January 12th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Cross Campus 1.12.10

Yale officials were overjoyed last week to announce that Lei Zhang GRD ’02 SOM ’02 had donated $8,888,888 to the School of Management to help fund the school’s new campus. But now Zhang is drawing criticism on Chinese blogs and online forums for not donating to Chinese universities instead.

Zhang has also donated to Chinese institutions in the past, Vice President for Development Inge Reichenbach noted Monday. “What many people don’t realize is just how generous Yale is to our international students,” she added. Meanwhile, Zhang’s “Alumni Spotlight” profile on the SOM Web site disappeared with no explanation, leaving only an error message.

Though Yale has delayed most major construction projects, Gateway Community College will break ground on its downtown New Haven campus Jan. 26, the college announced Monday.

Poor Harvard. As part of an Internal Revenue Service initiative to review the tax-exempt status of some non-profits, Harvard University is among 40 colleges that will be audited this year.

Driving under the influence. A male driving a U-Haul truck drove into the Yale Pediatrics parking lot Sunday and hit the hospital’s front revolving door, according to the New Haven police. As he was running into the hospital, the driver yelled to security guards that he had been poisoned by smoking the hallucinogenic drug PCP and didn’t want to die. He was taken to the emergency room without delay.

A dissertation on wealth distribution has garnered $20,000 for Marnix Amand GRD ’11, who won one of 15 Kauffman Foundation fellowships. The foundation, which aims to promote entrepreneurship, selected Amand for his thesis, “The Macroeconomic Implications of the Wealth Distribution.”

Yalies planning on renewing their memberships with the Film Studies Center at the Whitney Humanities Center will be in for a pleasant surprise: starting this semester, undergraduates no longer have to pay a $20 membership fee to rent DVDs from the film library. But beware: the late fee is a hefty $5 per day.


1981 Yale’s facilities office announced that at least 37 buildings had been damaged over the winter break by flooding after the coldest Christmas in 100 years burst pipes across campus. Payne Whitney Gymnasium was hit particularly hard, and officials said the pipes were continuing to freeze in January because of windows left open late at night.

  • Helen Li

    A bit of PR for Mr. Zhang by Yale without presice figures. Yale charge very high fees for the majority of international students for tuition and living accommodations. Yale has a $17 billion endowment fund, with a lot of money made in third world countries. And their “altruism” is not entirely without self interest.

    What is most offensive is Mr. Zhang’s statement. Chinese students have been studying at top US and western universities for a long time, but I have never heard such a wholesale dismissal of the country and people that nurture them and such fawning sycophancy. As Chinese, we all have an instinctive sense of self-respect and national dignity; a sensitivity to the feelings of our people; as well as a basic grasp of our national history and identity. It is especically unseemly to praise a rich and powerful insitution and country so gushingly in public. Secondly, Mr. Zhang has a very shaky grasp of history if he thought the relationship of Yale/US and China is “one-way” in China’s favour. The really “one-way” things are exploitation and agression and intimidation against China. I don’t know what Mr. Zhang ate and drank at New Haven that sent him to such strastophere of estacy and made him so disparaing of everything he must have learned in China for 28 years; but I would thank him for doing his acts of devotions and hosannas in private. It is a very bad example to present and future Chinese students who could be influenced by this “pioneering spirit of advanced obsequiousness and sycophancy;” and expressed similar sentiments that could be so demoralizing and disparaging for the educators and students in China. It is also deeply distasteful for a man of 37 to want to leave his signature in concrete in such a prestigious icon of American power and prestige.
    I am sure that if Yale reflect deeper, it would think this huge donation a bit over-the-top for a former student from a developing country; and it would educate Mr. Zhang that the unsatifactory and sometimes parlous state of Chinese education has its historical, social and mostly political roots, and as a Chinese, Zhang should help to improve it rather than to belittle it in front of the world.
    There is a way out of this. If the entire amount pledged is diverted to scholarship funds in an open, fair selection process for Chinese students to study both in Renmin University and Yale instead of for the brick and mortars of Yale, it would give a vote of confidence and encouragement to Zhang’s alma mater and facilitate the nurturing of good will for Yale. Finally, Yale should examine very carefully the web of corruption and influence-buying when engaging former students from China to make money. Corruption is a cancer that eats into every fabric of Chinese society and is creating huge resentment and inequality. Yale and the US should not encourage it if it really care about democracy and freedom.

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