Chinese universities dump professor over sexual assault claims



Three leading Chinese universities have cut ties with a professor accused of sexual assault and harassment of a student who committed suicide 20 years ago.

Shen Yang, dean of literature department at Nanjing University, was accused of sexually assaulting undergraduate Gao Yan in 1996 when he worked as a professor of literature at Peking University. Gao took her own life in 1998.

During the Qingming Festival on April 5, Gao’s classmate Li Youyou published the allegations of the improper conduct online, triggering public outrage.

Peking University and Nanjing University issued responses soon after the claims emerged.

The documents of Peking University's punishment against Shen Yang in 1998.

Peking University on Sunday published the documents relating to a disciplinary warning issued against Shen in 1998, after he was quoted in media reports as denying he was punished for “demerits in teaching ethics.” The university held a meeting on the same day, calling for an end to sexual harassment and tightening its ethics supervision.

The School of Liberal Arts at Nanjing University, where Shen was serving as the dean of the literature department, said in a statement that Shen had concealed his punishment when he accepted the job. The school asked him to hand in the resignation for he is “no longer qualified for the job at the school.”

The announcement published on the website of the School of Liberal Arts at Nanjing University.

Another university, Shanghai Normal University, where Shen worked as a part-time professor, terminated his contract on Saturday, insisting on zero tolerance for those who violate teaching ethics, according to Xinhua.

According to The Paper, Gao Yan’s mother has said that they will sue Shen Yang for maligning Gao’s reputation.