6 June 2024

Rector of Silpakorn University, Chaicharn Thavaravej, resigned yesterday (Monday) over alleged sexual harassment after he posted a photo of a female flight attendant, accompanied by an inappropriate comment, on his Facebook page last week.

In his resignation letter, addressed to the university council chairman yesterday, Chaicharn admitted that he did post the photo and improper caption, but had no intention to harm or tarnish anybody’s image.

He also said, however, that public reaction to his allegedly improper act is tarnishing the image of the university and, for the benefit of all concerned, he is taking full responsibility by quitting as the rector with immediate effect, or when the university council has appointed an acting rector to replace him.

After the uproar on social media last week, the rector claimed in his Facebook post that he didn’t mean any harm when he took the photos of airhostesses at work, adding that he often posts pictures on his Facebook page, but did not consider that it amounted to sexual harassment.

In the caption on the photo of a Vietjet flight attendant, taken during a flight to Chiang Rai, he said that, when he travels by plane, he usually takes photos of air hostesses so his subordinates could “salivate”.

Yesterday, a group of Silpakorn University lecturers and students submitted an open letter, signed by over 2,000 people, to the chairman of the university council demanding an investigation into Chaicharn’s alleged misconduct.

Last Friday, former senator and candidate in the Bangkok gubernatorial election Rosana Tositrakul posted to her Facebook page asking the Silpakorn University council how it should be held accountable for the alleged misconduct of the rector, which she described as sexual harassment.