Hanoi National University of Education awarded Do Thi Thoan a Masters Degree in 2010, after it received the highest possible evaluation. In 2014, another committee revoked the degree without explanation to Ms. Thoan. Her research adviser was fired. Suspecting politics, almost 300 Vietnamese academics, in Vietnam and abroad, protested the lack of due process in revoking the degree. CCS joined in demanding reversal of the University’s decision and reinstatement of the degree and the research adviser.
Professor Nguyen Van Minh
President, Hanoi National University of Education
136 Xuan Thuy Street, Cau Giay District
Ha Noi, Vietnam
May 2, 2014
Dear President Van Minh:
We write now in concern for Ms. Do Thi Thoan (pen name Nha Thuyen) who was awarded a Masters Degree from your university in 2010, after receiving the University’s highest possible evaluation from the assessment committee.
Apparently, Ms. Thoan’s Masters thesis was later reviewed by another committee, which then revoked her degree in Decisions 667/QD-DHSPHN and 708/QD-DHSPHN, both issued in March 2014. These actions occurred without disclosure to Ms. Thoan or her thesis supervisor and neither of them was presented with any evidence of serious academic error. The University ignored requests from Ms. Thoan and her supervisor for explanation and an opportunity to disagree.
We strongly believe that these actions on the part of the University will seriously harm the reputation of your academic institution. Revocation of a previously earned Masters Degree without following basic principles of due process implies that the decision was based solely on politics and not on academic credentials.
We join the 166 academics in Vietnam and the 100 overseas Vietnamese academics who are signatories of an open letter to Hanoi National University of Education, demanding that the revocation of Ms. Thoan’s Masters Degree be reversed. We urge that you honor their demands in the interest of academic freedom and fairness. We also urge you to reinstate Associate Professor Nguyen Thi Binh, who seems to be punished for her association with Ms. Thoan’s Degree and has not been accused of any wrongdoing.
Sincerely,Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich,
Eugene M. Chudnovsky, and Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Dr. Pham Vu Luan, Minister of Education and Training 49 Dai Co Viet Street Ha Noi, Vietnam