Following a conflict-of-interest controversy surrounding the election of National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), the Ministry of Education yesterday said it has again ordered the university to clarify the matter following requests from the Control Yuan and lawmakers.
A 21-member committee elected Kuan on Jan. 5. However, it was later revealed that Kuan was an independent director of Taiwan Mobile and company vice chairman Richard Tsai (蔡明興) was a committee member.
Kuan failed to disclose his connection with Tsai prior to the election, and Tsai did not recuse himself from the election.
Photo: Huang Yao-cheng, Taipei Times
The alleged conflict of interest prompted the Democratic Progressive Party caucus to issue a resolution yesterday demanding that the ministry “halt the appointment until the questionable [practice] involved in the selection of NTU’s president is investigated.”
Kuan is scheduled to take office on Thursday next week.
Asked if Kuan’s inauguration might be delayed, Department of Personnel Director Chen Kun-yuan (陳焜元) said the ministry “does not want any delay in the [inauguration] process and NTU has been urged to make an immediate response.”
The ministry has a standard procedure to deal with the controversial election of university presidents, he said.
That procedure was followed after the election in October last year of National Yang-Ming University president Steve Kuo (郭旭崧), whose eligibility was questioned as he was an associate professor instead of a professor, Chen said, adding that the university was asked to clarify the eligibility criteria and selection process.
Ordered by the ministry earlier this month to clarify the situation, the NTU committee on Jan. 11 said no rules were broken in the election.
As the Control Yuan on Monday ordered the ministry to probe the scandal, it has reissued the order to the committee.
“NTU has to respond to the issue in an appropriate manner,” Chen said.
Committee spokeswoman Yuan Hsiao-wei (袁孝維) reiterated the Jan. 11 statement, saying that there was no condition that would disqualify Tsai as a committee member.
As a secret ballot was used for the election, comments about committee members’ votes were purely conjecture, Yuan said.
The chief mechanic in an air force unit from which an F-16 and its pilot went missing last week died on Sunday evening in what might have been a suicide, the Ministry of National Defense said yesterday. The ministry in a statement confirmed media reports that the mechanic, surnamed Huang (黃), “hurt himself” at a military barracks. Huang was taken to Hualien Armed Forces General Hospital after he was found unresponsive in the barracks, but doctors could not revive him, the ministry said. Huang served in the 26th Tactical Fighter Group of the 5th Tactical Fighter Wing, the same unit as the missing
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) last night said that it had no comment about reports that a senior US Navy officer had arrived in Taipei for a visit. Several media outlets reported that Rear Admiral Michael Studeman, director of intelligence of the US Indo-Pacific Command, arrived at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) on a special charter flight at about 7pm. The schedule of a “senior US official” in Taiwan would not be made public, the ministry said in a news release, without confirming the visit or the official’s identity. Interactions and exchanges between Taiwan and the US are common, and visits
NON-TYPICAL: Apart from Atsani, storms in autumn missed Taiwan, rainfall has been lower and average temperatures have been higher, a CWB forecaster said The current water shortage is expected to worsen in the next few months, with the Central Weather Bureau (CWB) yesterday forecasting a colder, dryer winter than normal. With winter starting next week, the bureau at a media briefing outlined the expected conditions through February and reviewed autumn’s significant weather events. Weather Forecast Center director Lu Kuo-cheng (呂國臣) said that autumn this year had three major characteristics: First, 13 tropical storms and typhoons formed from September to this month, up from 11 in the same period last year, Lu said. Apart from Atsani, for which sea and land alerts were issued in Taiwan, the tropical
The US’ inclusion of Taiwan in its Indo-Pacific Strategy is geared toward weakening Beijing’s influence in Southeast Asia, as well as providing a Blue Dot Network to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative, a senior Executive Yuan member said yesterday. Taiwan and the US would be seeking further collaboration on infrastructure construction and energy, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The US and Taiwan signed a memorandum of understanding on the Framework to Strengthen Infrastructure, Finance and Market Cooperation on Sept. 17, which would see the Ministry of Finance and the US Department of the Treasury establishing respective task