Go to contents

Students Cite Professors for Negligence

Posted November. 29, 2005 07:51,   


With Seoul National University (SNU) President Chung Un-chan’s statement: “SNU has some professors who come to school only once a week” spurring controversy, we conducted a survey with Sookmyung Women’s University’s Communication Division professor Cho Jung-ryeol and his team on actual professor negligence in universities.

A total of 528 university students from 103 universities nationwide responded to our survey Thursday and Friday, and 62.1%, or 328 students, agreed with President Chung’s statement.

According to the survey, students said that almost all of their classes have been canceled at least once, and over half of the students (56.1%, or 296 students) responded that there were no make-up classes. The reasons cited for the cancellation of lectures by the professors were mostly personal reasons (58.7%, or 310), which far exceeded official reasons, such as school events (33.9%, or 179).

Students who have either given up in or avoided taking a class because of a certain professor accounted for 50.9%, or 269 students. A total of 46%, or 243 students, never had appointments with their professors during a whole school year.

As the survey shows, student complaints about professors’ negligence of their major duties, such as giving lectures, are high, but professor’s non-academic activities outside the school are more vigorous than ever.

Last year, 103 educators (mostly professors) ran for the 17th general election, which is a dramatic increase compared to the 16th general election, when 55 ran for office. Of the 1,282 committees of 88 government commissions, 40%, or 508, were professors at the same time.

Moreover, of the SNU professors, more than 200 are involved in venture businesses, 50 of whom are chief directors. A total of 50 professors are also working as outside directors of companies. In addition, 40 professors have stayed in foreign countries longer than the foreign travel regulations of school allow them to during the semester (20 days).

Things that would never be tolerated at universities in developed countries, such as lecture cancellations without prior notice or loose lectures, are being openly practiced in Korea’s so-called prestigious schools.

Jae-Myoung Lee Se-Jin Jung egija@donga.com mint4a@donga.com