Friday 23rd February 2018,

Asian Americans

Ξ 1 comment

Chicago Tribune: Korean American Professor Sues for Alleged Discrimination

posted by Brittney Le
Seung-Whan Choi

Seung-Whan Choi

Seung-Whan Choi, an internal relations professor and U.S. citizen born in Korea, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the University of Illinois at Chicago for alleged race discrimination, reports the Chicago Tribune. The lawsuit states that Choi had filed a complaint in October to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and had received a “right to sue” notice shortly after.

Seung-Whan Choi was fired from a tenure-track position at UIC in 2011, followed by his reinstatement months later. Choi claims that after this incident, race discrimination ensued for years because he is from Korea. He claims that he was required to teach courses in both Korean politics and in statistics, fields in which he is not qualified to instruct, stating that a UIC Department of Political Science official had said, “Asians, especially Koreans are very good at mathematics and statistics.”

The lawsuit includes an alleged 2015 incident with the then-department head, Dennis Judd. Judd supposedly changed a student’s grades without consulting Choi; Choi had confronted him, leading to Judd to allegedly respond that he “knows that many Koreans are stubborn and do not understand American culture of compromise when dealing with their boss.”

Choi also claims that he was not given the same raises as his peers in the department, denied promotion to status as full professor, and was wrongfully accused of not contributing to the department. Choi told the Chicago Tribune, “They don’t like Korean Americans. I’m supposed to be very submissive to the department head, who is white American.” Choi does not wish to further involve himself with the department, reporting increased anxiety, increased blood pressure, and negative effects on his home life. How much Choi plans to seek in damages is not yet disclosed.


AsAmNews has Asian America in its heart. We’re an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at, following us on Twitter, sharing our stories, interning or joining our staff.

Popular Posts

One Comment

  1. Young-ok Yum says:

    RE: Korean American professor sues for alleged discrimination. What happened to the model minority stereotype? I wish best luck to Professor Choi. I had a similar experience in my academic unit, although I didn’t take a litigation route and so my heart goes out to him.

Comments are closed.


Get Social

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 9,741 other subscribers

AsAmNews has Asian America in Its Heart

Like Us on Facebook & follow on Twitter