China / Society

Ministry issues stern warning to college professors

By ZHAO XINYING (China Daily) Updated: 2014-10-10 07:37

Ministry issues stern warning to college professors

Students concentrate on studying in a classroom in Shandong Normal University, Oct 9.[Photo/IC]  

The Ministry of Education is taking what it calls a necessary step of listing a number of immoral behaviors that college and university teachers are banned from committing.

In a notice released on Thursday by the ministry, seven types of behaviors are forbidden. Among them are taking bribes, sexually harassing students and having improper relationships with students.

Seven behaviors that are strictly forbidden for university instructors:
Harming the interests of the nation, the university or the students.
Making remarks or performing deeds that are against the Party's principles and policies in teaching.
Committing academic cheating such as plagiarizing or copying others' academic achievements; or misusing research funds or academic resources.
Having part-time jobs off campus that affect teaching duties on campus.
Playing favorites and committing irregularities in recruitment, examinations, student rewards and postgraduate recommendations.
Taking bribes from students or parents.
Sexually harassing students or having improper relations with students.
The notice was released after the Chinese media exposed several scandals involving university professors.

In July, two female students accused Wu Chunming, a history professor at Xiamen University in Fujian province, of seducing and sexually assaulting students. Reports on the accusations went viral and triggered heated online discussions.

Wu was suspended and the university vowed to investigate the claims, but no findings have been released.

Last November, a former student accused Wang Zhengmin, a professor at the Eye and ENT Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, of profiting from plagiarism.

According to the notice released on Thursday, those who violate the regulations face a warning, a demerit on their employment records, demotion, suspension, termination or the possibility of being handed over to public security or judicial authorities, depending on the severity of their violations.

It said colleges and universities are responsible for supervising the behavior of teachers and ensuring that they abide by professional ethics. University deans who don't handle immoral incidents in a transparent and timely way will be punished, the notice said.

The Education Ministry said it released the notice because a small proportion of university professors have harmed the image and reputation of educators with their immoral deeds. The notice is also meant to guide professors to take the right approach in their careers, it said.

The regulations echo the requirements President Xi Jinping issued for teachers when he visited Beijing Normal University in September, the ministry said.

The president said teachers should encourage faith and belief, have good standards and a solid base of knowledge, and be kind to students.

Gu Mingyuan, the honorary chairman of the Chinese Society of Education, said the release of the notice is timely and important.

"University teachers are the highest-level intellectuals in society. They are tutors of the youth and guides of the society's general mood," said Gu. "University teachers' ethics will have a great impact on students, on the quality of education, and even on the ethics of the whole society."

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