• He Jiong resigned from Beijing Foreign Studies University.

He Jiong resigned from Beijing Foreign Studies University. (Photo : Google)

It's seldom that a school gets to have a celebrity as part of its staff; more so, as a faculty member. For students, imagine the reaction that will be elicited by having a teacher they only get to read on the papers and see on TV and on the big screen.

Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) lost this month a high-profile celebrity from its workforce when TV host-actor-singer-endorser He Jiong resigned. BFSU associate professor and librarian Qiao Mu prompted the decision when he revealed on Sino Weibo that He is still part of the university payroll despite being an absent employee since 2007.

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The 41-year-old multi-hyphenate celebrity is an alumnus of BFSU and held a teaching post at the Arabic Language Department. The dean of the department said that the school gave He a different responsibility in the alumni association when he got busy with his various commitments in the entertainment industry.

BFSU said in a statement posted on Weibo on May 17 that after staff reorganization took place in 2007, He got assigned to handle public relations work for the school. Aside from clearing his name for any controversy, BFSU also said that he resigned and returned all salaries received from 2007-2015. He confirmed his resignation on the same day after the school issued the statement.

Netizens expressed messages of support to He, who has 29,150,000 followers on his Weibo account as of March 2013; still, there are also those who think Qiao only did the right thing.

As others praised the character of He either as a celebrity or as a teacher to come to his defense, some defended Qiao's action as something any responsible employee or citizen would do.

Since BFSU said that it had He took another role in the school, shifting from being a teacher to that of an image builder, on a legal standpoint, it would only be but proper that he would receive just compensation since the new role retained him as a school employee. In the end, however, He said he didn't want his alma mater to be "in disputes" so he offered to resign.

And that is just exactly what he did. As an image builder, He carried out his task up to the very last minute.