The head of one of France’s top universities announced today that he is resigning after being summoned to court over a case domestic violence.

Mattias Visera, director of the prestigious university Sciences-Po in Paris, he became the target of a protest by angry students, who called for his resignation after he and his partner Anissa Bonfon were taken into custody in December accusing each other of domestic violence.

“I have been informed that my ex-partner and myself have been summoned to appear before a criminal court,” Viscera wrote in a message sent today to the institution’s teaching staff, explaining that he decided to resign to “protect” the faculty from any fallout due to her case.

Already, Vissera had temporarily resigned in January following the preliminary investigation ordered against him by the Paris prosecutor’s office and the occupation of the institution by students who protested against “immunity” for people who commit “sexual and sexist violence”, as they complained.

He insisted he had never committed domestic violence, but acknowledged that “trust may have been shaken”.

At Sciences Po Paris about 15,000 students attend, half of whom are foreign and 25% on scholarship.

Although it is often presented as the “factory of the French elite”, the Sciences Po Paris university has recorded scandals involving its leaders for about ten years, without for now its academic prestige being damaged.

Mattias Visera took over as head of Sciences Po Paris in November 2021 taking over from Frédéric Meon, who was forced to resign in February of that year for concealing suspicions of incest involving the famous analyst, constitutionalist and former Socialist Party MEP Olivier Diemel.

Diemel was then president of the National Foundation for Political Sciences (FNSP) which oversees Sciences Po Paris.

A former student of Sciences Po, from which he graduated in 2000, Matias Visera was a fellow student of the country’s president Emmanuel Macron at the National School of Administration (ENA), the flagship institution of the senior public sector.

Shortly after arriving as head of Science Po, he declared that his “absolute priority” would be to address sexual and gender-based violence.