Professor Zhang Xuezhong, a Professor of Law at East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai, was fired for “seriously violating teachers’ professional ethics.” Zhang, who has been an advocate for freedom of speech and association under the Chinese constitution, denied ever using his position as a teacher to promote his views. CCS wrote to the University President to protest what appears to be retaliation for Zhang’s views rather than abuse of his position.
Prsident He Quinhua
East China University of Political Science and Law
1575 Wanhangdu Rd. Changning
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
December 31, 2013
Dear President He:
We are an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world. We write now in concern for Professor Zhang Xuezhong, who, until very recently, taught law at your university, the East China University of Political Science and Law in Shanghai.
We understand that Professor Zhang has been an advocate for free speech and association under the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China. We further understand that the University dismissed Professor Zhang in December, 2013 for having “seriously violated teachers’ professional ethics” by using the school’s communication system to publish an e-book entitled New Common Sense: The Nature and Consequences of One-Party Dictatorship and by using his status as a teacher to spread his political views among students.
Professor Zhang has stated that University officials have failed to give one example in which he fed his political views to students in the classroom and has defended his right as a faculty member to express his own opinions, thoughts, and proposals. Removal of a professor based solely on his dissemination of his views and opinions, however those may differ from those of other faculty members, seriously limits the freedom of both faculty and students to engage in the intellectual discussions necessary for a truly exceptional education.
Therefore, we respectfully urge you to reconsider your decision regarding Professor Zhang’s tenure at the University and invite him to return and continue teaching.
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Minister of Education
No.37 Damucang Hutong
Xidan, Beijing, P.R.C
- Chinese Professor Who Advocated Free Speech Is Fired (nytimes.com)
- Brittle China, Ctd (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
- China professor says sacked for criticizing president and not recanting (reuters.com)