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[Editorial] University’s Top Positions Filled With Leftist Professors

[Editorial] University’s Top Positions Filled With Leftist Professors

Posted March. 10, 2007 07:45,   


Prof. Kim Gi-seok at the Department of Education, Seoul National University, pointed out yesterday at a seminar on “The Future of Korean Universities and Governance in Education,” saying, “These days, a series of professors, former student activists, have turned into presidents of foundations, auditors and university presidents, and their leftist attitudes are no longer valid.” A previous editorial in Dong-A Ilbo on February 16 also criticized how pro-government figures dominate positions in the controversial ivory tower, and how university presidents, foundation presidents and temporary directors even get involved in for-profit entities, taking advantage of their university.

Some universities file complaints against school staff, and despite the judicial authority rulings of innocence, the temporary board of directors’ scheme continues. It is like providing jobs to leftist professors by stealing from incorporated schools and their founders. It manifests itself in how leftist forces sustain themselves both in and out of the political circle. The ruling power must not have been content with the temporary board of directors’ scheme after it enforced the amendment to the Private School Law that allowed outside directors to join a board at a supposedly immaculate school. Based on the excuse of previous school scandals, they tend to take advantage of politics in doing whatever they feel like with schools, even when that means providing jobs to leftists whose ideologies are no longer applicable.

Professor Kim criticized, saying that it is a leftist fallacy that Cheong Wa Dae even meddled in the college admission process and the Ministry of Education took control of these controversial issues. In fact, the president even criticized Seoul National University’s integrated essay test while the Ministry of Education distributed detailed guidelines on how to make essay questions to schools. University policies, including entrance policies, must be up to “experienced and wise professors who have taught all their life” as Professor Kim mentioned.

Officials at the Ministry of Education do not even dare to filter out leftist opinions of the “386 generation” (3 refers to people in their 30s in the 1990s, 8 to the 1980s when they were enrolled at universities, and 6 to the 1960s when they were born), and administrative secretaries who used to belong to the Korea Teachers and Educational Workers Union. They are just busy pressuring universities to push them into corners. Professor Kim believes that central administrative departments do not have the capacity to handle complex university tasks even as we consider their organization formation and personnel setup.

The current government seems to lack the willingness or capacity to realign quality education or curriculums for the future of Korea, although they recklessly have supported the high school standardization policy. Professor Kim’s criticism may also be applied to education content, as he said, “Too much ignorance in the government leads it to address the wrong reforms.”

Leftist ideology is harming Korean education. But I wonder if the children of leftists within and outside the political circle are being abandoned in de-standardized areas.