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University teacher suspended for bad behavior

By Zhao Yimeng | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-12 09:09
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A graduate adviser was disqualified on Wednesday by a university in Beijing after 15 graduate students reported her moral and behavioral problems.

Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications announced that the teacher, surnamed Zheng, has been disqualified as a graduate adviser and suspended from teaching due to malpractice.

On Tuesday, 15 graduate students posted a 20-page document online reporting moral problems of Zheng Feng, who was an associate professor at the university's School of Information and Communication Engineering and was focused on wireless communication and future networks.

They said in the document that Zheng often burst into cursing and assigned duties to students unrelated to academic research, such as picking up parcels, driving to pick up or drop off friends and family, cleaning her house, and doing homework and even cheating for her daughter during important exams.

The document presented evidence to prove that Zheng forced students to work overtime and ignored their physical and mental health. Most of her students were diagnosed with health problems including moderate depression due to continuing high pressure, intensive workloads and irregular lifestyles, it said.

Zheng only instructed students by urging research, without any guidance in direction or techniques, it added.

The students said they expected the school to investigate the issues and change their adviser while protecting them until graduation.

The university said Zheng failed to properly fulfill the responsibilities of a graduate adviser, neglecting to provide students with academic guidance.

"Zheng didn't care for and support students, yet required them to engage in activities unrelated to their studies and research. Neither did she distribute research subsidies to students according to regulations," the university said.

In addition to disqualification and work suspension, Zheng was given an administrative penalty of demotion, it said.

The university said it will respect the students' willingness to switch advisers and provide psychological counseling to ensure study and research on campus is fully protected.

A comprehensive review of issues related to professional ethics and teaching styles will be conducted to maintain a healthy educational environment, it added.

A similar incident happened in Wuhan, Hubei province, in January when 11 master's and doctoral students from Huazhong Agricultural University reported the misconduct of their adviser in a 125-page document they posted online.

The document listed academic fraud, suppression of students and embezzlement of labor fees by the teacher, surnamed Huang.

The university later issued a report that said the school found the accusations to be largely true, and proved Huang's academic misconduct.

The university suspended Huang's work and formed a new advisory team to take responsibility for the training of graduate students in the research group.

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