Stanford University expresses unequivocal support for Chinese scholars

2021-02-20 02:06:03 GMT2021-02-20 10:06:03(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- President of Stanford University Marc Tessier-Lavigne expressed his unequivocal support for Chinese and Chinese American colleagues following the arrest of Gang Chen, a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), according to a statement released on the university's website.

"While we are not aware of the specifics of the case and cannot comment in detail, I want to reiterate Stanford's unwavering support for our international students and scholars, who are valuable members of our Stanford community. In particular, I want to make clear that we unequivocally support our Chinese and Chinese-American colleagues and their ability to study and work at Stanford," Tessier-Lavigne was quoted by the statement, which was released on Feb. 8, as saying at the Stanford Faculty Senate Meeting.

Chen, who is also a nanotechnology expert, faces federal charges for failing to disclose to the U.S. Department of Energy millions of dollars in research funding he allegedly received from a Chinese university. He was arrested on Jan. 14 and released on bail later, reports said.

Although universities, including Stanford, have a responsibility to attend to issues such as potential misappropriation of intellectual property and failures to disclose conflicts of interest and commitment diligently, "it is essential that such concerns are handled in a way to continue ensuring attract bright students and scholars to the university from all over the world, including China," it argued.

"It's critical that scholars continue to be able to collaborate in appropriate ways with researchers abroad and that they are not penalized for actions that are a normal part of free scholarly exchange," the statement said.

"This is a high priority for Stanford, and we'll continue to work with our peer institutions and national associations to advocate for policies that balance legitimate national security concerns with the need to protect freedom of inquiry and global collaboration in science," it added.

According to the university, students and scholars come to the United States to "learn, collaborate and make contributions to our fundamental research enterprise, which benefits the country and the world."

"We are firm in our commitment to welcoming them, and to sharing ideas and scholarship across borders. Our mission as a university depends upon the presence and participation of people from all over the world, from all walks of life, and we stand in full support of our international and immigrant communities," the statement noted.