Fri, Sep 14, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Yeh promises overhaul of university election rules

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Education Yeh Jiunn-rong speaks at a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday.

Photo: Peter Lo, Taipei Times

Minister of Education Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) yesterday said he would overhaul regulations on university presidential elections after the Control Yuan requested Yeh’s presence for an inquiry into alleged “double standards” in the Ministry of Education’s handling of National Taiwan University’s (NTU) presidential election.

The inquiry was primarily about a qualification for university presidents stipulated in the Act Governing the Appointment of Educators (教育人員任用條例) that required clarification after a presidential election at National Yang-Ming University (NYMU) in October last year, Yeh told reporters after the meeting in Taipei.

The ministry has been conducting an extensive review of the election system and would publicize its results, he said.

Asked whether the Control Yuan inquired about the ministry’s double standard over the two universities’ elections after it instructed NTU to stage another election, Yeh did not answer.

The Control Yuan’s Educational and Cultural Affairs Committee on Aug. 17 said that the ministry exhibited a double standard in its handling of conflicts of interest in the two elections and requested that it clarify whether ministry officials have been deliberately stalling or mishandling the elections.

The ministry refused to approve NTU president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) on the grounds that he contravened provisions in the Administrative Procedure Act (行政程序法) regarding conflicts of interest, but it previously said that the act does not apply to NYMU’s election, Control Yuan members Chang Kuei-mei (仉桂美) and Wang Mei-yu (王美玉) said, adding that there is “a clear double standard in the ministry’s application of the act.”

The ministry in December last year appointed Steve Kuo (郭旭崧) as NYMU president, even though he was an independent director at SyneuRx and election committee convener Chang Hung-jen (張鴻仁) was on the company’s board.

Kuo, then an associate professor, was considered to have met the legal qualifications for university presidents because of the erroneous administrative rule, the Control Yuan said.

Furthermore, the ministry issued an administrative rule on Sept. 16, 2013, that overstretched the interpretation of what constitutes “[having] prior teaching and academic research experience equivalent to that required of a professor,” they said.

In contrast, the ministry in May rejected Kuan’s election, because he was an independent director and salary and auditing committee member at Taiwan Mobile Co, while company vice president Richard Tsai (蔡明興) was on the election committee.

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