Ex-Olympian joins faculty amid controversy

Updated: 2015-12-07 07:40

By SUN XIAOCHEN(China Daily)

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Ex-Olympian joins faculty amid controversy

File photo of Deng Yaping, former Olympic champion table tennis player. [Photo/IC]

Fang Liufang, a professor of law at the university, joined the debate on Sunday, saying that Deng's previous academic research and her specialty in athletic training were not enough to qualify her for the new role.

Neither Deng nor university officials responded on Sunday.

Xiong Bingqi, vice-president of 21st Century Education Research Institute, an NGO concerned with educational policy, told news website thepaper.cn on Sunday that it is normal for a university to appoint an adjunct professor, especially celebrities, on a part-time basis, even with relatively low academic credentials, if the person has specialized experience.

Every university has its own rules, standards and systems for faculty appointments, and accepting celebrities as faculty members has been a common way to promote a program, Xiong said.

Deng, now 42, claimed the women's singles and doubles gold medals back to back at the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Games and also won 18 world championship titles. She retired in 1997 and has played various high-profile roles in her post-athletic career.

After serving on the International Olympic Committee's ethics commission in the early 2000s, Deng joined the Beijing 2008 Olympic Organizing Committee as an executive. She was then appointed as deputy secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the Communist Youth League of China in 2009. One year later, she was appointed deputy secretary-general of People's Daily, her current position.


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