A Merit Review Letter to Nick Young and Rachel Chu from the Dean of Social Sciences

The Division of Social Sciences has some concerns for these Crazy Rich Asians.
August 22, 2018

Dear Professors Young and Chu,

I am writing to inform you of the decision of the Division of Social Sciences’ merit review. Unfortunately the committee found both of your files rather thin on publications or other accomplishments last year. Your department chairs both reported that you took an extended summer vacation in Singapore together, apparently to attend a wedding. We are not entirely sure how one wedding could last an entire summer. While the university remains supportive of employees’ personal commitments, we are concerned by the first class plane tickets charged to your expense accounts. On a related matter, the university will not reimburse you for your cell phone roaming charges. All minutes accrued while on private islands and especially over international waters are your own responsibility.

Furthermore, the committee also noted with some concern a certain lack of collegiality. Professor Young decided not to lead the department's summer study abroad program this year. Professor Chu also declined to teach the summer semester of Economics 101, as she had originally agreed to do. The committee would like to take this opportunity to remind you that all faculty must occasionally teach undergraduate courses and assist in summer programs when asked.

We also received some feedback from Professor Young’s undergraduate teaching evaluations complaining that Professor Young discusses his issues with his mother for prolonged periods in class. One comment reads, “This dude needs to chill out. I took this class to learn about mideval [sic] French monarchs, not this crazy rich Asian stuff!” The committee is not sure whether this phrase should be properly punctuated as crazy and rich or perhaps crazy-rich. Please provide some clarification if this is an academic term.

The university remains strongly committed to diversity and our faculty from underrepresented groups and are providing this advice in the interests of your academic success. We sincerely hope that you will work harder on publishing next summer, although we see that you have already submitted paperwork for a semester off together to look for Professor Chu's birth father. The committee will revisit this issue at a later date.


The Dean of Social Sciences


Clara Tokunaga

Clara Tokunaga is the daughter of a retired topless shoeshine girl. In her other life, she teaches a kind of literature at a North American university that you probably have not heard of, in a place that is probably not where you think it is. None of these depictions of university life are drawn from her own experience in any way.