Imagine if your past 5 years of hard work were suddenly robbed from you…if your entire career and future were abruptly ruined. That’s what happened to my husband, Jun Yu. (Click here to see a Youtube video from Jun himself.)
Jun has filed a lawsuit against Idaho State University in US Federal Court that could impact all US graduate students and the psychology profession.
Leading experts have concluded (see pages 21-36 in this public document) that Idaho State University violated standards in professional psychology (e.g., American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics and APA Accreditation standards) and academic norms.
As experts noted, what ISU ultimately did to Jun is part of a pattern of unethical, incompetent and discriminatory behavior by the program towards Jun.
Jun worked hard for 5 years as a clinical psychology PhD student at Idaho State University (ISU). He had successfully defended his PhD dissertation. He had a 3.69 GPA, earning satisfactory grades in all required coursework. He was in good standing and not on any form of academic probation.
On May 3, 2013, ISU abruptly dismissed Jun from the clinical psychology PhD program without any warning or remediation, alleging unsatisfactory progress.
However, ISU’s alleged reason was made up, and is directly contradicted by the facts. (An expert reported, “The assigned grades and formal evaluations across semesters are inconsistent with unsatisfactory progress; due process was not followed. In regards to accreditation standards, in all matters relevant to the evaluation of students’ performance, programs must adhere to their institution’s regulations regarding due process and fair treatment of students.”)
The university also denied him the PhD he rightfully earned, as if all the hard work he did for the past 5 years was for nothing.
To add injury to insult, Jun is still making monthly payments on the student loans he took out for his education.
Universities are supposed to facilitate students’ careers, yet ISU wrongfully destroyed Jun’s future and seriously damaged his life.
That’s not right.
Jun’s experts in ethics, cultural competence, and aversive racism have all concluded that ISU’s actions towards him were “a substantial departure from accepted academic norms.” (See pages 25, 31 & 36 in this public document.)
The opinions of Jun’s experts are significant. It is the rare case where a plaintiff presented expert witnesses who belong to faculties to conclude that an academic institution behaved in an arbitrary and capricious manner that was a substantial departure from accepted academic norms. See Regents of University of Michigan v. Ewing, 106 S.Ct. 507, 474 U.S. 214 (U.S.Mich., 1985).
It took Jun 5 years of hard work to earn the degree. But it only took the university an arbitrary decision to deny it. ISU has robbed Jun of his past achievements. They have stolen his dream of becoming a clinical psychologist. They have ruined his career and future.
This never should have happened to Jun. But if ISU isn’t held accountable, this could happen again — to you or someone you know.
Jun and I have been fighting this injustice for over 3 years. Although it is a long, exhausting and expensive battle, we are determined to fight to the end — and we need your help.
The legal fees have been substantial. In the past five months legal bills have ranged from over $12,000 in a month up to over $40,000 in a month. No, that was not a typo — over $40,000 just in one month where the legal team billed 124.70 hours and other expenses associated with litigation were accrued.
We have already had to pay out over $200,000 in legal costs. ISU’s wrongdoing has thrown us into extreme adversity, where ISU has inflicted great financial stress (we are in major debt) as well as emotional duress upon us. Should ISU drag the case, we could easily be forced to pay $200,000 more in legal fees, not including the costs of appeal by either party.
Jun’s lawsuit could have lasting implications for all graduate students in the US and the profession of psychology. We need your help to continue this very important fight.
I have organized a fundraiser at Generosity.com. The initial fundraising goal is $100,000. Your donations will be used to help fund all the legal costs associated with the lawsuit. Every donation counts and no amount is too small.
Help us safeguard academic standards and student rights. Donate now at Generosity.com and thank you for your support.
P.S.: I know not everyone can afford to donate. If you can’t, there are other wonderful ways to help support Jun and me, if you would still like to do so, including:
- Share the story and fundraiser with people you think would be interested
- Write about it on your blog (FYI, should you need them, you can find all the documents on the public record here)
- Recommend people or organizations for us to contact for help
Again, any help will be appreciated! Thank you!