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Davis, California

Friday, April 19, 2024

UC Davis professor Ting Guo fired after being accused of sexually assaulting a high school student

An external investigation into the university’s handling of the matter is underway 


By KAYA DO-KHANH — campus@theaggie.org


On Thursday, Jan. 19, UC Davis Professor Ting Guo was dismissed from the faculty of UC Davis after being accused of sexually assaulting a high school student in 2010. The decision was made by the Board of Regents at the request of UC Davis Chancellor Gary S. May and at the recommendation of UC President Michael Drake, according to a statement by UC Davis

“We are grateful that the regents agreed with our recommendation to terminate the employment of Dr. Guo effectively immediately,” May said in the statement. “Sexual misconduct is not tolerated at UC Davis. We encourage people to report abuse and seek support.”

The chemistry professor, who was employed by the university for more than two decades, was placed on academic leave in early 2021 after an investigation by the UC Davis Title IX found that he had sexually assaulted a high school student who had worked in his laboratory. The investigation began after a 2018 civil lawsuit against Guo alleged that in 2010, the professor sexually assaulted the student multiple times at his home, according to a recent press release

Court documents state that Guo’s accuser grew up in the Davis area and met Guo when she was 18 years old while completing an AP chemistry assignment that involved shadowing a working chemist. She began shadowing him in January 2010, according to an article from the San Francisco Chronicle

Guo was a mentor in the Young Scholars Program, a summer program in which high school students complete a research project in a campus lab and work one-on-one with research faculty, until 2019. The university said in another statement that the woman involved was never enrolled as a student at UC Davis and was not a part of the Young Scholars Program.

“Due to issues related to student and employee privacy laws, we are unable to address or confirm specific details of the process,” the statement from the university reads. “We can confirm that the internal processes remain ongoing, and appropriate UC policies and procedures are being followed to address this serious matter.”

The university said that by request of Chancellor May, an external investigation into UC Davis programs involving youth will be conducted.

Written by: Kaya Do-Khanh — campus@theaggie.org