Professor appeals over dismissal due to borrowing from students

The Court of Final Appeal (TUI) has set aside the appeal of a professor who asked for more than one million patacas in compensation over his dismissal from the Macao Polytechnic Institute (IPM).

Last week, TUI released a statement reporting the ruling regarding the IPM professor’s appeal.

The former IPM professor started working at the institution back in 2003; his contract was renewed several times. In 2014, he was hired by IPM as a lecturer and taught several courses.

Between 2013 and 2014,  he borrowed money, on multiple occasions, from two of his students at the time, subsequently failing to pay the money back despite his promise to do so.

After a disciplinary procedure, IPM dismissed the professor in May of 2015 on the grounds that he had violated IPM’s staff principles. The principles state that staff should not take advantage of their position for personal gain. 

The former professor filed a lawsuit at the Court of First Instance (TJB) against IPM, stating that his situation did not constitute reasonable dismissal. He asked the school to compensate him with a total of 1.29 million patacas for his unfair dismissal, his retirement and non-property damages.

After the TJB turned down his appeal, the former IPM professor appealed to the Court of Second Instance (TSI) believing that his behavior had not violated his obligation to avoid conflicting interests, nor was it “too serious.” Both the TJB and the TSI turned down the former professor’s appeal.

TSI ruled that the appellant, clearly knowing that he should not have borrowed money from the students and that his behavior would bring damage to the students and his faculty, still sought to borrow the funds, which indicated that his behavior was intentional and the degree of intention was high. 

The TUI supported the TSI’s verdict. JZ

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