Photo of Jun with Statue of Liberty

Co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate + 13 organizations support Jun’s discrimination case.

Jun Yu had already successfully defended his doctoral dissertation and held a 3.69 GPA when Idaho State University in May 2013 abruptly terminated him in a discriminatory manner from the psychology PhD program, for the pretextual reason of “not making satisfactory progress” — when in fact Jun was, as an expert testified, “a student whose assigned grades and evaluations across semesters was consistent with satisfactory progress”. This dismissal happened without any warning he was at risk for dismissal and without the program ever providing him with any formal remediation, even though records showed ISU warned other students at risk of dismissal and provided formal remediation. In addition, no warning or formal remediation represented a serious violation of standards in the psychology field.

Photo of Jun presenting poster

Jun was also subjected to other discrimination in terms of linguistic profiling by faculty, who continually attacked Jun for his accented spoken English and made damaging prejudicial judgments without ever providing any professional assessment or remediation.

How ISU treated Jun was so outrageous and so far below academic norms in psychology education that prominent psychology experts have stood up to support him.

They include ethics in psychology expert Dr. Gerald Koocher, a past president of the American Psychological Association and the author of the textbook ISU used to train Jun in ethics in psychology; cultural competence expert Dr. Shannon Chavez-Korell; as well as implicit bias expert Dr. Leslie Zorwick.*

Group photo of unopposed psychology expert witnesses
Psychology experts supporting Jun (from left): Dr. Gerald Koocher, Dr. Shannon Chavez-Korell and Dr. Leslie Zorwick.*

“His dismissal, in this context, was frankly over the top, unreasonable, unwarranted, and extremely detrimental to him.”

– Dr. Koocher, trial testimony

In contrast, ISU couldn’t find a single expert to testify at trial.

Fourteen friends of the court, or amici curiae, support Jun, including legal and civil rights organizations, four national psychology organizations, and a founder of Stop AAPI Hate.

Meanwhile, ISU has no friends of the court supporting it.

“By allowing Mr. Yu to propose, complete, and defend a doctoral dissertation the faculty recognized and acknowledged attainment of doctoral-level scholarship,” stated Dr. Koocher. Yet ISU robbed him of a PhD degree, instantly obliterating years of hard work, including five years at the university. ISU killed Jun’s career aspirations. To add injury to insult, Jun has been making monthly payments since 2013 on student loans he took out for an education he was cheated out of by ISU.

Determined to hold the university accountable for the discrimination, Jun has been fighting for justice in court since September 2015; the case is now in the US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Throughout, ISU has continued to deny any wrongdoing.

The deprivation of a chosen career, the humiliation and pain, and the acute financial stress from being under constant pressure to pay monthly legal costs are all part of the enormous damage that ISU has done to Jun and his family.

Help support the fight against racial discrimination in education by supporting Jun.

With the rise of the racism pandemic and race-related hate incidents, it has never been more important for all of us to stand up against racial discrimination and implicit bias.

*Dr. Gerald KoocherDr. Shannon Chavez-Korell and Dr. Leslie Zorwick were the expert witnesses who testified for Jun at trial. Dr. Linda CampbellDr. Nadya Fouad and Dr. Erin Cooley served as rebuttal experts for Jun; they did not testify at trial, as the university presented no expert witnesses to rebut.