Exiled Chinese democracy activist Wang Dan (王丹), who is a visiting assistant professor at National Tsing Hua University, said he has been informed by the school that his teaching contract is not to be renewed, following five years of employment set to end in July.
Wang’s support of prominent Sunflower movement student Chen Wei-ting (陳為廷), who has been involved in a scandal over allegedly groping several women, met with protests and demands for his removal from his post.
Wang yesterday said on Facebook that he had a meeting with university president Hocheng Hong (賀陳弘), on Wednesday, at which Hocheng said that academics should not become involved with politics, and Wang was informed of the university’s decision not to renew his contract.
“The president first praised my achievement in the field of teaching, where I have several times been ranked among the top in the school’s teaching evaluation. He then said he cares about my future career and advised me to find stable employment in the US,” Wang wrote.
In response to Hocheng’s suggestion, Wang said he told him that he has not been teaching in Taiwan out of personal interest.
“[I came here] out of my feelings for Taiwan and the ideal that I could do something meaningful,” he wrote.
While Wang told Hocheng he could “totally understand” if the university made the decision not to renew his employment for financial reasons, and he “is willing to believe that the school is not asking me to leave for political reasons,” the exiled activist said that the school has not been clear on the issue.
“The department head [of the university’s Interdisciplinary Program of Humanities and Social Sciences] expressed his hope to keep me to the president and stressed the department and the college have decided to fundraise and are confident that they could succeed,” Wang said of his meeting with the university.
However, Hocheng told him during the meeting on Wednesday that “budget was not exactly the main reason, which was rather that the university usually would not renew the contract of a contract employee except under special circumstances,” Wang wrote.
Wang has been criticized, and a Facebook page dedicated to a call for his ouster from Taiwan established, for his defense of Chen over the latter’s alleged sexual misconduct last month.
Those who fiercely attacked Wang included Lee Fu-chen (李富城), a news weatherman who has made no bones about his aversion toward the student activists and the Sunflower movement and at the height of the Chen scandal called on his followers to exert pressure on the university to banish Wang by making nonstop phone calls.
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