It has been confirmed that Professor Jan Joosten is no longer employed by the University of Oxford, following his conviction in France for the possession of 28,000 videos and images of child abuse.
A statement from the Oriental Institute confirmed that “as of Friday 3rd July, Professor Jan Joosten, who was Regius Professor of Hebrew, will no longer be employed by the University.”
The Oriental Institute has reached out to its students about Joosten’s conviction and has reassured them that they “utterly condemn his crimes.”
The Oriental Institute has also encouraged those affected to contact the University’s counselling service and to reach out with any further concerns. Ulrike Roesler, Chair of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, has said “We are also very aware of the anxiety and distress this has caused to his colleagues and students and will do the best we can to provide our support as a Faculty.”
Joosten was a Regius Professor of Hebrew at the Oriental Institute and one of the most highly regarded biblical scholars in the world. On 18 June, Joosten was sentenced by Saverne criminal court to one year in prison and has been placed on the sex offender register in France. Joosten was suspended from his position soon after.
On Friday, Christ Church released a statement that confirmed Joosten’s removal as a trustee of the college.
The statement added that the college “cannot begin to imagine the suffering endured by those in the images he accessed. Our thoughts are with them and with anyone who has been affected by this news.”