate processes. Ada Gregory serves as the Ombudsperson and she can be reached at
If I can be of any other assistance to you, please let me know.
Take care LB