On September 24, 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle published a story on its website, SFGate, in the Matier & Ross column about the resignation of Dayle Smith, the associate dean of undergraduate studies at the USF School of Management.
Dayle Smith quit her position as associate dean amidst what the Chronicle calls, “USF’s aggressive recruitment of students from China.” Many of these students have trouble speaking English. Smith remains employed as a USF professor.
According to the Matier & Ross column, 781 of the 10,017 students at the University of San Francisco are Chinese national students. In the column, it is noted that Mike Webber, dean of the School of Management, said that the “considerable increase in foreign students this year is not in and of itself a cause for concern.”
In his written statement included in the Chronicle’s column, Webber said, “But given that so many of these students have weak English skills and are disproportionately from one country, we are going to be faced with some unique pedagogical and cultural challenges.” Mike Webber’s comments in the Chronicle also stated that Smith “felt there was a real failure on the part of the university to understand these unique challenges and how they will impact” the business school.
Provost Jennifer E. Turpin, provided a written comment to the Foghorn which stated “USF admitted a smaller percentage of Chinese applicants than we admitted last year, but we increased our requirement in English proficiency. As a direct result of conversations I had with faculty last year, we now require Chinese students to score not only an overall 79 on the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), but also to obtain a score of 17 on each sub-area of the test.
These criteria are similar or more strict than those at other universities.” She also said, “The University is rightfully proud of the successes of our Chinese students and grateful to them for the cultural perspectives they bring to campus. USF will continue to recruit internationally and will work to ensure all students are prepared for class.”
As of Monday evening, Dayle Smith has not yet returned Foghorn phone calls for a comment.
The Foghorn will provide more news on this matter as the story progresses.