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USF says professor convicted of battery will be fired

TAMPA — The University of South Florida will fire an associate professor convicted this week in a May 2010 battery and burglary, USF officials said Thursday.

Qingnong Xiao, a 48-year-old hurricane researcher in the College of Marine Science's graduate program, was found guilty Tuesday and released on $5,000 bail. He will be sentenced Aug. 8.

Xiao remained employed through the conclusion of his trial. USF spokesman Michael Hoad said in a statement that Xiao would be informed Thursday of his dismissal, effective in 10 days.

Until now, USF was not privy to the full details of Xiao's arrest, Hoad said.

In accordance with university policy, Xiao met with his supervisor after the arrest and agreed that the supervisor would closely monitor him at work until the criminal case came to a verdict.

Hoad said the supervisor had the power to suspend Xiao if any issues arose, but none did.

"Bottom line: Despite how little we knew, this was closely monitored, and he knew USF was waiting for the court decision," Hoad wrote in an e-mail.

Xiao was not tenured. He had no prior disciplinary issues at USF, Hoad said. Under the collective bargaining agreement between USF and the United Faculty of Florida, Xiao, who earned more than $100,000 a year, has 10 days to respond to USF's intent to dismiss.

In the meantime, Xiao is banned from campus, Hoad said.

USF says professor convicted of battery will be fired 06/23/11 [Last modified: Friday, June 24, 2011 12:43am]

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