Yale News

More faculty members are voicing concerns about a School of Medicine professor’s suspension amid a federal investigation, alleging that the University punished the professor without due process.

Haifan Lin, a professor of cell biology and director of Yale’s Stem Cell Center, was suspended by the University Provost and School of Medicine dean in January. Administrative officials have since attributed the suspension to an ongoing investigation that possibly falls under the Department of Justice’s controversial China Initiative, which aims to root out Chinese-influenced espionage at American universities. That explanation has not satisfied faculty, who continue to express support for the aggrieved professor and call for the University to follow due process. 

The newest letter, issued by the Department of Comparative Medicine, expresses “strong opposition” to events leading to Lin’s suspension and also mentions the possibility that faculty other than Lin have also been suspended. This is now the second departmental letter addressed to the University regarding Lin, after an initial school-wide inquiry and one issued by the Cell Biology Department, of which Lin is a member.

“The many recent public accounts of this situation have exposed a potential failure of due process on the part of Yale University, which appears to be, for all practical purposes, suspended him prior to the completion of the investigation,” the Comparative Medicine department’s statement reads. “Our public discussion of this situation revealed other Chinese-American faculty may also have been similarly treated.”

Yale Vice President of Communications Nate Nickerson previously wrote to the News that the University has followed all policies and due process outlined in the Faculty Handbook. 

The letter also attributes the investigation to the China Initiative, which activists say chills scientific research and unfairly targets researchers of Chinese descent. The News has not been able to verify with the University or Justice Department that Lin’s case specifically falls under the China Initiative.

The letter was released by the department’s Twitter account on Tuesday and shared by many YSM faculty members. 

This story is breaking and will be updated.

Isaac Yu was the News' managing editor. He covered transportation and faculty as a reporter and laid out the front page of the weekly print edition. He co-founded the News' Audience desk, which oversees social media and the newsletter. He was a leader of the News' Asian American and low-income affinity groups. Hailing from Garland, Texas, Isaac is a Berkeley College junior majoring in American Studies.