Sharing the Sweetness and the Sorrows (From the Archives)

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I wrote a blog post almost 5 years ago titled Sharing the Sweetness and the Sorrows, inspired by the hardships we began facing then. I thought about it recently because we’re still facing hardships, but in a different form (you can learn more about our fight against injustice here), and still finding ways to share the sweetness and sorrows together.

Here’s an excerpt from that post:

In Chinese, they call it tónggāngòngkǔ (同甘共苦), sharing the sweetness and the sorrows, as well as tóngzhōugòngjì (同舟共济), the Chinese version of “we’re in the same boat.” In practice, we know the words all too well. We’ve weathered my sudden job loss and Chinese visa problems, his US visa denial, separation when my company sent me to Taiwan, and months of transitioning to life in the US. We’ve always shared everything in life, and now we share again, even if we wish it weren’t so.

But the other day, I smiled after John repeated the words tónggāngòngkǔ like our daily mantra. “Maybe this trouble isn’t so bad after all,” I said. “Because our relationship isn’t the trouble, it’s our strength.”

Read the full piece here.

Sometimes, the greatest comfort in the face of challenges is knowing you’re not alone.

Wishing you all a wonderful week — I’ll be back on Friday!

Your Next Amazon.com Order Could Come With #JusticeForJun

For those of you already on board, please choose your country’s Amazon store:

IMG_20160901_154829As many of you know, my husband and I are currently fighting against injustice in US Federal Court. (Learn more about that here.)

But did you know that every time you shop at Amazon.com, your order could actually help us in our cause?

Whenever you shop at Amazon.com through an affiliate link on Speaking of China, Amazon.com will automatically give up to 6 percent of the purchase to us. Those funds can help us with the enormous costs of our legal fight for #JusticeForJun.

It’s like asking Amazon.com to make a donation to us, every time you shop — at no extra cost to you! How amazing is that?

If you’d like to help support #JusticeForJun with your next Amazon.com purchase, just use the following affiliate link (valid for Amazon shoppers in the USA, UK and Canada):

https://www.amazon.com//ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll2&tag=thwuwa-20&linkId=450498e3b4452fd4a4e1415e855c1daf

And if you’re in Germany, please use the following affiliate link:

https://www.amazon.de//ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll2&tag=&linkId=cd789b2db7e8bd44b460a40e779651fa

You can bookmark it and use it again and again, ensuring Amazon.com continues to give back with every purchase you make.

As always, thank you for all you do to support us.

 

 

3 Lessons I’ve Learned About Modern Racism from Idaho State University’s Bad Behavior Towards My Husband

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Some of life’s learning experiences really hurt.

For me, the most painful one I’ve ever had is witnessing the horrendous damage that Idaho State University and its clinical psychology PhD program inflicted upon my husband Jun Yu.

I also believe it has been the most important educational experience of my life.

While I wouldn’t wish what happened to Jun on anyone, it has offered me a unique perspective into what modern racism and discrimination really looks like.

Here are 3 lessons I’ve learned about modern racism from Idaho State University’s bad behavior towards my husband:

#1: Modern racism is NOT obvious and blatant

Nobody ever called my husband a “chink” or uttered other blatant racial slurs against him in the course of his time at Idaho State University. But that doesn’t mean there’s no racism at work. (See also my recent post Behind ISU’s Blatant Violations of Professional Standards Are Shadows of Discrimination Against Jun Yu)

America’s discrimination laws have been on the books since the 1960’s, putting all Americans on notice that they’ll be in deep trouble for using overtly racist language. So nowadays, people who want to do something motivated by racism (which might even be racism they’re not aware of, aka aversive racism) will hide their intentions. They’ll usually fabricate seemingly reasonable explanations, even when they might totally contradict the facts in the case.

For example, consider the following about my husband’s case, as reported in this story about Jun Yu v. Idaho State University by AsAm News:

The school’s official reasoning for terminating Yu’s doctorate was “unsatisfactory progress.” However, as Dr. Chavez-Korell noted–“The assigned grades and formal evaluations across semesters are inconsistent with unsatisfactory progress.”

#2: You can still be racist even if you work in a field that embraces diversity and advocates against racism and discrimination

If there was ever a field that cared about diversity, it’s professional psychology.

The American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code has three standards regarding diversity and discrimination – 3.01 Unfair Discrimination, 3.02 Sexual Harassment, and 3.03 Other Harassment (which says psychologists should not harass or demean others based on factors including “age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language or socioeconomic status.”).

