Ex-Tembusu College don accused of sexual misconduct: How NUS handled complaints from 2 students

SINGAPORE – The National University of Singapore (NUS) lodged a police report against former Tembusu College don Jeremy Fernando, following complaints that he engaged in sexual misconduct with two students.

The university on Wednesday (Oct 21) released a timeline of the complaints and investigations leading up the sacking of Dr Fernando.

Aug 27: Tembusu College receives a complaint from a student against Dr Jeremy Fernando.

Aug 31: Dr Fernando is suspended from duty and prohibited from contacting any student or staff of NUS, or attending his workplace other than for the purpose of assisting in the university’s investigations.

A No Contact Order is issued to him to prohibit him from contacting the first complainant in person or through any other means, whether on or off campus. 

The student is interviewed on her complaint. A Victim Care Unit (VCU) care officer explores with the student the option of making a police report and assures her of continued support by VCU through the process if she chooses to do so, including accompanying her to the police station. The student decides not to report the matter to the police.

Sept 1: Dr Fernando is interviewed by NUS on the first complaint. 

Sept 5: NUS completes its internal investigation of the first complaint.

Sept 7: NUS receives a second complaint from a student against Dr Fernando. A VCU care officer explores with the student the option of making a police report and assures her of continued support by VCU through the process if she chooses to do so, including accompanying her to the police station. A director from Tembusu College also provides the same advice. The student decides not to report the matter to the police.

Sept 9: The second student is interviewed on her complaint.

Sept 14: A No Contact Order is issued to Dr Fernando following the second complaint, to prohibit him from contacting the second complainant in person or through any other means, whether on or off campus. 

Sept 21: NUS completes its internal investigation of the second complaint.

Dr Fernando is informed of the alleged misconduct and is given seven working days to respond with additional information/mitigating factors. 

Sept 30: Dr Fernando responds to NUS.

Oct 7: Dr Fernando is informed of his dismissal, following internal investigations on his conduct. 

The two students are informed of the outcome of their complaints, in separate sessions. VCU care officers explore with the students the option of making a police report and assure them of continued support by VCU through the process if they choose to do so, including accompanying them to the police station. The students decide not to report the matter to the police.

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Oct 18: Tembusu College sends an e-mail to all staff and students to inform them of Dr Fernando’s dismissal.

Tembusu College continues face-to-face engagement with students, student leaders and staff in small groups.

Oct 19: VCU care officers contact the students who filed the complaints to check on their well-being.

Tembusu College continues face-to-face engagement with students, student leaders and staff in small groups.

Ongoing: Tembusu College will continue to engage students to address their concerns. The students who filed the complaints are being supported by the VCU. Tembusu College directors will also continue to support the student under their care. 

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