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UNT administrators give more context on ousted Chinese scholars after briefing from local, federal law enforcement

UNT administrators give more context on ousted Chinese scholars after briefing from local, federal law enforcement

UNT administrators give more context on ousted Chinese scholars after briefing from local, federal law enforcement
September 03
23:02 2020

UNT administrators shed light on the recent expulsion of 15 visiting Chinese researchers in an email to faculty Thursday, alleging the university expelled them after receiving “specific and credible information” in briefings from federal and local law enforcement.

The email, sent by UNT Provost Jennifer Cowley and Mark McLellan, vice president of research and innovation, did not contain information about any charges or accusations against the scholars.

“We have taken this action based upon specific and credible information following detailed briefings from federal and local law enforcement,” the email reads. “Due to the sensitive nature of this situation, I hope you understand why we are not allowed to share additional information at this time.”

Last week the university sent emails to all 15 of the researchers affiliated with the Chinese Scholarship Council informing them their J-1 visas would be denied and they would lose their scholarships. UNT is the first school to take this action against the CSC, which funds students in 274 universities.

None of the affected scholars were enrolled at UNT as degree-seeking students.

Other scholars affiliated with the CSC have come under scrutiny for not disclosing their connections to the Chinese government. In June, A CSC-funded researcher at the University of California Davis fled the school for a Chinese consulate after being charged with visa fraud for undisclosed ties with the Chinese military, according to reports from the Davis Enterprise.

The announcement comes after UNT alumnus Liang Yuheng made a petition asking the university to reverse the decision to expel the scholars, claiming they were not prepared for the announcement.

Featured Image: A student walks past the Administration Building on Oct 3, 2019. The university has released the reasoning behind the expulsion of 15 visiting Chinese researchers after an online petition called for the reversal of the decision.  Image by Samuel Gomez

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