Sacked National University of Singapore prof admits inappropriate behaviour towards student, claims ‘everything was consensual’


Friday, 29 Apr 2022 01:12 PM MYT

SINGAPORE, April 29 — National University of Singapore (NUS) professor Ethan Putterman, who was sacked for inappropriate behaviour towards a student, had last month admitted his mistake and offered to resign, he told TODAY on Friday (April 29).

“I’ll just say that everything was demonstrably consensual and, after admitting it, I resigned from NUS (on March 23) and they accepted it,” said Putterman, who was an associate professor at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences’ political science department.

Putterman had been suspended from work while the university was investigating a complaint regarding allegations of misconduct, the university told TODAY on Thursday.

Putterman said on Friday: “This said, NUS chose to fire me regardless and go public with it despite my almost 21 years of service to the university. I’m not bitter, though, we all make mistakes and life goes on. 

“I wish everyone the best. Honestly.”

On Thursday, an NUS spokesperson said that a committee of inquiry had “determined that the staff’s actions constituted inappropriate and unprofessional behaviour towards the student, hence breaching the code of conduct for NUS staff”. The spokesperson did not elaborate on the act that caused his dismissal.

“Based on the findings of the committee of inquiry and in view of the serious nature of the misconduct, the staff’s employment with the university has been terminated,” the spokesperson added.

TODAY has reached out to the victim for comments. 

She had made a complaint of sexual misconduct on March 3, TODAY earlier reported, alleging that the act happened on campus earlier that month. She also made a police report on her own accord.

Police investigations are under way.

Putterman’s dismissal was at least the fourth sacking of an NUS employee in the past 18 months for their behaviour and actions towards students. 

It followed the firing of another professor from the same department, Professor Theodore G Hopf , whom the university found had engaged in sexual misconduct.



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