Yale Law School professor Amy Chua, known for her 2011 book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” is defending herself against allegations of hosting drunken “dinner parties” in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The accusations emerged from unidentified students and alumni who spoke with the Yale Daily News
, which resulted in her loss of leadership over a first-year “small group.”
Small groups are informal learning groups that meet outside the classroom. According to her accusers, Chua is still hosting private dinner parties at the home she shares with her husband, Jed Rubenfeld, who is also a Yale Law professor but is serving a two-year suspension for his own allegations of misconduct — including verbal harassment, unwanted touching and attempted kissing in the classroom and at his home.
Some claimed that Chua and others had alcoholic beverages at her parties. At times, she and her husband allegedly discussed their students’ physical appearances and private relationships.
In a letter circulated to the entire Yale Law faculty Thursday, Chua rejected all allegations, which included the invitation of a federal judge at one of her parties. She also pointed out that she is not seeking reinstatement to the position, which she had been hesitant to accept in the first place.
“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,” Chua wrote, before citing how a few students in “extreme distress” had reached out to her amid the escalating anti-Asian violence.
“Because we could not meet in the law school building, we met at my house, and I did my best to support them and console them. One of the students had received death threats; another student was sobbing because of violence directed at her mother. Jed was not present.”
For this, Chua said she felt like being “punished and publicly humiliated without anything remotely resembling due process.” She went on to criticize the publication of her December 2019 correspondence with Law School Dean Heather Gerken, in which she agreed to stop drinking and socializing with students after misconduct allegations.
“I stand by my record of service to this school, and I could not be prouder of the help and support I’ve tried to give our students,”
Chua wrote. She added that many of her supporters
believe she was being targeted by “a small group of students”
who have never taken her class or oppose her “‘controversial’ opinions.”
Gerken has since responded to the matter in a statement to the Daily News. The official maintained that faculty misconduct has “no place” in their roster.
“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,” Gerken said. “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. The Law School has a set of clearly articulated norms governing student-faculty interactions and is committed to enforcing them.”
The school also told The Hill
, “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.”