NUS Has Confirmed That a Staff Member Sexually Harassed Subordinate But He Has Since Left the School

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The National University of Singapore (NUS) is one of the most well-known schools locally.

However, it’s also become synonymous with another thing as of late: sexual harassment.

And it seems that the school can’t catch a break, with another sexual harassment case brought to light.

Another Staff Member Identified For Sexual Harassment

Here we go again, unfortunately.

A former director of the East Asian Institute (EAI) in NUS had apparently behaved inappropriately with a subordinate, The Straits Times reported.

He supposedly hugged her without her consent during a work meeting.

On 17 Nov 2020, NUS confirmed the act and said that by doing this, Professor Zheng Yongnian had breached the staff’s code of conduct.

While the school would’ve taken action, Prof Zheng has already left NUS.

Hugging seems fine, but you never know if someone doesn’t want to be touched.

And you don’t know the hugger’s intention either.

Allegations In August And September This Year

Some may recall that allegations against him were raised around August this year.

Twitter user @Chary19513, who goes by Charlotte, previously took to Twitter to share that she was sexually harassed by Prof Zheng in May 2018.

However, she said that EAI gave her a “soft warning” and was told to stay away from other colleagues who were harassed.

She then followed this up with another tweet on 2 Sept.

She expressed that the victims should not give up despite that fact that Prof Zheng could make trouble with the power he had.


However, the former director had apparently denied these allegations and his resignation had nothing to do with them.

Though the timing seemed a little too convenient.

NUS Was Aware

A recent statement revealed that NUS became aware of allegation way back in May 2019, when Charlotte made the police report.

Prof Zheng was then made to work at home while investigations were carried out.

He was also not allowed to contact Charlotte.

An NUS spokesman also said that after an internal investigation, another police report was filed against Prof Zheng in 2012.


The case was closed without further action, and the employee who filed the complaint left NUS after her contract expired.

Then, in July this year, NUS appointed a Committee of Inquiry (COI).

They subsequently confirmed that one of the allegations was true. Prof Zheng later also admitted to the hugging situation back in May 2018.

The COI, however, could not confirm other details that were given to them.

Some of these include patting or touching the victim’s buttocks and placing his hands on her shoulder and head during a meeting in his office.


Left The School

As of September this year, Prof Zheng has already left NUS.

He has since joined the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Shenzhen as the head of its Advanced Institute of Global and Contemporary China Studies.

However, NUS has informed Prof Zheng and the victim of their findings on 16 and 17 Nov.

NUS and EAI also mentioned that they have been supporting Charlotte in the matter and will continue to do so.

They say that allegations of inappropriate behaviour are all taken seriously and internal investigations will be done should such situations arise.


Other NUS Cases

If you’ve been keeping up, you know this isn’t the only sexual harassment incident in NUS.

A more recent case saw the dismissal of former lecturer Jeremy Fernando.

It was reported on 18 October that he was fired 11 days prior after two students complained that he had sexually harassed them.

Fernando however, has since made a police report on his own supposedly related to the case.

The details of the report are still unknown.


Featured Image: Arpan on Shutterstock /