Peking University to implement sex harassment rules

Updated 2018-04-09 10:15:24

One of China's top universities has vowed to formulate a set of rules on sexual harassment, after allegations that a former university professor had sexually harassed a student who later committed suicide shocked Chinese society.

Peking University (PKU) announced Sunday it will respond robustly to mounting calls to investigate the allegations involving Shen Yang, 62, the university said on its website.

Shen, a Chinese language professor, is accused of sexually assaulting female student Gao Yan, who committed suicide in 1998, aged 21.

The case resurfaced this week after several people who claimed to be the victim's former classmates published the allegations online and demanded a thorough investigation.

Peking University published on Sunday the details of a 1998 inquiry, in which it admitted that Shen and Gao had established a "relationship," and that Gao committed suicide 10 months after Shen ended it. Shen was given an administrative punishment, the university said.

Shen, speaking to China News Weekly on Saturday, did not address the allegations, although he said he was given an "administrative penalty" in 1998, and that it did not involve moral issues.

Shen left Peking University in 2011 and has been working at Nanjing University since, according to media reports.

The School of Liberal Arts at Nanjing University said Saturday that it had suggested Shen should quit as it is no longer appropriate for him to teach. The school also admitted it was negligent in failing to properly investigate Shen. He was also employed part-time at Shanghai Normal University, which issued a statement on Saturday saying it had terminated his contract.

In a previous case, Chen Xiaowu, a professor at Beihang University in Beijing, was dismissed in January following confirmation that he had sexually harassed students.

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