The first school president to be assigned through the new nomination and voting process took his place as head of our univeristy in a ceremony held on campus earlier in the semester. Kim Su-bok earned the selection after changes to the existing presidential appointment system were put into effect. Last year, the system was altered to one where the Presidential Nomination Committee recommended candidates to the Board of Directors and one of the candidates is then appointed after a discussion amongs the members. The changes were intended to strengthen the democratic nature of university management and expand the openness of the selection process. A 13-member committee, consisting of professors, students, employees and social workers posted an invitation to applicants and three candidates applied. Out of the three repondents, the board of directors appointed Kim Su-bok as the new school president. The president graduated from DKU with a major in Korean Language and Literature and completed his bachelor's, master's, and Ph.D. at the college. Since 1985, he has served as the head of the Ministry of Education, the Dean of the College of Arts, and the Deputy President of the Cheonan campus. For the next four years, he plans to do his part to faithfully execute his role as rector of DKU. To celebrate the new president's inauguration, the Dankook Herald (the DKH) interviewed Mr. Su-bok on a sunny weekend morning.
Q1. Please tell us how you feel about being the first rector to be appointed after the indirect election system.
A: I am bearing many high expectations as I am the first president to come out of the indirect election system, and not the appointment system. Therefore, I am thinking a lot about meeting my expectations. I will build trust and cooperation based on what former rectors have done. I will also try to overcome the new realities of higher education faced by universities by running a university that thinks about the future. I will try to make the development of DKU a great pleasure for all its members.
Q2. You completed your bachelor’s to doctoral degrees at DKU which led you to the appointment as Deputy President at Cheonan campus and now as the rector for the entire school. Was there any special experience you had along your journey?
A: I did not enter DKU by my own will. My homeroom teacher recommended I enter the Department of Administration. Since then, I've only thought of taking the “DDD path” (DKU, DKU, DKU). That is why I went from bachelor's to doctoral degree at DKU. I became a special scholarship student while working in the newspaper club in college. I have been through all the courses from trainee reporter to reporter, to deputy director and then editor-in-chief. All my life is related to DKU, which is always in my heart.
Q3. DKU has been known for being a specialized university for software and business start-ups. How are you planning to continue and develop these distinct characteristics?
A. There is a Software Convergence University at DKU, which is a leading university for business start-ups. As our “LINK” enterprise organization and start-up projects are supported well by the government, our basis in this area has already been well-established. However, adding humanistic, artistic content to this Software University will create a disciplinary convergence that can only benefit all parties. Our plan is to create a convergent field of learning by combining humanistic issues such as history and Korean studies with software based on information technology. The wall of learning has been too clear and we must break it for the mutual growth of various fields of studie and advanced learning. I’m planning to expand convergence subjects and project-based learning.
Q4. You said that you want to spread Korean culture and create a K-culture station. What motivates you to be passionate about international relations, especially for foreign students?
A: Many people see the Korean content (such as famous K-pop bands like BTS) through Youtube. It is one of the main reasons why more students from other countries want to attend university in Korea. Also, there are a large number of students who want to major in Korean studies in the Asian studies department of Salamanca University in Spain, as well as Asian countries that are enthusiastic about the Korean Wave. This is the catchphrase that we should use to target these people for more educational opportunities and to become a college education without borders. Therefore, I want to expand opportunities for students to study abroad or attend DKU through smart campuses. Through border-less education, we can deliver Korean culture more easily. Recently, the Ministry of Education decided to allow the establishment of campuses abroad. As regulations are gradually being lifted, we are approaching our dream goal. It may be a wild dream, but we can also set up overseas campuses that we haven't been able to achieve yet. I’m thinking about building smart campuses while improving our campuses themselves. I would like to provide educational opportunities through smart campuses for foreign students or for foreign workers who do not have acces to education. In that way, DKU will be given the title of leader in the field of smart campuses. I think this is the only way for DKU to develop.
Q5. What is the school's policy to change for the new era?
A: I am not the leader of the school. The school members' opinions are most important for the organization. I also stressed that it is not right to push ahead with goals without seeking out the opinions of students. First of all, consensus and consent with members are important. We have to listen to other ideas and think about plans to change in a rational and logical way. To do so, I insist that communication with members is the most important thing to do. But I strongly think that future development is the most important issue facing our university. So, we need to diversify our targets, including being one step closer to underprivileged people. It is necessary to give lectures to foreign workers as well. The smart campus, where cyber networks are built around the world, will let people communicate with their members. Also, we will pursue our own identity by working with everyone together rather than independently.
Q6. What is the most important part that you will focus on during your term of office?
A: The most important thing I will do is build a digital creative campus as a 3rd campus for DKU. I would like to make a smart campus and have it operational ahead of others so that DKU is recognized as the first university to create a smart campus. I am going to sign an MOU in October with ASU (Arizona State University) to kickstart the new business. I am so dedicated towards it. Also, I want to ask members to think more autonomously and to act future-oriented. I hope that each student, staff member and professor will be able to realize their dreams at DKU. To make it possible, it is essential to restore trust and cooperate with everyone.
|▲ President Kim is interviewing with the DKH (Photo from Dankook Herald)|
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