Professor suspended from recruiting new students following suicide scandal

Wuhan University of Technology professor faces pressure after improper "father-son" relationship leads to student's suicide.

A professor of Wuhan University of Technology was suspended from recruiting graduate students after he was alleged to have “mentally exploited” a student and obstructed his studies and career, leading to suicide, according to thepaper.cn.

The university in Wuhan, capital city of Hubei Province, said in a statement released on Sunday that professor Wang Pan had an improper “father-son" relationship with Tao Chongyuan, his senior year graduate student, and that he acted “inappropriately” when instructing his academics and helping him find jobs.

The university launched an investigation into Wang after Tao jumped to his death in the campus on March 26.

Tao’s family found a file of the history of his conversations with Wang via QQ, an instant messaging tool, on Tao’s computer. His family claimed that the conversations indicated Wang had for a long time sent Tao on various errands such as ordering take-out, booking taxis, buying tickets, making wake-up calls and so on.

Their conversations showed Wang asked Tao to call him “father.” Wang was also accused of obstructing Tao from applying for a doctoral degree and finding jobs.

However, the university said it didn’t find Wang hampered Tao in his thesis defense for his master’s degree, or that he embezzled Tao’s economic gains or asked him to do chores such as laundry.

Tao’s sister said on her Weibo account on April 7 that they would "probably" pursue a lawsuit against Wang, demanding authorities revoke his teacher’s certificate.


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