Tufts lecturer resigns after arrest at Harvard swimming pool

Blodgett Pool at Harvard University is pictured on Feb. 13. Alexander Thompson/The Tufts Daily

Tufts Gordon Institute lecturer Kaiser Fung was arrested on Feb. 5 at Harvard University’s Blodgett Pool and charged with secretly photographing a nude person. Tufts terminated Fung’s employment after being informed of the arrest on Feb. 8, according to Patrick Collins, Tufts’ executive director of public relations.

Boston attorney Patrick Sheehan, who is representing Fung, confirmed to the Daily that Fung had pled not guilty in criminal proceedings, which have been filed with the Brighton District Court.

“This is a matter being handled in court. That’s where it should be. There’s nothing further to add at this time,” Sheehan said.

Kevin Oye, the director of the Master’s of Science in Innovation and Management program at Tufts’ Gordon Institute, where Fung had been teaching two applied data science seminars this semester, told the Daily in an email that Fung had stepped down from his position at Tufts and that a new instructor will teach in his place.

At 6:21 p.m., a Harvard pool monitor called police to report that one of the pool’s patrons claimed that someone had filmed him in the shower of the men’s locker room, according to a Harvard University Police Department (HUPD) incident report obtained by the Daily.

The victim told the officers that he had noticed a man “walking laps” around the shower area in the pool locker room; this man was later identified as Fung. The victim thought this was suspicious but removed his clothes and began showering in one of the stalls.

The incident report goes on to say that Fung then went to the shower two spots over from the victim, but it does not say he turned on the shower or removed his clothes. The victim saw Fung pointing a black phone at him while trying to obscure it with his arm.

The victim told the officers that, when the victim turned toward Fung, Fung quickly put his arms and the phone at his sides; in doing so, the victim told the officers, the victim saw that the camera feature was on the phone’s screen.

When police arrived, Fung was still in the men’s locker room, where the victim positively identified him.

While walking him out of the locker room, the officers asked Fung if he knew why they wanted to talk to him. Fung responded, “Because of my phone, I am sorry.” According to the report, he then told the officers that “he likes to take pictures,” but that he had not taken any that day.

According to the incident report, upon arriving in an office in the pool building and being read his Miranda rights, Fung told the officers under his breath that he “did not take any pictures in a while” before insisting that he promised to delete everything and would not do it again and repeating that he was sorry.

When officers asked if they could examine his phone, Fung refused. When asked his identity, Fung lied, telling officers his name was Kai Feng and that he had no affiliation with Harvard. Fung’s archived biography on Tufts’ Gordon Institute website confirms that he is an alum of Harvard Business School. Police confiscated his cell phone to save the evidence of Fung’s crime and obtain a search warrant, according to the report.

HUPD arrested Fung for “photographing, videotaping, or electronically surveilling a partially nude or nude person,” a violation of Chapter 272 Section 105 B of Massachusetts’ general laws.

HUPD also issued Fung a verbal trespass warning for all Harvard University properties before booking him at a Boston police station in District D-14. The Daily has ascertained that Fung is no longer in detention.

A hearing on Fung’s case will take place on March 28, according to the Harvard Crimson.

Collins told the Daily in an email that Fung had been hired last fall and had only begun teaching this spring.

All Tufts staff undergo a background screening, according to Collins. Although Tufts’ Department of Human Resources cannot give details on Fung’s screening due to privacy concerns, HUPD did run a search for open warrants on Fung turned up nothing, according to the HUPD public police log.

When asked if a complaint had ever been lodged against Fung at Tufts, the Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) referred questions to Collins, who explained that Tufts does not release this information to preserve the confidentiality of reporting.

However, Collins did affirm that the Tufts University Police Department (TUPD) is working with HUPD while investigating internally and he urges any members of the community with additional information to contact TUPD or OEO.

Before coming to Tufts, Fung was an accomplished statistician. His biography on the Gordon Institute’s website said that Fung had received degrees from Princeton University and Cambridge University in addition to Harvard Business School before going on to work in leadership positions at Vimeo and American Express, founding Columbia University’s masters program in applied analytics and creating his own data analytics company, Principal Analytics Prep.

In addition, Fung has written two books about visualization and analytics, and his articles on the subject have appeared in The Daily Beast, Slate, FiveThirtyEight and The Financial Times. He writes the blog JunkCharts and wrote the book “Numbersense: How to Use Big Data to Your Advantage” (2013).


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