South China Morning Post (July 18) reported that Tsinghua University's notification dated July 15, terminating the services of 57-year old Prof. Xu Zhangrun, was sent to him by courier on July 18, according to a friend who requested anonymity for fear of retribution. Tsinghua University, where Xu Zhangrun worked for 20 years, said it made the decision after a meeting on July 10. It said “We have verified that Xu Zhangrun has published many essays since July 2018 and it is a serious violation of the ‘10 standards of professional conduct for teachers in tertiary institutes in the new era’.” The university also cited the detention of Xu two weeks ago as a reason for firing him. The guidelines, issued by the Ministry of Education in 2018, said teachers would be fired or punished if they said or did anything that undermines the authority of the Communist Party or violated the directions and policies of the party. They also say teachers have to be patriotic and uphold academic integrity.
(Comment: Tsinghua University Law Professor Xu Zhangrun is one of the very few academics to have publicly challenged the party leadership in recent years in a number of essays published online in China and overseas. He is highly respected in China's academic circles.)

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