APA Accreditation – the body that accredits all professional psychology programs, including the ISU program — has an entire domain devoted to diversity (Domain D), summarized as, “The program recognizes the importance of cultural and individual differences and diversity in the training of psychologists.”

While in ISU’s clinical psychology PhD program, my husband spent an entire semester studying diversity, and the class covered topics on racism, discrimination and prejudice. One of his textbooks was Overcoming Our Racism by Derald Wing Sue, which actually begins with the words, “Are you a racist?… Are you willing to look at yourself, to examine your assumptions, your attitudes, your conscious and unconscious behavior, the privileges you have enjoyed as a White person, and the way you have treated people of color, even with the best of intentions?”

Yet the program behaved in racist ways towards my husband, Jun Yu.

The aversive racism expert for Jun’s case wrote a report detailing more than 22 specific examples of aversive racism by the ISU faculty towards Jun, concluding:

… it is hard to imagine a situation that more strongly demonstrates all of the hallmarks that are typically present when aversive racism is occurring, which strongly suggests that the behavior of the ISU Psychology department was influenced by Mr. Yu’s race and international status. [emphasis added]

It just goes to show that working in a field that purportedly promotes diversity is not a “get-out-of-being-a-racist-free-card” by any means.

#3: Modern racism can be devastating, destroying your entire life and even your dreams

Just because modern racism is subtle doesn’t mean it can’t ruin your life. As we have written before:

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.

Not surprisingly, the cultural competency expert wrote for Jun’s case, “It is my opinion that the dismissal of Mr. Yu from ISU’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program was excessive…, unjustified, and objectively unreasonable.”

There’s a Chinese saying: “When things go to an extreme, they will reverse course” (wùjíbìfǎn, 物极必反). I think it holds true for Jun’s case too.

Despite all of the devastation in our lives, we believe in #JusticeForJun. We believe that, as long as we don’t give up, justice will prevail.


My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

How Blogging Saved My Life (More on the Courage to Blog About Love in China)

IMG_20160423_160739A year ago, I shared with you my own struggles with personal blogging (including how I quit and later re-launched my blog Speaking of China) in a post titled The Courage to Blog Personally About Love, Family and Marriage in China.

What I never revealed to you in that post, however, was that I faced an even greater struggle at the time. A struggle that threatened to shut down my blog.

My husband Jun and I were preparing to file a lawsuit in US Federal Court against Idaho State University, who had ruined Jun’s 5 years of education and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned.

It was (and still is) the greatest challenge we’ve ever faced in our lives. Yet at the time, I couldn’t share anything about it with you (we were advised not to talk or write about it by Jun’s lawyer).

At the time I wrote that post last year, I had to pretend – just as I had since May 2013 – that there was nothing hugely different about my life. That I was more or less the same Jocelyn who had been blogging about love, family and marriage in China since 2009.

It felt horrible. It was the equivalent of getting saddled with a couple of twenty-pound weights and being told, Walk on just like you normally would.

How could I move on like before with this heaviness in my heart and soul? The heaviness that comes from having your life ripped apart by injustice, but being forced into silence?

I’ve never liked staying silent on the really important things in life. In a perfect world, I’d rather be exactly as I am in every space I inhabit – the real world around me, and the virtual world of blogging.

Besides, blogging helped me discover friends, supporters, and a sense of community. With a lawsuit in preparation – a lawsuit I could never share publicly – I suddenly felt exiled from everything I had built up over the years.

How could I continue writing about love in these circumstances? Some days, I felt as if hate, and not love, was the overriding emotion in my life. It was hard to find the love and beauty in a world that seemed content to arbitrarily shatter all of our dreams and hard work with the destructive force of a wrecking ball.

Sometimes, in the worst moments, I thought about quitting the blog.

So why didn’t I? Why am I still here, writing to you? How did I find the courage to continue?

I have a theory about going through life-changing (or life-threatening) catastrophes – a theory that goes behind the old adage, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.”

I believe that when things fall apart, if we manage to survive the wreckage, we hold the most valuable things in our lives even closer to us. We learn to cherish the people or moments or experiences that bring us love, or show us beauty, or give us a sense of purpose.

What I realized is this: my blog was an important part of my sense of purpose in life. I had invested so much of myself into it and I still had a lot to say. My blog was like a compass, guiding me through the rough oceans of the world, and I intuitively knew I couldn’t afford to lose it.

At another level, I also understood something incredibly important — that blogging could probably save my life.

