▲ Provided by the Korea University Communications Department
On March 14, the Faculty Senate of Korea University (FSKU) announced that it would conduct an intermediate evaluation for Korea University’s (KU) development from March 19 to 21. Last October, FSKU proclaimed that KU was in the critical situation. Out of 1,400 full-time professors, 591 faculty members participated in the evaluation and FSKU posted the result on Korea University Portal to Information Depository (KUPID), which succeeded in drawing attention from KU students. Nevertheless, the school authorities did not show any reaction to it. As a result, FSKU decided to make a progress, once more conducting the evaluation.
It may seem so sudden, especially if readers are freshmen, that professors made an action against the president, Kim Byoung-Chul, and the school foundation. Nonetheless, this evaluation was a quite natural decision of FSKU since they have failed to receive an answer to the professors’ statement about so-called “the crisis of KU” issued in the last October and several open questionnaires to the president and the foundation. Clearly mentioning that this evaluation will be the device that would make future presidents be faithful to their pledges, FSKU is determined to continue this intermediate evaluation also in the future.
Among the KU’s crisis asserted by FSKU, the main issues included an absence of communication between the faculty and the foundation and also a lack of the foundation’s outlook on the KU’s future. Specifically, FSKU required that president Kim propose an annual development plan, and a target figure of the collection by year. They also hope him to publish a white book which includes the on-going or finished results of his pledges. The crisis that FSKU pointed out not only entails the problems related to the president Kim and the foundation but also the general worries about the plunged reputation of KU, Sejong Campus, and the medical center.
Trying to make a change in this situation, FSKU held a faculty general assembly on December 6, 2012, the first general assembly in ten years. In the general assembly which both invited president Kim and the head director Kim Jae Ho who eventually did not attend, FSKU made the resolution that they would carry out intermediate evaluation toward the foundation and president Kim. As a result of three days of evaluation, FSKU summarized that the president Kim and the head director Kim Jae Ho did not suggest any specific vision, and that the result of their work was insufficient.
In detail, professors indicated the problems of run-down facilities of the school which negatively affect the research and learning environment. Professors from the College of Liberal Arts, the College of Science and the College of Engineering pointed out that there needs to be more financial support to the research buildings and excelling faculties.
Students, who have been watching the whole situation between FSKU and the foundation, are also stating their opinions about the issue. The Student Group of Labor’s Solidarity who also announced a statement when FSKU held the general assembly said, “We support the FSKU and we believe this is the crucial issue that all members of KU should pay attention to.” Also, the 45th Korea University Student Association (KUSA) joined the meeting on February 27 where FSKU gave the opening questionnaire to president Kim and the foundation.
Even though Kim answered to the intermediate evaluation that he would work harder, this situation is yet to be solved. The absence of communication and concrete outlook for KU has long been pointed out as problems of KU by the various members of school, but the firm change cannot happen in one day. Therefore remains the crisis that all member of KU need to tide over. “I believe that the foundation should manage the school transparently. If it opens all the information regarding budget-running and holds a meeting on a regular basis, for communications, there will be no other conflicts in the future,” exclaims Kim Soo Yeon ('12, English Language Education).