Go to contents

[Opinion] `Beautiful Mind` of the University

Posted April. 09, 2002 08:53,   


The stage of `beautiful mind` that won 4 academy awards like the best picture, director etc last month is Princeton University, which has high reputation in East U.S.

There are 31 professors who won the Nobel Prize besides mathematics professor John Nash, who was bestowed Nobel Prize for Economics for his thesis of `non-cooperative game` that was written by him in 20`s for doctorate in this university.

In the movie, there are two similar scenes in which professor in Princeton University present fountain pen, which they used to use, as a sign of respect to fellow professor for his great academic achievement.

The scene in which professors put their fountain pen on the table of professor Nash, who was forgotten after suffering from Schizophrenia, after presenting genius thesis in 20`s and became the candidate for Nobel Prize in 60`s was quite touching.

The U.S. reputed universities boast the number of professors who won the Nobel Prize on their publication of the university.

Harvard University ranks first in this field as it has 39 professors who have won the Nobel Prize.

For us who have no Nobel Prize winners in the field of academics, it is envious that Universities of high reputation in U.S. have so many Nobel Prize winners in Professor List.

Recently election campaign for next President in several universities besides Seoul National University is getting over heated bearing side effects like treating dinner, dividing them according to academics and region, therefore, people are concerned about it.

There is a word that the professor, who buys sliced raw fish from Japanese restaurant, gets elected and the professor who buy Seolung- tang loses the elections.

Even in the election for basic assembly, if candidates campaign by buying meals or treating liquor, they lose qualification even if they win the election or get criminal punishment; however there is no nullification in the election for President of university.

If we observe the procedure of Harvard University for electing the President, I think it maintains the position of the best university in the world not only because of excellent students` entrance.

When former President Neil Rudenstine announced that he will resign after one year, in June 2000, Harvard University carried the procedure to search for 29th president.

The President Recommendation committee (PRC) was formed by directors of foundation, etc, and it sent 300,000 letters to staff, students, alumni, government and non-profitable organization to recommend President keeping in view the quality and capacity.

PRC called professors, representative students of college and post graduate school and listened to their opinion for the next President as well as they met staff of other rival universities

500 candidates were selected through such procedures and former President Bill Clinton, Senator Hillary, former Chief in National health center Harold Varmus and Finance Minister Lawrence Summers were included in the list.

Final selection was done by foundation and supervisory committee which was formed by those who possess degree of Harvard University.

President Sermus thought that Harvard University didn`t provide education which students need in high speed global society and is promoting reformation.

He made strict rules for managing mark sheet which were given `B` grade usually and advises professors to spend more time with the students.

And he is promoting ambitious project to make Cambridge and Boston where Harvard University is located as the second Silicon Valley.

President in U.S. Universities are busy in calling and hosting parties in order to collect donation.

Annual donation in Harvard University surpasses 18 billion dollars.

President who has various experience of public work is obviously excellent in collecting donation than petty Presidents who are selected from professors.

Korean Universities chose the election system in which Professors elect President, when stream of democracy and freedom was bursting in each society after 6.29, year 1987.

It is also true that direct election for President somehow contributed to reformation and democratization of university.

Before direct election, President of National University was filled with parachute personnel who were involved in politics and in some private universities there were compromises of foundation and despotism of President.

However, direct election is exerting more harm to universities now.

The side that won the election distributes designations in university as a prize and professors who didn`t get preference became the opposition during President`s term.

The President, who is elected due to division, finds hard to promote reformation, which is the needed pain of members, internally and has limitation to receive support of university through wide activity externally.

We might be able to have hope for Nobel Prize in academic field when the culture that gives respect to academic achievement, which beautiful mind creates, settles down in place of politics in university, which pursues the designation.

Hwang Ho-Taek (Editorial Writer)