In the wake of the wrongdoing by Idaho State University in 2013, I actually had some suicidal thoughts, for the first time in my life. I had never suffered such overwhelming pain. So yes, there was a fleeting moment in 2013 when I wondered if I might be better off ending it all.

Now, initially, my husband and the support of my family helped extinguish those thoughts. But as I learned to cope with the new reality, I also found great solace in having my blog.

It was a blessing to have a schedule, to feature authors and guest posters. To have this part of my life that looked and felt normal (well, as “normal” as things can be in our circumstances). To continue to write, just as I always have.

This experience has healed me. It helped me move forward during the worst of it all. And even now, it continues to heal the deepest wounds in my heart.

My husband’s lawsuit continues – and I continue my efforts to seek support and guidance during this very difficult time for us. I believe in #JusticeForJun.

But I also believe in this blog. I believe in the power of sharing experiences with the world and connecting with others. And I thank you for making it all possible.


My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

Featured on AsAm News: “Idaho State University Accused Of Discrimination In Watershed Lawsuit”

As many of you know, My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun
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I was really excited to see my husband’s case spotlighted on AsAm News, a wonderful website devoted to documenting the Asian American experience. Even better, in my opinion, AsAm News has published one of the best stories about Jun’s case, capturing the strengths of his lawsuit against Idaho State University.

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the article:

According to  Dr. Gerald Koocher, past American Psychological Association (APA) President and past chair of the APA Ethics Committee,  “the CTC [Clinical Training Committee] was very familiar with Jun Yu’s English language skills and continuously rated these as meeting expectations with limited exceptions.”…

Dr. Koocher, along with Dr. Shannon Chavez-Korell, an expert in cultural competency, and Dr. Leslie Zorwick, an expert in prejudice and aversive racism, all concluded that ISU violated standards in professional psychology and academic norms. They cited the school’s actions as part of a pattern of unethical, incompetent and discriminatory behavior by the program.

The school’s official reasoning for terminating Yu’s doctorate was “unsatisfactory progress.” However, as Dr. Chavez-Korell noted–“The assigned grades and formal evaluations across semesters are inconsistent with unsatisfactory progress.”

Even if Yu’s performance and progress was “unsatisfactory” the school clearly failed to provide him basic due process.

Dr. Koocher reported, “If the allegations made by the ISU faculty are to be believed, they clearly failed to perform appropriate timely assessments; provide timely feedback; propose and assist with necessary remediation; or provide timely monitoring of off-site placements.” and, ” “No evidence is provided to show that Mr. Yu was on notice regarding a risk of dismissal from the program for any reason.”

Read the full article at AsAm News. And if you love it, share it!


My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

Expert Calls ISU “Reprehensible” + 4 More Powerful Expert Quotes Supporting Jun Yu’s Case

As many of you know, My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun
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屏幕快照 2016-06-01 下午3.44.05As I’ve written before, one of the strongest things about Jun Yu’s case against Idaho State University is the experts he has behind him. All of his experts have concluded ISU’s treatment towards Jun was a substantial departure from accepted academic norms (see pages 25, 32 and 36 in Docket 22-1).

That’s significant, because universities cannot substantially deviate from accepted academic norms in how they treat students. (See Regents of University of Michigan v. Ewing, 106 S.Ct. 507, 513, 474 U.S. 214, 224-25 (U.S.Mich.,1985). See also Emerson v. North Idaho College, 2006 WL 3253585, at *8 (D.Idaho, 2006).)

But these reports are not just a legal strength in Jun Yu’s case. They can also make for fascinating reading and, at the same time, reveal just how much Idaho State University screwed up my husband’s education and totally failed in their duties as educators.

Here are my top five favorite quotes (including one where an expert does indeed call ISU “reprehensible”). I’ve linked the quotes back to the actual pages in the expert report where they come from — so if you like them, you can continue reading and get the full picture:

#5: “…the faculty again demonstrates a kind of post-hoc mental gymnastic…”

This quote comes from the ethics in psychology expert in Jun’s case, regarding how ISU arbitrarily decided to demote Jun’s degree:

In awarding Mr. Yu a second master’s degree citing the equivalence of his doctoral dissertation to a master’s thesis at ISU the faculty again demonstrates a kind of post-hoc mental gymnastic that runs contrary to the G & P [APA Accreditation] specifications. Doctoral dissertations are by definition intended to differ in breadth, depth, quality, and demonstrated independence of the student from master’s theses.

