A group of students from Shih Hsin University (SHU) yesterday asked the Ministry of Education to get involved in the school’s selection of a chairperson to prevent the university from being run as a family business.
Members of Shih Hsin University Students Labor Rights Group made the appeal during a protest in front of the ministry’s building in Taipei.
The university was established by Cheng She-wo (成舍我) in 1950s. Cheng’s daughter, Cheng Chia-ling (成嘉玲), succeeded him as SHU chairwoman.
Following the appointment of Cheng Chia-ling’s son, Chou Cheng-hu (周成虎), as SHU vice chairperson in November last year, some students said they believed Chou is planning to succeed his mother as chairperson.
Although the university is a private school, educational institutions should serve the public, the students said, expressing concerns that the school’s assets may become “family assets.”
Alleging that the family might have embezzled some of the school’s assets, the students asked the ministry to get involved in the selection of a chairperson and to launch an investigation into the university’s assets.
The students said that according to the school’s financial reports between 2008 and 2012, the school invested a total of NT$11,470,000 (US$328,300) in two companies — Taipei Online and Red Mushroom Digital — and Chou was one the board of directors of both companies.
Although the university said those were donations it gave to the cultural-oriented companies before Chou joined their board, the students said they suspected the Cheng family may have embezzled school assets though the investments.
Department of Higher Education Director Tseng Hsin-yuan (曾新元) said the ministry would send accountants to examine the university’s accounts.
The school said that it was regretful that the students made groundless accusations against Chou, adding that its financial reports have been certified by accountants.