MOE issues written instructions on NTU president selection process

2018/05/08 20:07:44 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔, CNA file photo)

Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔, CNA file photo)

Taipei, May 8 (CNA) The Ministry of Education (MOE) has sent an official letter to National Taiwan University (NTU), asking it to restart the process to select a new president, citing flaws in the selection of Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) as NTU president, an official said Tuesday.

Lin Miao-chen (林妙貞), deputy head of the MOE's Department of Personnel, said the ministry last Friday sent a letter to NTU asking it to remedy the administrative flaws in the selection process, including failure to disclose pertinent information. Following the suggested revisions the ministry wants the process restarted.

However, the document does not contain the word "approval" or "rejection," according to Lin.

Touching on the NTU selection committee's choice of Kuan as NTU president, the document indicates that because the make up of the committee and the selection process were not in line with the principles of due administrative process, the selection process should be restarted immediately.

The letter also mentions allegations of undisclosed conflict of interest between Kuan and Taiwan Mobile Co. Vice Chairman Richard Tsai (蔡明興) based on the fact that Kuan was an independent director at Taiwan Mobile during the selection period, while Tsai was on the NTU committee for the selection of the university's president.

NTU said it is looking at the document and will solicit the views of legal experts on the matter, adding that the school will convene a University Affairs Meeting, the highest decision making body at the school, on May 12 to discuss related issues, including university autonomy and the content of the letter.

On April 30, the NTU selection committee rejected the ministry's request that it restart the selection process.

Committee spokesman Yuan Hsiao-wei (袁孝維) said the body has stated clearly that it handled the selection of Kuan as NTU president in accordance with relevant regulations and will not go through the process again unless the MOE can provide a legitimate reason why it should.

Kuan was selected on Jan. 5 to head NTU, but the Education Ministry declined to confirm his appointment on Feb. 1 as scheduled.

Kuan was accused of plagiarism and conflict of interest during the selection process and illegally teaching in China since being selected.

Kuan served in the previous Kuomintang administration as head of the National Development Council (and the the Council for Economic Planning and Development which preceded it) from 2013 to 2015.

The MOE on April 27 decided not to approve the appointment of Kuan as NTU president, contending that there was a conflict of interest in the selection process, and asked the university to restart the process, leaving the ministry and the university stalemated on the issue.

(By Phoenix Hsu and Evelyn Kao)

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