P.S.: Note also the expert’s use of the word “again” in the sentence, meaning this is NOT the first time they’ve engaged in post-hoc mental gymnastics regarding Jun, as you can see in the following example:

#4: “No evidence supports such a strained post-hoc conclusion.”

Psychology is supposed to be an evidence-based practice, even when it comes to making determinations about students. Which is why the ethics in psychology expert in Jun’s case used the above language in response to ISU’s reason for denying Jun an opportunity to complete his internship (his last requirement) in China. Here it is in context:

No timely reasons were given as to why the previously offered option of finding a comparable internship training site in China was no longer available as an alternative choice to Mr. Yu. However, in the Departmental Level Rejection of his Appeal dated May 17, 2013 the Department Chair Dr. Lynch wrote, “The Graduate Faculty is convinced that a fourth “chance” (i.e., an Internship in China) is unwarranted and might put Chinese patients at risk of harm.” [Opinion: No evidence supports such a strained post-hoc conclusion. Nothing in the record shows that Mr. Yu ever harmed a patient in the United States or in China. In fact, his doctoral research demonstrated that his clinical efforts benefitted the clients he served in China.]

#3: “The university has the obligation and responsibility to award Mr. Yu a Ph.D. in general psychology at a minimum.

In professional psychology programs, it matters if you’ve successfully defended your dissertation. Programs do not have the right to arbitrarily demote your degree, which is why our cultural competency in psychology expert wrote the following:

In the May 3, 2013 dismissal letter, it was stated, “We recommend that Idaho State University award you the Master of Science degree in Psychology, to be conferred in August, 2013”, despite the fact that Mr. Yu had successfully defended his dissertation. [Opinion: The university has the obligation and responsibility to award Mr. Yu a Ph.D. in general psychology at a minimum. Mr. Yu successfully completed all doctoral level program requirements of the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, including successful defense of a doctoral dissertation, with the sole exception of successful completion of internship.]

#2: “…the dismissal of Mr. Yu…was excessive…unjustified, and objectively unreasonable.”

I love this quote from the cultural competency in psychology expert because the language truly conveys the outrageousness of dismissing my husband. Here’s the quote in context:

It is my opinion that the dismissal of Mr. Yu from ISU’s Clinical Psychology Ph.D. Program was excessive (especially when considering that an appropriate formal remediation had not been attempted), unjustified, and objectively unreasonable. In my opinion, the actions of the faculty at ISU in dismissing Mr. Yu as they did, was a substantial departure from accepted academic norms.

#1: “…the faculty has attempted to somehow reverse and diminish the quality of his work in a totally inappropriate and reprehensible manner.”

Yes, ISU is so bad that our ethics in psychology expert actually used the word “reprehensible” to describe how they arbitrarily demoted Jun’s degree. Here’s the full quote in context:

By allowing Mr. Yu to propose, complete, and defend a doctoral dissertation the faculty recognized and acknowledged attainment of doctoral-level scholarship. By later claiming equivalence to a master’s degree in the course of dismissing him, the faculty has attempted to somehow reverse and diminish the quality of his work in a totally inappropriate and reprehensible manner. They also imply that the doctoral standards applied to him were not at a level that the APA Commission on Accreditation expects of doctoral dissertations.

What’s your favorite quote?
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My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

Pub’d in The Huffington Post: Why I Don’t Trust Psychologists, Thanks to Idaho State University

屏幕快照 2016-05-26 上午9.36.32The Huffington Post just published my article titled “Why I Don’t Trust Psychologists, Thanks to Idaho State University.” Here’s an excerpt:

“Maybe you could talk to a counselor about that.”

That’s what a good friend wrote to me a few months ago after I confided in her. I had mentioned the enormous stress in my life. The bouts of sadness. The loneliness I was feeling.

Talking to a counselor or psychologist is the kind of advice I used to give all the time. For most of my life, I was a big believer in the power of counselors and psychologists to guide us through life’s challenges. After all, it was a psychologist in a university counseling center who helped me cope with the loss of my mother at the tender age of 17.

But when I read my friend’s suggestion to talk to a counselor, anger coursed through my veins. The last person I would ever talk to would be a psychologist. Just thinking of psychologists made me want to scream.

That’s because I’ve lost my trust in psychologists and the psychology profession, thanks to Idaho State University.

Head on over to The Huffington Post to read the full article. And if you like it, share it!

P.S.: To further understand how ISU violated standards in the psychology profession, please read “Behind ISU’s Blatant Violations of Professional Standards Are Shadows of Discrimination Against Jun Yu.”


