A meeting between Stanford University President Donald Kennedy and a controversial China scholar expelled from the university two years ago has ended in charges that Stanford is improperly delaying a decision on the scholar's appeal by raising issues not covered in the original dismissal.
Steven Mosher, whose research on abortion in southern China helped spark U.S. congressional efforts to cut off U.N. aid to Peking, described his meeting Tuesday with Kennedy as "dismaying."
He said Kennedy refused to say when he would act on Mosher's appeal and questioned Mosher for an hour on use of research funds.
University spokesman Bob Beyers said that Kennedy was attempting to "resolve ambiguities in the record" and that "no new subject matter was introduced." He agreed that Kennedy had not indicated when he would rule on the case but noted that, since its inception, the case has been delayed several times at Mosher's request.
Mosher was expelled from the university's doctoral program in anthropology in February 1983 by an 11-to-0 vote among department faculty. He was charged with "illegal and seriously unethical conduct" in China that "endangered his research subjects," but the faculty declined to provide details, saying "innocent persons" in China might be hurt.
Stanford and Mosher have declined to release the university's detailed report on his alleged activities in China, but a Chinese government official charged him with illegally attempting to drive into the restricted province of Guizhou and export antique coins.
The Chinese also complained about Mosher's publication of photographs of women about to undergo forced abortions in the last three months of their pregnancies.
Mosher's attorney, Steven Fabbro, arranged the meeting with Kennedy in a Palo Alto law office. Mosher's appeal has been rejected by a special panel and the graduate school dean, but Kennedy has spent more than a year reconsidering the case. Mosher said he hoped for a reversal rather than a court fight.
Mosher said most of Kennedy's questions in the last hour of their 1-hour, 40-minute meeting were about $13,500 in funds from the Hoover Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities that Mosher used to photograph and catalog thousands of documents made available to him by local Chinese officials.
He said Kennedy asked him where he purchased the camera and film for the project and where the camera is. Mosher said he has it because researchers are allowed to keep equipment purchased with grant funds.
Before his dismissal, Mosher had declined to turn over the document photographs to the university on grounds that he needed them for research. Since the dismissal, he has published two books, "Broken Earth," about repression in rural China, and "Journey to the Forbidden China," about his trip to Guizhou.