Wed, Sep 11, 2019 - Page 8 News List

[ LETTER ]

Comparing NTU presidents

During the time when he was a civil servant, National Taiwan University (NTU) president Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) received regular payment for writing unsigned editorials for Next Magazine.

On Monday last week, the Judicial Yuan’s Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission found Kuan guilty of illegally serving in a concurrent capacity, in contravention of the Civil Servant Work Act (公務員服務法), and issued a reprimand.

Chen Ping-hei (陳炳煇), a distinguished professor at the university, said that Kuan should decide according to his own conscience whether someone who has broken the law can serve as the school’s president.

Decide according to his own conscience? If Kuan had a conscience, he would not have made a Facebook post quoting lines from a poem by Tang Dynasty poet Chen Tzu-ang (陳子昂) that suggest that he has been done an injustice.

He clearly does not have the slightest remorse and is not qualified to remain in the post of NTU president.

More than two years ago, then-NTU president Yang Pan-chyr (楊泮池) stepped down unscathed over the university’s investigation of fabricated content in research papers authored by professor Kuo Min-liang (郭明良).

NTU academic vice president Kuo Tei-wei (郭大維) explained that while Yang was coauthor of some of the reports, he had indeed made major contributions to the research, and in adding his name as coauthor, he had not fabricated any experimental data, so there was no reason for Yang to have to resign because of it.

The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science and Technology each set up teams to investigate the case and, after confirming one another’s investigations, arrived at non-conflicting decisions.

However, an NTU ad hoc university committee meeting was still called to discuss the issue of Yang not serving a further term as NTU president, which accepted by acclamation Yang’s request not to serve another term.

Comparing the two cases, it is clear that Yang has much greater strength of character than Kuan.

Chang Hui-ju

New Taipei City

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