A political science professor from the National University of Singapore (NUS) was dismissed on Tuesday (1 Dec) for sexual misconduct against a student.
In a statement earlier today, NUS said that an anonymous complaint was sent earlier in August, alleging that Professor Theodore G. Hopf from the university’s political science department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) had sexually harassed a student.
Investigations into the matter began immediately after the complaint was received.
According to NUS, Prof Hopf was issued a no-contact order on 15 September, prohibiting him from contacting any NUS student. This came after the university conducted interviews with the student and Prof Hopf.
The 61-year-old American professor was then suspended. He was told to stay off campus while investigations were ongoing.
NUS went on to say that a committee of inquiry (COI) – which was appointed on 7 October – interviewed the student on 21 October, adding that the student was accompanied by an officer from the university’s Victim Care Unit (VCU).
Given that Prof Hopf was required to seek treatment for “a serious medical condition”, the COI interviewed him on 13 November after his medical leave.
The COI concluded its inquiry, and submitted its report to NUS on 18 November.
“The COI determined that Prof Hopf 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.
Subsequently, NUS dismissed Prof Hopf “given the serious nature of the offences”.
The university had also made a police report last Friday (27 Nov), after informing the student that it would be proceeding to do so “in line with its legal obligations”.
“The VCU and FASS have been providing care and support to the student since the allegations were first brought to the university’s attention, and will continue to do so,” NUS added.