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Professors Support Embattled KU Chief

Posted February. 05, 2007 03:00,   


Some of Korea University professors belonging to the school’s faculty council are proposing a dismissal bill against the council’s chairman because the results of the investigation led by the chairman over the recent plagiarism scandal against the school president Lee Phil-sang allegedly lack credibility.

One professor who serves as a representative of faculty council said yesterday, “The fact-finding panel consisting of three members, including Bae Jong-dae, chairman of the faculty council, didn’t carry out the investigation in a neutral way and intentionally used the plagiarism scandal as a method to force the president to resign. He also added that, “We decided to submit a bill which demonstrates our distrust of the work undertaken by the panel because we were disappointed with its partial investigation and release of President Lee’s written explanation to the media.”

This bill will be implemented by calling for the dismissal of the council chairman. As of yesterday, 13 council members were in agreement with the dismissal bill.

According to the faculty council’s regulations, the dismissal bill can be proposed only when more than third of all full-time faculty members or more than third of council members agree. For the passage of the proposed bill, more than half council members must attend and more than two-thirds of attendees must vote for approval. Currently, the council has 36 members.

To propose this bill, professors plan to have a meeting today and make specific sentences for this bill.

According to related council members, the bill will show council members’ lack of confidence in the works of the fact-finding committee and claim that it carried out the investigation in a partial way, that council meetings were not conducted in a neutral way, that they intentionally condemned the president’s thesis as plagiarism, and that without permission, the panel released its investigation report and outcome to the media.

One member of the faculty council said, “The president demanded his written explanations back. Despite this, the panel intentionally distributed the copies, saying, ‘Feel free to take it,’ to reporters.

Another council member also said that, on February 2, it was announced that the council agreed, with 17 approvals and 12 objections, that the council would leave the examination of the investigation report in the hands of the school foundation. However, the truth was while 17 members wanted to present the report to the school foundation without a resolution because they couldn’t trust the outcome of investigation, 12 members opposed the panel’s investigation.

There is a significant difference between the president’s written explanation and the investigation report. In regard to this, Bae, chairman of the faculty council, sent an e-mail with Lee’s written explanation and the report to council members attached, and argued that, “Even though some suspect that there is a conspiracy going on against President Lee, the files I attached will prove that this is not so.”

In fact, President Lee’s position is greatly different from that of the fact-finding committee. According to its investigation, President Lee’s two theses published in 1988 perfectly plagiarized master’s theses of his students. However, Lee argued in his written explanation that, “I gave my ideas to my students and they completed their theses on that basis.”

Meanwhile, Hyun Seung-jong, chief director of the school foundation, said yesterday that, “We will have a talk over President Lee’s resignation in council meeting to be held February 9, and before this I will individually ask for directors’ opinions.”

The council, which consists of 14 directors, including a chief director, has the authority to decide on the president’s resignation and carry out an examination of this. The resignation will be confirmed with the approval of more than half of the directors.