Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Groups urge Yeh not to cave in to NTU’s demands

PRESUMPTION OF GUILT:A lawyer said that under administrative law, education minister Yeh cannot appoint NTU president-elect Kuan until he is proven innocent

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Northern Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-sen, front row third left, deputy chairman Lee Chuan-hsin, front row third right, and others yesterday hold a news conference in Taipei calling on Minister of Education Yeh Jiunn-rong not to appoint Kuan Chung-ming as National Taiwan University president.

Photo: CNA

Members of the pro-localization Taiwan Society yesterday urged Minister of Education Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) to maintain a firm position when addressing the election of National Taiwan University’s (NTU) president and not give in to pressure from NTU.

The university on Thursday in a statement urged the ministry to speedily ratify professor Kuan Chung-ming’s (管中閔) election as the university’s president.

NTU has complied with the ministry’s request in May to again review the election process and found no major flaws, it said.

The ministry in May rejected Kuan’s election amid allegations that Kuan’s independent directorship at Taiwan Mobile Co constituted a possible conflict of interest and that Kuan illegally taught in China less than one year after leaving a Taiwanese post.

Yeh said that the ministry would approach the issue with a “warm” touch, while praising NTU’s statement as “rather remarkable.”

NTU is the nation’s top university, so its president must meet the highest ethical standards, Taiwan Society chairman Chang Yeh-sen (張葉森) told a news conference.

The committee’s election of Kuan was “very inappropriate,” as evidenced by the controversy that later broke out, which included an academic ethics scandal, illegally teaching in China and his failure to report his position as a Taiwan Mobile independent director to the committee, on which Taiwan Mobile vice president Richard Tsai (蔡明興) sat, Chang said.

“We want to admonish the Ministry of Education to handle [the Kuan case] according to the law, that it must not make any compromises,” Northern Taiwan Society deputy chairman Li Chuan-hsin (李川信) told the news conference.

“Judicial proceedings to probe the election have commenced and evidence of Kuan’s alleged misconduct cannot be changed by a mere statement by NTU,” Taiwan Forever Association director Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said.

From the perspective of administrative law, until Kuan can be proven innocent, the ministry is in no position to reverse its stance that the election contravened procedural rules, that it cannot approve Kuan and that the vote must be repeated, said Huang, a lawyer.

“If the ministry makes a decision that is against the rule of law or democratic values, it will not be accepted by the public and pro-localization groups will surely hold Minister Yeh accountable,” he said.

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