My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

Behind ISU’s Blatant Violations of Professional Standards Are Shadows of Discrimination Against Jun Yu

As many of you know, My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

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IMG_0737People have been asking, where is the discrimination in Jun Yu’s case? The answer is, modern discrimination and racism usually lurk behind more obvious wrongdoing.

While ISU committed acts of aversive racism against Jun (see aversive racism report), at the same time, they egregiously violated professional standards in how they dealt with Jun.

Why does it matter that ISU violated professional standards? The answer is, because universities cannot substantially deviate from accepted academic norms and professional standards are academic norms. (See Regents of University of Michigan v. Ewing, 106 S.Ct. 507, 513, 474 U.S. 214, 224-25 (U.S.Mich.,1985). See also Emerson v. North Idaho College, 2006 WL 3253585, at *8 (D.Idaho, 2006).)

Let’s look at how ISU blatantly violated professional standards in psychology.

One of the strongest aspects of Jun’s case is the fact that ISU blatantly violated the professional standards in psychology.

The Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct from the American Psychological Association (aka the APA Ethics Code) is a set of standards that every licensed psychologist in the US is bound to follow. Every psychology board in the US has adopted the APA Ethics Code as part of their laws that govern the work of every licensed psychologist. Furthermore, the ISU clinical psychology PhD program has been accredited by APA since 2001. Accreditation standards also demand that department faculty follow APA Ethics.

The APA Ethics Code includes a standard (7.06) about supervising students:

7.06 Assessing Student and Supervisee Performance

(a) In academic and supervisory relationships, psychologists establish a timely and specific process for providing feedback to students and supervisees. Information regarding the process is provided to the student at the beginning of supervision.

(b) Psychologists evaluate students and supervisees on the basis of their actual performance on relevant and established program requirements.

Ethics in Psychology and the Mental Health Professions by Dr. Gerald Koocher and Dr. Patricia Keith-Spiegel, one of the most popular textbooks for training psychology students in ethics, stated regarding 7.06:

When discussing serious criticisms with supervisees, one should invariably offer these in writing, followed or accompanied by a dialogue about expected changes with a remedial plan…. [Students are] certainly entitled to feedback and would be justified in asserting the inappropriateness of saying nothing about shortcomings until the final evaluation. Such behavior, if true, afforded [the student] no opportunity to attempt remediation of his defects and denied him due process.

Now, look at what happened to Jun at the hands of this supervisor as reported by the Idaho State Journal:

During Yu’s fourth year in the program, John Landers was his supervisor for the fall 2011 PSYC 7748 Clinical Externship class at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.

The externship was not a required course, but Yu was recommended by the CTC to the externship to gain experience “critical for students to compete for national internships,” according to the complaint.

According to the contract, the externship was planned to last for one year.

But just two months into the externship, Landers dismissed Yu from the externship, alleging that Yu was “unable to grasp the communication nuances.” This was despite Yu meeting the English proficiency standards for admission at the university.

Yu received no prior, specific feedback regarding alleged areas of concern or remediation. [Emphasis added] Landers wrote that “this site could not afford to engage in remediation efforts” and he acknowledged that “daily feedback may have been too indirect.”

I would also add to this that Jun received his first and only evaluation from this supervisor 10 days after the dismissal. Yes, that’s right. He was dismissed first, and then 10 days later the supervisor did the evaluation.

All of this — no prior, specific feedback regarding alleged areas of concern, no remediation, doing an evaluation 10 days after a dismissal — is apparently a flagrant violation of APA Ethics Code 7.06, as described by the authors of that ethics textbook.

And it wasn’t the only one. In fact, the ethics expert reported in his summary of opinions:

If the allegations made by the ISU faculty are to be believed, they clearly failed to perform appropriate timely assessments; provide timely feedback; propose and assist with necessary remediation; or provide timely monitoring of off-site placements….As previously noted, there were no written documentation of substantive guidance, remedial feedback, or corrective action. (Docket 22-1 p. 24 of 44.)

In other words, they didn’t ensure proper supervision in accordance with 7.06.

You’re probably now scratching your head and asking yourself, how in the world could ISU do this to Jun? How could they completely disregard ethics in how Jun was treated in a supervisory situation? It’s a question Jun and I have asked ourselves again and again.

