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KU President Steps Down from Post

Posted February. 16, 2007 07:21,   


Under fire because of plagiarism accusations, Korea University President Lee Phil-sang announced on February 15 that he would step down from his post after only 56 days.

“President Lee has expressed to the chairman of the board of trustees his will to resign, saying that he hopes the current situation can be concluded smoothly,” said the director of the Office of External Affairs and Development Lee Seung-hwan in a press conference held at 2:00 p.m. at the main building of the university.

In a confidence vote held on February 14 which he called himself, the president secured the support of 424 out of 478 faculty members who voted, a 88.7% support rate. Nevertheless, the dispute remained unsettled when it turned out that only a small part of the entire faculty population of 1,219 took part in the vote, and that the legitimacy of the ballot itself was questionable.

“President Lee has consulted with many people and made his decision,” Lee Seung-hwan explained.

“Although the decision is to be made at a meeting of the board of trustees on February 23, Lee’s resignation is, in effect, accepted,” commented Hyun Seung-jong, chairman of the board of trustees, in a press conference around 4:00 p.m. at Inchon Memorial Hall after the president made his resignation official.

“As soon as possible, a board meeting will be opened in order to discuss the following measures that need to be taken. The resignation of the vice president of Academic Affairs will be turned down so that he can take the post of acting president and so that an administrative vacuum can be avoided. As both direct and indirect styles of presidential elections have revealed their defects, we will consider introducing a nomination system, although this is a matter to be concluded in the board meeting,” Hyun said.

Regarding Lee’s resignation, the chairs of the Professors’ Council announced, “We welcome the decision of Lee, as he has been the central figure of this controversy thus far. Starting from the election of the next president, we will verify the candidates in various aspects so that this kind of dispute which impedes the university’s development will not occur again.”