Chinese university punishes professor for treating doctoral student as errand boy

Academic banned from supervising PhD candidates after making personal demands on student who later died

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 21 January, 2018, 1:17pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 21 January, 2018, 1:16pm

A Chinese university professor has been barred from supervising doctoral candidates after she repeatedly sent one of her students on personal errands, according to a Chinese media report.

The professor’s stream of non-academic demands on Xian Jiaotong University pharmacology student Yang Baode came to light after Yang died last month and his girlfriend Wu Qi published some of his WeChat phone records with his supervisor, The Beijing News reported on Sunday.

According to Wu, Yang was forced to do shopping and cleaning for his supervisor, Zhou Jun, “for years”, the report said.

Wu said Zhou constantly asked Yang to shop for daily necessities for her, wash her car and play mahjong with her.

“Those kinds of trivial things really limited Yang’s time for research. But he was not good at expressing dissatisfaction and he chose to endure,” Wu was quoted as saying.

Yang’s family reported him missing on January 27 and his body was found four days later, the report said.

His death was not being treated as suspicious.

Wu published the chat records in a post online and the university confirmed on Friday that Zhou would no longer be allowed to supervise doctoral students, the report said.

The Beijing News was not able to contact Zhou, the report said.