“Harvard PhD Event” is a literal translation of the Chinese phase “哈佛博士事件”. It is referred to a media event ( plot) in China masterminded to defame the reputation of a Harvard doctorate.
In May, 2002, Dr. Lin Chen, a Harvard-educated scholar quit his position in the West and returned to China to lead a private college in Jinan, Shandong. Being the highest-paid college president, (20 times more than the average) in China’s history, Dr. Lin Chen made national headlines.
In a meeting with reporters shortly after he assumed the position, Dr. Lin Chen, a brilliant and outspoken intellectual, made remarks on some reporters’ ignorance and unprofessionalism. His remarks were viewed as offensive to the reporters. In revenge, these reporters later launched a series of accusations against Dr. Lin Chen. They accused, in newspaper articles, that Dr. Chen’s Harvard PhD degree was fake and that Dr. Chen’s credentials were fabricated. Dr. Lin Chen was immediately removed from his position as the president.
A few months later, as all the accusations were found groundless, Dr. Chen was first invited to be president of Wanda College in China and later in 2003, was appointed chair professor of finance by Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China.
Unprecedented in China’s modern history, this media event (plot) caught the public attention nationwide sensationally as it evolved and was documented as the “Harvard PhD Event."