Education

Yale Law Students Who Refused To Smear Their Professor Sue Administrators For ‘Attempting To Blackball Two Students Of Color’

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Two students of color are suing Yale Law School administrators for retaliation resulting from the students’ refusal to tell lies to advance the administrators’ investigation of Professor Amy Chua.

Yale Law School deans Heather Gerken and Ellen Cosgrove allegedly approached a law professor who employed the two plaintiffs as research assistants and discouraged the professor from offering them teaching assistant jobs which may lead to federal clerkships, according to the complaint.

The move was retaliation for the students’ refusal to make false statements in a formal complaint against Chua, who is in a public feud with Gerken, at the request of Cosgrove and Yaseen Eldik, the complaint states. Eldik is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Yale Law. (RELATED: University In England Trains Students In Sex Work)

The two students met twice with Chua in her home, a common practice at Yale Law, to discuss their concerns about the lack of institutional support for students of color in early 2021. Their classmate, who was not in the meetings, compiled a 20-page dossier about the meetings, alleging they were “secret dinner parties” included unidentified federal judges as guests, the complaint stated.

Gerker and Cosgrove disseminated the “harassing and defamatory” dossier, which the students then reported to Yale, the complaint alleged. The deans allegedly pressured the students to make “knowingly and materially false statements in a formal complaint against Chua.” When they refused, the deans allegedly retaliated by speaking with the professor.

Neither of the students were offered teaching assistant jobs, and neither applied to federal clerkships out of fear that the administration would show the dossier to judges, the complaint stated.

Cosgrove and Eldik were both involved in another recent incident at Yale Law School. The two lectured a student who sent out a Federalist Society event invitation using the phrase “trap house” and describing plans to serve fried chicken about how the message was triggering and tantamount to blackface, according to The Washington Free Beacon. Eldik reportedly told the student his membership in the Federalist Society “triggered” his peers.

Administrators now outnumber faculty at Yale University, and there are nearly as many administrators as there are students. Several professors have complained that the proliferation of administrators has driven up costs and interfered with academic freedom.

Yale English Professor Leslie Brisman described a pattern of Yale campus administrators interfering with academic freedom and “fine-tooth-combing professors’ remarks for speech they don’t like” in comments to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

“If there weren’t an administrator whose job is to look for muck and stir it up (writing a letter to all students when the dean couldn’t get the ‘perpetrator’ to apologize for mentioning chicken dinners) then the idiotic incident would never have been blown up into such an embarrassment for Yale,” Brisman said.

When the DCNF reached out to Cosgrove, Yale University’s director of media relations Karen Peart replied, saying that “the lawsuit is legally and factually baseless, and the University will offer a vigorous defense.” Chua told the DCNF she was not participating in media inquiries. Eldik and Gerken did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.

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