Wed, Jul 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Academicians urge respect for university autonomy

By Lin Chia-nan  /  Staff reporter

Convener Kenneth Wu, standing, delivers a report yesterday, the second day of the 33rd convocation of Academia Sinica in Taipei’s Nangang District.

Photo: Chang Chia-ming, Taipei Times

The 33rd Convocation of Academicians yesterday passed seven resolutions, including two that ask the government to respect university autonomy and relax work-hour regulations for postdoctoral researchers.

The four-day convocation, which is to end tomorrow, is held every two years and focuses on electing new academicians, granting honorary titles to researchers and deliberating on key issues for the institution.

Yesterday’s agenda focused on discussing the proposals made by academicians.

Academicians from the humanities division jointly proposed that the Ministry of Education respect the autonomy of public universities and not interfere in their presidential elections, while demanding that it clarify a related controversy.

The proposal sparked a heated debate, with some academicians saying that the proposal would cause the institution unnecessary trouble, while others said that the election for National Taiwan University’s (NTU) president is a “joke” that should be properly redressed.

Academician Hsiang Wu-chung (項武忠), who has voiced support for NTU president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔), put the proposal to a vote, which passed with 80 votes from 138 attendants.

Kuan was elected NTU president on Jan. 5 and was supposed to take office on Feb. 1.

However, the ministry postponed his appointment amid allegations of plagiarism, an alleged conflict of interest and a flawed selection process, which also led to the successive resignations of former ministers of education Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) and Wu Maw-kuen (吳茂昆).

Four resolutions suggested that the government increase funding for basic research and review its funding allocation mechanism.

The resolutions are to be forwarded to an ad hoc committee convened by one of Academia Sinica’s vice presidents for further discussion before they are submitted to government agencies, the institution said.

In related news, the institute, in response to the Control Yuan yesterday impeaching Wu on grounds that his patent transfer to Spiranthes Biotech Corp contravened the Public Functionary Service Act (公務員服務法), said in a statement that the proposed impeachment would have to be reviewed by the Public Functionary Disciplinary Sanction Commission and does not affect Wu’s position at the institution’s Institute of Physics as a distinguished research fellow.

Additional reporting by Aaron Tu

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