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Well-spoken teacher dismissed due to lack of dissertations
By Guan Xiaomeng (Chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2005-12-01 15:01

A teacher of philosophy in Zhejiang University's School of Humanities failed his teachers' evaluation this year because of having not published any dissertations.

Zhu Miaohua, 48 years old, was just a philosophy lecturer at Zhejiang University. But despite not being a professor, he was the most popular teacher on campus outside of some professors, as he ranked the seventh in the 2003 teachers' evaluation based on students' marks, with the six before him being renowned professors.

His optional Western art history lecture was the most-attended public course on campus. Each class, quite a number of students would bring chairs themselves in case no seat was left or stand in the corridor listening to him. They always clapped at the end of each lecture and gave him a bunch of flowers at the end of the last lecture of each school term.

Students are with their much-loved teacher Zhu Miaohua.

Why was a teacher with such popularity "not qualified" for his job? The answer: no dissertations.

A Zhejiang University official said that universities are responsible for scientific research as well as teaching, with the former being the criteria for teacher appointments and promotions. The university rules stipulate that teachers without research achievement have no access to any titles, even if they have good teaching skills.

"The problem with Zhu Miaohua is he has no research," said the official at the time of his dismissal.

Professor Li Mingyou, a former colleague of Zhu, complained that it was unfair to Zhu to be let go. He said that right now, university teachers like Zhu are rare. Zhu kept teaching for the sake of teaching itself while some other teachers teach simply to finish the task for promotion or other benefits.

"I am puzzled as to why the current evaluation mechanism doesn't give a fair mark to such teachers as my colleague Zhu," Li said.
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