Tue, Nov 21, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Academia Sinica denies swaying NTU president’s selection

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Academia Sinica has not tried to intervene in the selection process for the president of National Taiwan University (NTU), even though its vice president is one of the candidates, Academia Sinica President James Liao (廖俊智) said during a legislative session yesterday.

The university has set up a 21-member ad hoc committee for the selection that includes nine NTU faculty members and student representatives, nine NTU alumni and others from the general public, and three representatives selected by the Ministry of Education.

Academia Sinica Vice President Chou Mei-yin (周美吟) and former Academia Sinica vice president Wang Fan-sen (王汎森) are among the eight candidates for the position, while Liao and other academics from the institution are part of the committee.

Media reports suggested the selection would take place in the shadow of the institution’s influence.

Several lawmakers from the legislature’s Education and Culture Committee raised concerns about the issue when Liao delivered the institution’s policy report.

He and other academics had not sought to become committee members, but were “passively” recommended to sit on the committee, Liao said.

There is no question of influence from Academia Sinica, he said, responding to questions from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃).

Chou does not have to resign from her position, given the selection is not a political election and her work will not be affected, he said.

However, Liao’s participation in the selection is “inappropriate,” considering that Chou is his subordinate at Academia Sinica, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said.

“Academia Sinica has become intertwined with the nation’s political and economic fabric since [the indictment of] former Academia Sinica president Wong Chi-huey (翁啟惠),” she said.

Ko urged Liao to leave the committee to avoid a conflict of interest.

Liao said he would not take the advice, adding that legitimate procedure is essential to the selection process.

DPP Legislator Rosalia Wu (吳思瑤) defended Liao’s stance, saying he is fulfilling his social responsibility and that the issue has been unduly “politicized.”

Other than Chou and Wang, candidates for the presidency include former NTU acting president Chang Ching-jui (張慶瑞), former NTU College of Liberal Arts dean Chen Juo-shui (陳弱水), NTU College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science dean Chen Ming-hsien (陳銘憲), NTU Institute for Advanced Studies in Humanities and Social Sciences dean Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), former Institute for Information Industry president Wu Jui-pei (吳瑞北) and National Tsing Hua University vice president Wu Cheng-wen (吳誠文).

Candidates are to present their plans for the school in four meetings from Monday to Friday next week that are to be livestreamed.

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