A New Vision for YU
A New Vision for YU
  • Geum-Nyun Kim
  • 승인 2009.09.03 17:47
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On 22 January, Tong-Ki Woo, the 12th president of YU, relinquished his appointment as president. On 12 February, Hyo-Soo Lee assumed the post. YNO looks into the achievements and visions to give YU students some insight into the past and future of YU.


YNO along with Yeungdae Shinmun and UBS(University Broadcasting System) conducted an interview with YU's thirteenth president, Hyo-Soo Lee. We focused our questions on his election pledges above everything else.



Q| We congratulate you on being elected the thirteenth president of YU. First I would like to hear about your impressions of the position.


A| I'm delighted. In some ways, I feel a strong sense of responsibility and sense of duty to turn YU into a prestigious university. Though we face a hard situation, my purpose to succeed in this undertaking is clear.

Also, I will try to develop the talent of type Y students and emphasize a progressive spirit during my presidency.


Q| What do you mean by the talent of type Y students, and what are your plans to cultivate this kind of talent?


A|Talent of type Y means talent that combines a progressive spirit with creativity, cool intelligence with warm humanity and morality with ability. I want all our students to embrace this philosophy.

To improve this ability, YU needs to change its study system whereby students can detect problems and collect data in order to solve them, as well as initiate new information and knowledge independently. A progressive spirit can not develop just in the class room, but it must be engaged out of the classroom by participating in challenge programs or leadership training and so on. Therefore I will try to create various programs and examine data in order to cultivate the talent of type Y students.


Q|Please describe your working principle.


A|The goal of my working principle is a talent-first policy. The most important duty of a university is to cultivate talented students, so I value talent training above everything else and stand on the YU Glocal Initiative to carry this out.

If organizations are to develop, they must grasp their surroundings and have a strategy for maximizing inherent ability to adapt to the surroundings. In the modern world, the principle forces shaping the global environment are globalization as well as the transition from industrial societies to information based postindustrial societies. Because of these trends I have decided that a university that can be a leader in globalization and the information industrial society will be competitive in the 21st century. One way I hope to accomplish this is to stand on my YU Glocal Initiative to develop the most competitive university possible.


Q|Could you tell me about YU Glocal Initiative in detail?


A|Our present is dominated by globalization so the term local university does not match with the times. From a global viewpoint, not only Daegu, but also Seoul is local. In other words, this means we must approach the world using all the resources available to us, not just through the sensibilities of Seoul. The YU Glocal Initiative is the way to do this. Glocal is a compound word that combines global and local. It means we will not follow in the traditional methods, but we will develop new talent and new strategies to match the demands of globalization. This is how we will promote Initiative.


Q|Please explain concretely how you plan to secure scholarship funds.


A|When Korea solicits funds for development, Korea tends to collect hardware such as buildings. However we will focus on ways to collect resources for development. One way to do this is to secure scholarship money for students, the other is to attract blue-chip professors. We will also make an effort to collect more "humanware" not hardware. Being able to procure the funds for scholarships is an essential task if we want to graduate students who are excellent scholars but come from low-income families.

In order to accomplish this, we are actively looking into creating solid projects that will help us reach talented students from all areas as well as looking for people who are willing and able to invest in the university. We are at the drawing board right now.

Q|In your public pledge, you said you will increase the number of foreign professors to account for 15 percent of the entire faculty at Yeungnam University and assign foreign professors to staff the International School, which will be built as soon as possible. You also said you will open many new foreign language courses. Please explain further about the International School and your strategy to take YU global.


A|The International School is being planned, and is just an example of our new focus. I am now considering ways to raise the global profile of our university. I will not focus on creating specific schools and then focus only on them because they are my pet projects. My aim is to raise the overall standard of YU and to do that, we have to take new approaches and really make something special. The International School is only an example of one possible way to achieve our goal. We will investigate the demands for an International School. If we build the college, the majors will be formed into 4 year programs. If we build a graduate school, we can create a greater variety of programs such as 3 or 6 month programs. No matter what the school establishes, we must invite many foreign specialists and create opportunities for our students to meet foreigners in a natural setting on the YU campus.

I will also emphasize the importance of being an open campus with a global strategy. My definition of an open campus is a university that is able to receive talent from all over the world. I call this an inbound strategy. It will also help us map out an outbound global strategy which trains our students by widening their worldview and help them have a global outlook and understanding of the world around them.

Specifically, we should remove limits on students studying abroad in specific countries like China. We have to attract people from many English speaking nations in order to promote a global campus, where students of all nationalities can mix with each other. This is true for students as well as professors. Therefore, I will actively seek to bring in qualified foreign professors. Again, planning an International School does not mean that I will focus on that school and then concentrate on it alone as a legacy item. It is about creating an overall strategy to globalize our university naturally and progressively. Will our university increase our prestige by increasing foreign professors staff level to 15 percent of faculty, will the Glocal Initiative become a reality? Through an outbound global strategy, we will offer students a chance to experience foreign cultures and interact with students who have studied abroad so they can preserve and improve their linguistic abilities and sensibilities. CIP(Center of International Program) will be reorganized into the Office of International Programs, and the Life-long Education Center will also be elevated. I told the director of CIP, "When you appoint instructors for CIP, please create high standards in order to cultivate a world class language center at YU." This is important to me because it is my hope that YU students will not feel the need to attend private academies anymore.

Q|The trimester system, which was initiated in three Engineering departments in 2007, was expanded to seven departments in 2008. However, most of these classes were closed this winter. Why were they closed without notification and what are your plans for this system in 2009?


A|We will reconsider the trimester system completely. It cannot be done partially. It will be treated as an independent semester, not a seasonal semester. In order to solve the issues effecting the trimester system, we must change the entire education system. It will make our system fundamentally different. Due to the huge potential impact we will conduct a thorough investigation on the results of the trimester system. As soon as this examination is finished, we will make a decision on whether to continue it in a different form or simply abolish the entire system. At the very least, we will not maintain the trimester system as it is currently constituted.


Q|In your public pledge, you promised to bring 3 departments into the top-10 in the world within 10 years. Through the Global 10-3-10 Project, you will bring an intensive concentration in the IT(Information Technology) and BT(Biotechnology) fields which have opportunities to develop key growth engines. Have you chosen any specific departments?


A|I have not chosen any specific departments. I think in order to attain global standards several departments need to become leaders in their fields. Therefore, we need a new strategy which will allow us to lead and not have to follow.

To make this a reality, we must unite and concentrate on 3 or 4 fields, and expand new areas for research. We are also working in cooperation with the government on key potential growth areas. That could bring in investment from the government. The AD(Analog to Digital) and IT fusion research centers are an example of the benefits of this kind of cooperation.


In addition, President Lee defined his plans concerning the welfare of students, and the quality of education for students who are facing one of the worst job markets in recent memory. Specifically he said that he wants to improve service areas like cafeterias, as well as try to create more comfortable and accessible study conditions for students in order to make the campus as convenient and useful as possible.

During this interview, YNO could feel his concern for students' welfare, and we were left with the impression that the concerns were genuine. However, when we asked him about his election pledges in concrete terms, his answers were a bit abstract. In spite of the evasiveness of some of his answers, we left cautiously optimistic about President Lee's plans for the future of our university.

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