Seoul National University said Monday it had decided to remove a music professor from his post after investigating a claim that he had sexually harassed a female student.
The university said its ethics commission and the SNU Human Rights Center conducted an investigation into the allegations, and concluded that the professor, surnamed Park, had acted in a way that “smeared his dignity as a member of SNU.”
An SNU official said the school requested a heavy punishment for Park, including expulsion from the university.
Park will be removed from the classroom on Tuesday, and the disciplinary committee will soon decide on his punishment. It generally takes 1 1/2 months for the nine-member committee to reach a decision.
In February, a 22-year-old female student of the SNU’s Department of Vocal Music accused Park of sexually harassing her repeatedly between 2011 and 2012.
The student told the SNU Human Rights Center that Park sent him sexual photos and comments while requesting lewd photos of her.
Park is also suspected of faking his educational background, as local news outlets have claimed that Park lied about graduating from a prestigious music school in France. He is also accused of giving illegal private lessons for hefty fees.
SNU, however, denied the allegations, saying it had confirmed Park’s certifications with the French school.
Prosecutors are conducting an investigation into the charges against Park.
Park’s case is one of several embarassments suffered by the music college of the nation’s top university.
Earlier in the day, a local broadcaster reported that prosecutors have kicked off an official probe into a hiring scandal at the vocal music department. Two professors are accused of giving unfair disadvantages to an applicant.
The investigation is expected to further hinder the department, which is already short-handed. A series of scandals surrounding its hiring process prevented it from hiring new professors and, as a result, only four of the seven teaching spots have been filled.
By Yoon Min-sik (firstname.lastname@example.org)