As the controversy surrounding Fu Ping's story developed in March, Lanlan Wang, a netter active on Amazon, wrote an email to Suzhou University, Fu Ping's alma mater, seeking clarifications. Suzhou University, aka Soochow University, produced an official response on March 14, 2013, after an internal investigation. They emailed the resonse to Lanlan on March 16, 2013. While Lanlan has already disclosed main contents of the letter on Amazon, the letter itself has not been made public until now.
Below is the letter in its entirety (the original is in a Word document.). An abridged English version follows. Besides the letter itself, Lanlan has also provided evidences authenticating the letter. The university instructed Lanlan not to disclose the name of the direct contact. Further information should be obtained by contacting the school directly.
Thank you Lanlan!
Official Statement on the Deceptive Behavior of Ping Fu, a Former Student of Soochow University
Recently, many of our alumni at home and abroad have contacted us regarding the validity of the book, Bend, Not Break: A Life in Two Worlds. They claim that some stories in the book are outright falsehoods. These falsehoods have given both our school and country a poor reputation and caused our alumni and friends to feel deeply incensed.
Upon notification of the inquiries from many of our alumni, an investigation team consisting of professors in relevant departments was formed. After careful examination on Ping Fu's student record in this University's archive and many visits to Ping Fu’s teachers and classmates, the following statement is being released for clarification.
1. Ping Fu was a student at this University with no degree earned
Ping Fu, female, born in 1958, a native from Nanjing, was admitted as a student in Chinese Literature in September 1978 into Jiangsu Teachers' College (predecessor of Soochow University, or Suzhou University in pinyin, 苏州大学). During her undergraduate years, a demerit entry was made in her record in October 1981 due to several infractions. She formally withdrew from school on March 16, 1982 and earned no diploma or degree from this University.
2. Ping Fu took English as mandated by the curriculum
In her book, Ping Fu claimed that she went to the U.S. knowing only three English words – “hello, thank you, and help.” However, our curriculum included mandatory college-level English courses for the first two years. ?The record from the University Registrar’s Office indicates that Ping Fu received an "Excellent" (equivalent to an A) and an 88% (equivalent to a B+) in English as a freshman (1978 to 1979) and as a sophomore (1979 to 1980), respectively. ?
3. No record of Ping Fu's alleged graduation thesis exists
Ping Fu withdrew from the University a few months before graduation. There are no records of her graduation thesis, or any related work and materials in the University Registrar’s Office.
As an additional note of clarification, student thesis topics in the Department of Chinese Literature at this University have always been focused on literature and linguistic studies, which do not involve infanticide, a study subject more in the realm of Sociology than in Literature and Linguistics.
4. No student admitted in 1978 was arrested between 1978 and 1982
During 1978-1982, no student admitted in 1978 at this University was arrested for criminal conduct or other reasons, let alone for organizing a literary society. Ping Fu’s claim of her arrest and imprisonment is entirely unfounded and contrary to facts.
5. There was no enforcement of birth control measures on undergraduate students
The University hereby states unequivocally that this reputable institution of higher learning has never enforced any birth control measures on undergraduate students. Ping Fu’s allegation of “finger checking” for female students’ menstrual periods for birth control purposes is resoundingly false and has unfairly sullied the reputation of female students at this University. To further confirm the absurdity of such allegation, the University additionally contacted a number of individuals in and out of the University who experienced and are knowledgeable of the time period in question. These individuals, including Ping Fu’s former classmates, faculty advisors and the leadership of the Department of Chinese Literature of this University, have all confirmed without any question that such a practice never occurred at Soochow University.
Based on the above findings, this University ultimately concludes that Ping Fu’s relevant narrative in her memoir is factually inaccurate and has damaged the image of Soochow University. Soochow University reserves the right to take further action.
At the same time, we would like to thank all alumni and friends for their support and concern for Soochow University. Over the past 113 years, Soochow University has nurtured more than 300,000 graduates who have gone on to make significant contributions for our country. These talented alumni remain loyal and attached to their alma mater, expressing their gratitude for their education through regular reunions and donations, and maintaining old friendships from their time at this school. Not only have these alumni made contributions in our country, but many have also gone abroad, spreading the good name of Soochow University through their hard work and successes. Many alumni overseas have quietly given back to the university in the areas of discipline construction, talent training, and scientific research, making their mother university proud. It is not fair for Ping Fu and her thunderous falsehoods to write off the many good deeds and pride that all the other alumni have done and shared for Soochow University.
We appreciate all the concern and support that the alumni and friends have shown for our university!
June 11, 2013