Seung-Whan Choi, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is suing the school for years of discrimination, including being forced to teach statistics despite not being qualified.
Choi, a Korean-born international relations professor in the department of political science at UIC, was fired from his tenure position at the university in 2011 and hired back months later. But he experienced years of unfair treatment because of his race and national origin, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“Asians, especially Koreans are very good at mathematics and statistics,” Choi claimed he was told by one of the department officials, even though he is completely unqualified to teach the subject.
Choi claimed in court documents, which were filed in the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Tuesday, that he was also forced to teach a course in Korean politics, despite having no experience in the field.
In 2015, former department head Dennis Judd changed one student’s grades without Choi’s knowledge.
When he confronted university officials about it, Judd allegedly said Choi, “as a foreigner, has to keep in mind who he is dealing with and what he is wishing for,” and that “many Koreans are stubborn and do not understand American culture of compromise when dealing with their boss.”
He has also been denied a promotion to become a full professor, according to the lawsuit.
“They don’t like Korean-Americans,” Choi was quoted by the Tribune as saying. “I’m supposed to be very submissive to the department head, who is white-American.”
Choi’s attorney, Uche Asonye, said the professor has not determined how much he will be seeking in punitive damages.
The school and current political science department head Evan McKenzie has yet to respond to the allegations.
In May, the Florida Atlantic University fired a tenured education professor, Dr. Chunxue “Victor” Wang, after an email campaign accusing members of the faculty of conspiring to keep salaries low and promote unqualified employees was started in 2014.
According to the lawsuit, the emails were sent from Indonesia, and since Wang was Asian, then “it was either Wang who sent the emails or someone that he knows from Indonesia.”
Miami New Times reported that Wang alleged two counts of retaliation under the Florida Civil Rights Act and deprivation of due process.