Mon, May 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

NTU student group seeks school reform

KUAN FALLOUT:The school is allowing the boundaries of academic misconduct to blur by refusing to probe the controversy surrounding its president-elect, the group said

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Criticizing National Taiwan University for failing to resolve the controversy over its president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), the National Taiwan University Student Association yesterday said it would propose a motion to review the school’s regulations at next month’s council meeting.

The Ministry of Education on April 27 said that Kuan was unqualified for the post because he had violated regulations by illegally serving as an independent director and a member of the salary and auditing committees at Taiwan Mobile, and that his election had been flawed due to a conflict of interest in the process.

A provisional school affairs meeting on Saturday decided that the university should urge the ministry to approve Kuan’s selection and that the school would take legal action if the ministry refused.

A motion proposed at that meeting by student association president Lin Yen-ting (林彥廷) calling for an overhaul of the legal and administrative disputes throughout the election process and increased percentage of student representatives on the election committee and university council was vetoed in a 66-52 vote.

By refusing to investigate the controversy surrounding Kuan or to review its regulations, the university is allowing the boundaries defining academic misconduct to blur, the association said yesterday.

“To resolve the controversy, the university must examine all related facts and have a sufficient legal basis. To better implement university autonomy, it must take on a more active and responsible role and overhaul its regulations,” the group said in a statement.

The association would propose a motion to review the university’s regulations at the next council meeting, scheduled for June 9, the group said.

In related news, former vice president Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) and former premier Simon Chang (張善政), both graduates of the university, yesterday issued a joint statement calling on the ministry to appoint Kuan.

“As alumni, we are urging the ministry to appoint Kuan as the university’s president based on Article 9 of the University Act (大學法) following the university council’s meeting on Saturday,” they said.

Their statement was not aimed at expressing support for any individual, they simply believe controversies should be resolved by adhering to the law, they said.

“We have respectively been the vice-president and premier for different ruling parties. We understand a transparent and fair environment is essential for high-quality public policies and that the basic principles of democracy and law that separate right from wrong must not be compromised,” they said.

According to Article 9, the ministry must appoint the president selected by public universities, Lu said in a separate statement.

If interested parties believe such an election was flawed, they can file for an administrative remedy after the appointment has been made, she added.

Lu was vice president during the first Democratic Progressive Party administration of then-president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁), while Chang was premier for a little more than three months during the second term of then-president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

Additional reporting by CNA and staff writer

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