Follow Up Letter to UW College of Arts and Sciences Dean Requesting Teaching Professor Connie So To Be Removed From the OSPI Contract Project

On March 31, we sent a letter to the Dean of the UW College of Arts and Sciences, Dianne Harris, and requested that teaching professor Connie So be removed from an OSPI project on Americans of Chinese Descent History due to her recent xenophobic comments regarding “Americans of Chinese descent”. Seeing no action from the College, we sent a follow up letter with evidence of Professor So’s plan and promise to misuse the OSPI proviso funds. Below is the full follow up letter.

Dear Dean Harris,

On March 31, I contacted you regarding the OSPI proviso contract, and Professor So. Assistant Dean Peter Denis reached out to me on April 6th and expressed interest in engaging us to “meet, listen, and problem-solve”. We then exchanged emails with Mr. Denis and his office to schedule a meeting. However, that line of communication stopped on April 14, after we accepted a meeting proposal for April 17. 

I have since sent Mr. Denis several emails, yet I have never received any reply from him. My last email to Mr. Denis was on May 12, in which I sent him evidence of Professor So’s plan and promise to divert the OSPI proviso funds to finance her research that was outside the scope of the proviso and completed before the contract was even signed.

We have documented all the detailed evidence on our site at: Examining Professor So’s Problematic Research That Was Financed by Improperly Diverted Funds From the Proviso to OSPI .

The contract is between OSPI and the UW College of Arts and Science, NOT between OSPI and Professor So. Therefore, there is no justifiable reason to insist on giving this contract to Professor So. Although it is unclear to us why Associate Dean Linda Nelson told OSPI that the contract would be completed by Professor So, OSPI did not specifically request that this contract be completed by her. As a matter of fact, OSPI told us that “OSPI has no record of a contract with Professor Connie So.” Our request remains that Professor So be removed from the OSPI contract. Our concerns with Professor So are:

1) Her xenophobic comments regarding “Americans of Chinese descent”;

2) Her personal beliefs do not align with the goal and deliverables of the contract;

3) The poor quality of her work, as demonstrated by both her research and her draft curriculum materials;

4) She promised money from the OSPI proviso contract to pay for consultants she hired for her research that was completed before the contract was signed and was outside the scope of the proviso. Even worse, her research counters the exact intention of the proviso; 

5) The OSPI contract requires written permission from them before subcontracting. She clearly violated that clause when she hired consultants without informing OSPI;

I hope the UW College of Arts and Science does not knowingly support Professor So’s improper behavior and enable her to misuse proviso funds. 

Copying OSPI and Senator Wagoner on this email.

I appreciate your timely attention on this matter.


WA Asians For Equality

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