SMU calls the bluff of assistant professor
She applied for a position with the Singapore Management University (SMU), and her appointment as an assistant professor of finance with the Lee Kong Chian School of Business was even announced in the institution’s newsletter.
But 11 months later, Ms Margaret Zhu is gone.
Her profile has been deleted from the official SMU faculty website and emails sent to her bounced.
All this because the two academic papers in her resume, listed as conditionally accepted at Journal of Finance (JF) and Review of Financial Studies (RFS), were not.
This alleged lie floated to the surface at a forum called Economics Job Market Rumors two weeks ago.
JF, a peer-reviewed academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Finance Association, is considered to be one of the premier finance journals.
Also a peer-reviewed academic journal, RFS is published by the Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies and a premier finance journal.
Mr Christopher Brunet, the founder and chief executive officer of Substack, an American online platform that provides publishing, payment, analytics and design infrastructure, followed up with the two journals and found neither of the acceptances exist.
A spokesman for SMU told TheHomeGround Asia that the tertiary institution expects faculty to demonstrate integrity in their conduct: “SMU adheres to strict standards in its faculty hiring processes as the quality of faculty at SMU is paramount to the University’s efforts in delivering a high quality education and conducting leading-edge research."
In this particular case, the SMU spokesman said: “The University had sought to validate some concerns we had… and we concluded that some of the individual’s academic claims were not accurate.”
Ms Zhu’s employment with SMU ceased with effect from May 1.
SMU added it will be reviewing “our vetting procedures on academic writing and address any gaps to prevent such incidents from recurring”.
This article was first published in The HomeGround.asia.