What do you think is the most important factor to consider hiring a professor? Professors and teachers are important people at universities, as they greatly affect the education of students. After Dankook University (DKU) hired Shin Yeong-cheol and Kim Ok-rang as chair professors at the Jukjeon Campus, students formed a committee to oppose the employment of Prof. Shin Yeong-cheol. The committee said he didn’t have the qualifications necessary to become a chair professor. So what were the problems? How does DKU hire professors?
|▲ The committee is holding a regular news conference.|
Prof. Kim Ok-rang was the head professor of industrial management at the graduate school. When her diploma fabrication was revealed, she rejected a summons before the disciplinary committee and resigned voluntarily.
The Dankook Herald (DKH) interviewed Kim Han-mi-reu who is a representative of the committee opposing the employment of Prof. Shin Yeong-cheol. The committee has opposed his appointment because he came before the Ethics Commission as a justice of the Supreme Court. Members of the National Assembly voted in favor of impeaching Supreme Court judge Shin Yeong-cheol because he violated the independence of a judge when he was President of the court.
DKH asked why students protesting the professor’s appointment. “There isn’t a position for students on a personnel committee. It is unreasonable that students can’t voice their opinions because professors hired by DKU consequently affect the students. I think if the students had known who was being considered for chair, the situation would have ended differently,” he said. The student protest committee has taken actions such as the distribution of printed matter on the subject designed to inform students, a signature-seeking campaign, and lecture room visits. They have also assembled every Wednesday at the fountain in front of Beomjeong Hall to draw attention to their cause.
Then DKH asked about the progress of their campaign. He mentioned, “The committee has already communicated their position with DKU. DKU accepted our opinion and conveyed the message to Prof. Shin Yeong-cheol.”
“Students can achieve many things with the school’s cooperation. There are various things that need to be resolved ranging from festivals to the university’s structural reform. Students should put their minds together and develop common interests concerning these issues,” he added.
DKH interviewed Jin Jae-sik (Leader, Office of Academic Affairs Team in Cheonan) to hear detailed information about the employment process of a professor. He explained that there are full-time faculty members, non-full-time faculty members, and special faculty members.
In the case of a full-time faculty member, the first step is the request by a department to hire a new professor. Each department requests to employ a person who is suited with certain qualifications. Then, the Academic Affairs Team (AAT) judges them through a personnel committee. A recruitment notice in posted in an external newspaper or website, and the departments receive applicants. They select, as a final step, faculty members through three steps of evaluation; department assessment, a second examination, and an assessment by the university president. This is a simple process for employing full-time faculty members.
So what is the process of recruiting special faculty members? Special faculty members are called upon for certain objectives of the university. Although most of the special faculty members are invited by recommendation, they also are judged by the special recruitment committee. If they pass the evaluation, they get confirmation of hire from the university president. Prof. Shin Yeong-cheol was hired by recommendation.
After DKH learned about the employment process of a professor, DKH asked about the number of professors were on hand and what is especially important to consider when the AAT selects a professor. Mr. Jin said, “The number of professors is decided according to the number of students, to ensure we do not have a lack of personnel. Moreover, the important things we consider when we make our selections are personality, achievement, research in the field, experience, and qualifications,”
DKH finally asked about ‘opening up’ the process for the students. He said, “We do not disclose the process of employment of professor and we don’t have any plans to do it.”
DKH also looked into the process for employing a part time professor. We interviewed Lee Myeong-woo (Leader, AAT at Jukjeon Campus) to find out how they are appointed. When DKU recruits a part-time instructor, each department hires their own instead of publishing a recruitment notice. If full-time professors cannot undertake more classes then as a general rule, part-time professors are employed to cover the extra courses.
There are some essential requirements that are almost the same as employing a full time professor. If you want to be a part time professor, you should have a master’s degree at least. However, in case of special departments, such as a music or art, a committee of inquiry is held and the committee recruits them. “Everything you need to know about the regulations used to employ part-time professors are written on a website. Therefore, you can read it whenever you want,” said Mr. Lee.
|▲ Dead Poets Society|
Most students are influenced by the teaching methods or thinking of their professors. They can consult with them about their future and they depend on their professors for guidance and knowledge. This means that the professor plays an important role in the lives of students. Therefore, the university needs to make a fairer estimation of whom they hire and only decide to appoint a professor after some rather careful consideration.
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