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A professor who was acquitted of charges of lying about his Chinese connections has been reinstated to his position at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. Anming Hu, a nanotechnology expert, returned to UT with tenure and received $300,000 in funding to restart his research program.

Faculty members at UT Knoxville had called on the university to reinstate Hu, a Canadian citizen who was terminated from UT Knoxville after losing his authorization to work in the U.S. in October 2020. Hu was one of a number of academics who were prosecuted under the umbrella of the Department of Justice’s controversial China Initiative.

“I feel it’s exciting,” Hu told the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It’s a new beginning. Even though I suffered a lot—it’s still painful in my heart—and the damage with my reputation, to my family, I think we have to move on. Very important things that we learn the lesson from the past and I don’t want to waste the time.”