Following two previous sackings, the National University of Singapore sacked another pf their teaching staff, Professor Theodore Hopf, over sexual misconduct.
Alvinology previously reported on the sacking of Dr. Jeremy Fernando, a fellow at Tembusu College who allegedly made unwanted overtures to two students and was reported anonymously. Another professor was also fired in between Dr. Fernando and Professor Hopf’s cases.
Who is Professor Theodore Hopf?
According to a report from Channel News Asia, Professory Theodore Hopf who was part of the university’s political science department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS), allegedly sexually harassed a student. The investigations regarding the allegations began on September 15. The professor was forbidden from contacting any NUS student as the inquiries were ongoing.
Then on October 7 the student involved in the case who was accompanied by an officer from NUS Victim Care Unit, was interviewed on October 21. The interview with Professor Hopf was delayed since he had to undergo a procedure for his health, but was eventually interviewed on November 18.
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What did the interview yield?
According to the same report, the professor offered the student alcohol sometime in August, and they went out for a drink. During this reported drinking session, the professor made negative comments about the student’s body.
The student also alleged in their interview with NUS that the professor pulled their body twice aggressively. The student resisted and told the professor to stop. The professor admitted to putting his hand on the student, but denied pulling them.
NUS did not disclose the gender of the student involved in the case.
The student also said that in October 2018 the professor had sent them a sext. Professor Hopf admitted to sending the sexually-charged text message, but that it was a missent text meant for his wife.
“The committee determined that Prof Hoph had failed to act with propriety, respect, and decorum expected of a staff of the University. He had sexually harassed the student in physical, verbal and written forms. His conduct was a serious breach of the NUS Staff Code of Conduct,” said the university.
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The university fired Professor Hopf on November 27 and filed a police report on the matter, as it mentioned was in line with their policies regarding sexual harassment cases.
The professor has denied the allegations.
Two other sackings in relative quick succession
Alvinology previously reported that Dr. Jeremy Fernando, an instructor at Tembusu College, was fired after two female students came forward to complain against him. Investigations allegedly showed he behaved inappropriately on several occasions, and allegedly asked one of the victims not to reveal the incidents or else he would lose his job.
Channel News Asia also reported that a Professor Zheng Yongnian from its East Asian Institute had acted “inappropriately in a professional setting” by hugging a colleague without her consent. The professor had already left NUS’ employ before sanctions could be made.