Tongji University Suspends Professor After Student Suicide
Shanghai’s elite Tongji University has suspended a professor accused of overworking master’s-degree student Lu Jingwei before Lu’s suicide in December.
Lu Yanjun (no relation to Lu Jingwei), a faculty member from Tongji’s medical school, has temporarily been barred from teaching while Tongji conducts an investigation, university spokesperson Zhu Dazhang told Caixin on Monday.
Lu Jingwei, 24, died on campus on Dec. 13. His family has blamed Lu Yanjun, who supervised Lu Jingwei’s studies in oncology, for the death.
“Lu Jingwei worked ceaselessly for his supervisor, Lu Yanjun, nearly 365 days a year since July 2015, without vacations and without pay,” read a letter that appeared to have been written by Lu Jingwei’s father and was posted on Weibo (link in Chinese) on Friday.
Caixin Global was unable to verify the authorship of the letter, which has been reposted more than 22,000 times and republished by Chinese media.
The letter claimed Lu Jingwei had failed to complete his master’s program on time in 2018 because he had repeatedly missed classes in order to work on experiments for Lu Yanjun, and that Lu Yanjun had asked him to spend his time on papers unrelated to his major. The letter’s author said the student had sent a message to his supervisor shortly before his death, saying, “I’m going to jump off a building. (College Vice Dean) Zhang Xiaoqing will be looking to speak with you.”
Tongji’s spokesperson said officials had found no clear evidence so far to suggest that Lu Jingwei’s death was due to being overworked by Lu Yanjun. Caixin was unable to reach either Zhang or Lu Yanjun, who the university said was currently abroad, for comment.
“There are almost always multiple causes (for suicide), including psychiatric illnesses, that may not have been recognized or treated,” according to information jointly provided by U.S. organizations that include the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “However, these illnesses are treatable.”
Students at Tongji’s medical school told Caixin it was common to experience significant pressure from supervisors.
“The school wants to improve its ranking, so it must publish more papers, take on more projects, and therefore squeeze each faculty. The faculty members then assess the supervisors, so the supervisors pressure the students,” one student, Ma Bo, told Caixin.
Chen Le, another medical student at Tongji, said supervisors had strict requirements, and that she had to rush to the laboratory every day, and frequently had no time for meals. “I cried every day,” Chen said.
Contact reporter Teng Jing Xuan (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jun 05 23:57
Jun 05 17:06
Jun 05 13:20
Jun 04 17:45
Jun 04 17:19
Jun 04 16:26
Jun 04 12:38
Jun 03 18:07
Jun 03 16:48
Jun 03 13:17
Jun 03 12:25
Jun 03 06:45
Jun 02 16:29
Jun 02 14:45
- 1Update: China to Allow Banned Foreign Airlines to Resume Some Flights
- 2Luckin Founder to Cash Out of Rental Car Unit
- 3BNP Paribas Chinese Unit Fined for Anti-Money Laundering Violations
- 4Fighting Coronavirus: Policy Analysis and Practical Experiences
- 5TSMC Looks Homeward for New $10 Billion Chip Plant
- 1Power To The People: Pintec Serves A Booming Consumer Class
- 2Largest hotel group in Europe accepts UnionPay
- 3UnionPay mobile QuickPass debuts in Hong Kong
- 4UnionPay International launches premium catering privilege U Dining Collection
- 5UnionPay International’s U Plan has covered over 1600 stores overseas