Guizhou University pushes for power to impeach school presidents

A Chinese university is floating an idea for students and teachers to play a bigger part in university management, including the removal of presidents.

The Guizhou University bylaws, if approved by the Education Ministry, would allow its student council and teachers′ union to propose impeachment of their president if suspected of misconduct and negligence, university head Zheng Qiang said on Friday on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

But Zheng gave no word on what steps the university and local education authority would take after they received such a proposal.

The president, also a National People′s Congress delegate, said the proposed bylaws would also allow students and teachers to attend his office meetings and public hearings on major reform plans for the university.

"We think it is a big step forward [in university management reform]," Zheng said.

He added that realising such plans would help students and teachers to better exercise their rights.

Since 2012, the ministry has encouraged mainland universities to introduce their own bylaws to promote more independent campuses.

Forty-seven universities have already had their bylaws passed by the ministry, but Guizhou University is the first to seek such a degree of power, according to Zheng.

"It is very important to have our own bylaws. We must manage our campus by the bylaws, instead of [changing our management] due to replacement of presidents," he added.

Three years ago, Zheng left the post of deputy party chief at Zhejiang University after working there for nearly two decades to chair Guizhou University in southwestern China.

His comments came after the country′s lawmakers and policy advisers heavily criticised the government for frequently changing administrative chiefs at universities and excessively interfering in school management.

"[The mainland authorities] should have ruled the schools by law, not by the word of a certain minister or party chief," Ge Jianxiong, a Fudan University professor and delegate of the Chinese People′s Political Consultative Conference, told reporters this week on the sidelines of a panel discussion.


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