130 Wellesley professors, comprising 40% of the faculty, have urged university administrators to consider severing ties with its partner school, Peking University. In a signed petition, the professors said the prestigious Chinese university had committed a “violation of academic freedom” after it had scheduled a vote against an outspoken economics professor, Xia Yeliang. The vote will determine whether Prof. Xia will keep his job.
Xia became a prominent voice of reform in 2008 when he signed a manifesto calling for democratic reforms and an end to China’s one-party system. If Xia is dismissed, the Wellesley professors wrote, “We, as individuals, would find it very difficult to engage in scholarly exchanges with Peking University.”