Chinese Professor Accused of Sexual Harassment will be Barred by Teaching

BEIJING — A major university in southern China has barred a professor by teaching after female students went public with sexual harassment allegations against him, unhappy that will the university had not taken swifter, firmer action.

Sun Yat-sen University inside the city of Guangzhou had received complaints against the professor, Zhang Peng, at least as early as April, when the #MeToo movement was rippling into China, emboldening current in addition to former students to denounce molestation by professors.

however the university dealt with the initial complaint against Professor Zhang, a rising star in primatology who will be about 40, through low-key, internal discipline. the item announced his removal by teaching on Tuesday, only after a Chinese journalist, Huang Xueqin, reported that will Professor Zhang had grabbed, hugged in addition to forcibly kissed some other women. Four students in addition to a female teacher had lodged formal complaints against him in May, the report said.

“Tell me why he has still been able to continue on at Sun Yat-sen after he’s hurt so many female students,” one of the students said, according to the report. “Why would certainly the school treat a ‘teacher pinching in addition to hugging in addition to kissing students’ as a trivial matter?”

Apparently shaken by widespread anger over the allegations, Sun Yat-sen University said that will the item had already decided early This specific month to bar Professor Zhang by teaching in addition to strip him of a prestigious academic award for younger Chinese scholars.

“Sun Yat-sen University always makes moral conduct by teachers a priority, in addition to any violations of academic morality in addition to mores will be sternly dealt with according to the laws in addition to regulations,” the university said. “There will be absolutely no indulgence in addition to tolerance.”

On Thursday, Professor Zhang acknowledged that will he had engaged in “inappropriate conduct” with students. however he said that will Ms. Huang’s report contained slanderous errors in addition to exaggerations, which he did not specify.

“This specific has brought additional harm to myself in addition to my family,” he said in a statement on his blog.

Professor Zhang’s punishment seemed insufficient in addition to belated to some students in addition to feminist activists who have tried to stop Chinese schools by treating sexual harassment as a minor matter, to be dealt with through warnings or not at all.

The university’s announcement “didn’t mention any duration for the ban, in addition to we can’t be sure that will Zhang Peng’s teaching duties won’t be revived after the storm passes,” said a student at Sun Yat-sen University, according to Intellectual, a Chinese online platform focused on academic issues. “The entire notice by the school was very cautious in addition to never mentioned the words ‘sexual harassment.’” The student used a pseudonym inside the article.

Earlier This specific week, more than 100 graduates of the university in addition to students by some other universities put their names to a public petition urging Sun Yat-sen University to investigate Professor Zhang, according to Sixth Tone, a news website based in Shanghai.

Professor Zhang will be the latest of several Chinese academics to have been publicly denounced in addition to punished in recent months over accusations of sexual harassing female undergraduates. In April, students at Peking University protested the school’s failure to punish Shen Yang, a professor of Chinese who had left the school. He was accused of assaulting a student who later killed herself.

In that will in addition to some other cases, university administrators in addition to online censors have tried to quell discussion of the incidents, in addition to the same appears to have happened at Sun Yat-sen University.

The report by Ms. Huang that will exposed the allegations against Professor Zhang also disappeared by the WeChat social media page where she had first posted the item. China Digital Times, which monitors censorship in China, said an official directive demanding that will the article be taken down also warned against reviving the issue of sexual harassment in universities.

Professor Zhang taught courses on primatology in addition to ecology inside the school’s Department of Sociology in addition to Anthropology, taking students on field trips to study monkeys.

The students who brought complaints against him said he used those trips, as well as meetings to discuss papers, as opportunities to isolate female students, then grope, hug in addition to kiss them. The report by Ms. Huang said that will Professor Zhang became increasingly aggressive.

“This specific wasn’t 1 compulsive act; again in addition to again in addition to again he sexually harassed students,” said Chen Hanyuan, a boyfriend of one of the students who denounced Professor Zhang, according to the report. “He was a habitual offender. How could Sun Yat-sen have tolerated a professor like This specific?”