Only a Well-prepared Challenger can Seize the Chance
It has been about 5 months since Kang Jung-chae, President of CNU, began his duty. Chonnam Tribune with Chondaeshinmun and CUB Station had a press conference with President Kang Jung-chae to celebrate a Happy New Year and hear what he says in his plan about various things. –Ed.
Q: In celebration of a Happy New year, do you have any well-meant remarks to say to the members of CNU?
A: I really hope that CNU students will do their part, as young people. I define the young as the most powerful group to propel their plan forward as they really want to regardless of circumstances such as age, sex and wealth. And I expect them not to be afraid of challenges to be faced in the future and to have a strong will to advance their career. Also, students must prepare themselves for the future with a far-sighted plan. I strongly recommend that students consider what preparation they have to do. I believe if students are well-prepared enough to improve their competitiveness, they can serve society and be a help to other people who require their assistance. .
Q: Ever since the presidential inauguration, you’ve been trying to have time with students by visiting cafeterias or dormitories. Do you have any other visits like that planned?
A: In the near future, I would like to take the opportunity to collect some ideas and thoughts that students usually have. Also, I intend to watch the average student’s campus life in person. About 5 months has passed since I became president of CNU. Although it may be less than ten times that I have visited them, I am very satisfied with the quality time I have had to contact them. I will continue to pay visits to places like club activity rooms, the General Students Council, and so on, because I want to know whether these places play a great role in improving students’ competitiveness or not.
Q: We heard that tuition fees are expected to increase by 12.5%. Let us know about what is going on.
A: In my personal opinion, I don’t think it is appropriate to run a university by raising school fees. However, it was an unavoidable decision. This is because a frozen budget means a substantial reduction of the budget. The National Universities are already set to raise admission and tuition fees by a 5% increase. Also the Financial Committee has continually held meetings to discuss the increase in School Supporting Association fees. After a series of meetings, the Main Office concluded that 12.5% is the minimum increase rate of school fees to operate the university this year. Considering rising consumer prices, we have only few usable revenue sources.
Q: Inducement of a Law School in CNU is one of the most important projects. What is your “poison pill” to outdo the other rival universities?
A: As you know, Jurists, what we call judges, attorneys and public prosecutors, have always belonged to the upper class on the scale of social status, regardless of the rapid rate of social change. In case CNU fails to attract these high-status members of the legal community to CNU, we will be inevitably confronted with a lack of qualified legal experts, and we will also lose the native legal specialists from Gwangju who are well acquainted with the affairs of this region. This may have emotional repercussions if people take offense because of a sense of regionalties. From 1963 to 2004, CNU produced 185 successful judicial examiner candidates. And also, we came forward in succession with a justice of the Supreme Court, a judge of the Constitutional Court and a president of the Korean Federal Bar Association, all of which represent the larger national legal circle. This is the reason why a Law school must be founded at CNU.
Although we have made many preparations for the permission to win, more efforts are needed. We are going to strive to reinforce internal solidarity among CNU members. Supplementing legal experts who have in-service experience and cooperating with neighboring universities are examples of enhancing competitiveness. In any case, we will thoroughly make ready to wipe out the nagging voices that make you worry.
Q: What is the specific master plan about building a Second CNU Campus?
A: We have to approach this matter more carefully. The project is at the center of a controversy in both the university and the Ministry of Education. Nowadays, the most common tendency related to University Reconstruction is downsizing, not growth. . In this circumstance, building a Second Campus runs directly counter to the firm will of the Ministry of Education.
The discussion on this proposal began more than 20 years ago. However, this is the first time it has been made into a formal discussion. This project would be named “New Campus” rather than “Second Campus.” We have organized a taskforce team and are performing feasibility research on whether the New Campus is essential for education or not. The continuous promotion of this project depends on the results of the feasibility study.
Q: Since your inauguration, when were the best and worst moments in your time as president? In addition, can you give a final a message to the members of CNU and the citizens of Gwangju?
A: When I hear that the members of CNU produce outstanding results, I am so happy and I feel that I’m a lucky man. For example, when CNU professors become famous in national newspapers because of their brilliant achievements or when CNU’s Excellence Club offers its awards, I am as happy as the winners If I was given the opportunity to live with students at CNU, I would willingly do it. The best advantage of this position as president is to become a rudder that can decide which direction is advisable. But it also accompanies difficulties. Most of all, I feel sorry when we do not support the professors or students who require assistance. Coping with a lack of budget, manpower, and so on, we will take action to prevent these things from happening again in the future. To do this, I will strengthen the staff training program to be in perfect order by the administration. Lastly, I would like to tell you one more thing. If we take a look at the city of Gwangju, we can judge it inferior to other big cities in many ways. However, appealing to businesses, government or the world will never make it more prosperous, nor would that make any difference. Only competitiveness speaks louder than other things. If you want to do something, you must not just wait. I strongly recommended that you should prepare yourselves for the future. More than anything else, competitiveness is the most critical factor in ensuring you outperform other university students in the job market.