Students at the University of Sydney have expressed outrage at the sudden ‘disappearance’ of Jason Chan from the School of Information Technologies (SIT). Chan was a popular lecturer who taught ENGG1801 (Engineering Computing), but as of Wednesday Week 13, he had been removed from the staff member list on the SIT webpage and his university email deactivated. Caren Han has since replaced him as unit coordinator of ENGG1801.
In a statement to Honi, the University denied Chan was fired but did not explain whether his removal was voluntary or forced. “Jason Chan is not currently teaching however he is still employed by the University. His employment has not been terminated.”
In his last recorded lecture in Week 12, Chan cryptically admitted he was not sure whether he’d be able to teach for much longer. “I can’t explain entirely why, I’ll just tell you there’s some really evil people running around.”
Chan claimed the reason for his leaving involved a lecturer who deliberately reduced the marks of students who lodged complaints about him or his course. “I’ve been fighting this guy and he’s just super evil you have no idea. I could go on about it but I won’t.” Chan admitted to his students he “did something a little naughty” and “confronted” this lecturer.
“I’m not entirely sure if i’m going to be here or not. I can’t explain entirely why, I’ll just tell you there’s some really evil people running around… really really evil people running around. I’m not naming names but there is a lecturer… not me, just to make this very clear… when I first heard this I didn’t believe it… but now I actually believe it’s true. There is a lecturer who deliberately reduces students’ marks for students he knows that complain against him. I’ve been fighting this guy… this guy is corrupt… you have no idea how evil this is… He does much worse things… so if you’ve noticed that I’ve been a bit down these last few weeks that’s why. I’ve been fighting this guy and he’s just super evil you have no idea. I could go on about it but I won’t. So I don’t know if I’ll be here next week because I just did something a little naughty and I confronted him. So yeah I won’t say anymore but I’m just telling the truth.”
By the next lecture, Chan had disappeared. He was a well-loved figure in the Engineering and IT faculty—former students disclosed Chan would reach out to them and lend books if they requested. Chan’s ENGG1801 course has received a Faculty Unit of Study Evaluation Commendation since the award was first introduced in 2012. The course, which is typically taken by 800 students per semester, has an average overall satisfaction rate of 4.19/5 in Unit of Study surveys.
Honi understands the current debacle surrounding Chan is reflective of allegations of broader internal corruption in USyd’s School of IT, a situation that has reportedly been going on for years.
More to come.