And as noted above, that example with the externship supervisor is not only way ISU apparently violated 7.06, as this excerpt from the aversive racism report reminds us:

There are many ways in which Dr. Leslie Speer violated the minimal due process that was available to Mr. Yu (Plaintiff Document 000053-000059) – ranging from not offering a second assessment until after his dismissal to not working with him to develop a remediation plan in the face of performance concerns to not assembling the group of supervisors in Ohio to discuss his performance before dismissal – and the ISU faculty used the decision of Dr. Speer to justify dismissing Mr. Yu from the program. The ISU faculty’s decision to privilege the opinion and decision-making of a supervisor who was violating accepted standards means that the decision was, at least in part, based on a violation of accepted professional norms. (Docket 24-1 p. 28 of 33.)

So, once again you have a supervisor who 1) dismissed Jun first and then did an evaluation; and 2) didn’t do any remediation.

It’s no wonder, then, that Jun’s ethics expert concluded that ISU violated 7.06:

A number of ethical and accreditation standards have been violated in Mr. Yu’s case. These include ethical violations by faculty members related to following through with program descriptions (Code: 7.02), flaws in assessing and responding to student performance (Code: 7.06), and avoiding harm (Code: 3.04). (Docket 22-1 p. 23 of 44)

And so did Jun’s cultural competency expert:

Ethical violations by ISU faculty and clinical supervisors, as guided by the American Psychological Association’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (American Psychological Association, 2010), include boundaries of competence in training international students who speak English as a second language (APA Ethics Code Standard: 2.01), avoiding harm (APA Ethics Code Standard: 3.04), and assessing student and supervisee performance (APA Ethics Code Standard: 7.06). (Docket 22-1 p. 34 of 44.)

It’s very disturbing that an APA Accredited Program would apparently violate the very standards they are supposed to model and train students in.

But more importantly, it shows a substantial departure from accepted academic norms.  (See Regents of University of Michigan v. Ewing, 106 S.Ct. 507, 513, 474 U.S. 214, 224-25 (U.S.Mich.,1985). See also Emerson v. North Idaho College, 2006 WL 3253585, at *8 (D.Idaho, 2006).)

This is why you’ll find the following statements in the conclusions reached by Jun’s experts (emphasis added):

“Taken as a whole, the actions of the faculty at ISU in dismissing Mr. Yu as they did constitute, in my opinion, substantial arbitrary and capricious and departures from accepted academic norms in clinical psychology doctoral programs.” (Ethics expert, Docket 22-1, page 25)

“On the basis of these facts, it is my opinion that the behavior of the members of the Idaho State University psychology department was arbitrary and capricious and deviated from accepted professional norms in psychology.” (Aversive racism expert, Docket 22-1, page 31)

“In my opinion, the actions of the faculty at ISU in dismissing Mr. Yu as they did, was a substantial departure from accepted academic norms.” (Cultural competency expert, Docket 22-1, page 36)

So, how is all this discriminatory?

Look at it this way. ISU had an obligation and responsibility to adhere to APA Ethics in their treatment towards Jun — particularly as a clinical psychology program responsible for educating students in ethical and professional behavior. Yet, they flagrantly violated ethics, the most important professional standards for psychologists.

Anyone who knows APA Ethics would find the violations I mentioned above abhorrent, particularly for people in psychology (often referred to as “the helping profession”). This is a field that supposedly cares about safeguarding the rights of others. Yet, as Jun’s ethics expert wrote, “the program…did not adequately respect [Jun’s] rights.” (Docket 22-1 p. 24 of 44.)

It’s as if ISU believed, when it came to their behavior with Jun Yu, professional standards and ethics no longer apply.

Ask yourself, why would an APA-Accredited program so blatantly violate these standards? And why did the wrongdoing happen to the one student in the program who was Asian, from China, spoke English as a second language?

P.S.: Based on feedback in the comments, I’ve since edited the article to make things clearer to readers, particularly noting the importance of Regents of University of Michigan v. Ewing in Jun’s case.


My husband Jun Yu is fighting against injustice in higher education. ISU ruined his 5 yrs of education & future, and denied him the PhD he rightfully earned. Learn more and support his cause at Generosity.com. #JusticeForJun

Idaho State University Ruined My Husband’s Future. Please Help Us Right This Injustice.


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.IMG_0737

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.

IMG_1143This 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:

  1. Share the story and fundraiser with people you think would be interested
  2. Write about it on your blog (FYI, should you need them, you can find all the documents on the public record here)
  3. Recommend people or organizations for us to contact for help

Again, any help will be appreciated! Thank you!