Tue, Jun 05, 2018 - Page 3 News List

NTU hires lawyer to push Kuan appointment through

DETERMINED:National Taiwan University’s presidential election committee vowed it would continue to fight for higher education by safeguarding university autonomy

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

National Taiwan University (NTU) yesterday said it has hired a lawyer and aims to file an administrative appeal requesting that the Ministry of Education appoint “legally elected” candidate Kuan Chung-Ming (管中閔) as the school’s president.

Kuan was elected NTU president by the university’s presidential election committee on Jan. 5, but the ministry on April 27 said that he was unqualified for the post, because he had not informed the school that he was serving as an independent director and a member of the salary and auditing committees at Taiwan Mobile, and because the election had been compromised by a conflict of interest.

The ministry on May 4 informed NTU that it should conduct a new election, even though the university had explained various issues related to Kuan’s case multiple times in the previous four months, the university said in a statement yesterday.

The university replied on May 22 that the ministry should appoint its elected presidential candidate as soon as possible, as stipulated in the University Act (大學法) and other laws and regulations, but the ministry on May 24 again requested that it conduct another election, the university said.

The university’s presidential election committee had on Jan. 31 confirmed the legality of the Jan. 5 presidential election, it said.

“We regret and strongly disagree with the ministry’s decision to not appoint the university’s elected candidate as president as stipulated in the University Act. Today, we have hired a lawyer and will file an administrative appeal to resolve the legal dispute and safeguard the university’s autonomy in selecting its own president,” it said.

“Although the path is arduous, by filing for administrative remedy we will clarify the scope of university autonomy and other legal disputes. We will do all we can to make the ministry appoint our new president by taking legal action and continuing to fight for higher education by safeguarding university autonomy,” it said.

In response, Acting Minister of Education Yao Leeh-ter (姚立德) said that he respects the university’s decision.

The Executive Yuan’s Petitions and Appeals Committee would handle the university’s appeal, he said, adding that there is also the option of administrative litigation after the appeal.

The ministry would respect the committee’s ruling and that of the administrative court, he said, adding that he hoped the university would do the same.

Additional reporting by CNA

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