KNUE is going to elect its 11th president following the scheduled expiration of the current president. It is worth to focus on the fact that the selection method has been changed from an indirect election system to a direct election system.
What is the difference between an indirect election system and a direct election system? The indirect election system that our university used before is the system that the Recommendation Committee makes a selection of candidates for appointment. The direct election system, however, is the system that faculty members and students select president directly.
In July last year, the ‘Policy Research Team for Improvement of KNUE president election system’ was formed to study ways to improve the election. They conducted a policy study on how to improve the election system until Jan. this year. As a result, the transition from an indirect election system to a direct election system was presented. Accordingly, in May this year, Article 11 of the school's regulations was revised to change the selection method of presidential candidates to a direct election system. Specific enforcement regulations such as the participation rate of employees, assistants were formulated through an agreement between the university council and representatives of each member.
The final specific enforcement rules were decided on the 80 percent participation rate for teachers, 15 percent for assistant teachers, and five percent for students. Students include undergraduates and graduate students. Based on the direct election cases of other universities and the budget for selecting candidates for our school's president, the election was decided on the way to participate as representatives, not as a whole student. Although students have the right to vote in the presidential election in person, there are some responses that there are limits to the way students participate in the election including the five percent of ratio.
Lee-Eun ji, the head of the emergency measure committee expressed her regret about the percentage of students’ participation and representative way of voting. She also said, " We are going to encourage participation in elections to the students’ representative committee members. Also, we will have a public hearing on presidential candidates to get some feedback on what we would like to ask for, and what would be good for the common question of students’ representative committee.”
To approach the autonomy of the university guaranteed by the Constitution, it is required to reach an agreement on the ratio of student participation and the scope of student participation. In interview of KNUE newspaper, the professor of KNUE Moon Yu-seop, said, “The five percent student participation rate has limits to symbolism and representation, but the higher education law itself is a direct system under the teachers' agreement, so it is expected that student participation will be expanded gradually within the current system.” The blueprint of the direct presidential election system is expected to be made with the attention of school members, along with the continued efforts of the persons concerned. INDIGO looks forward to a day when university autonomy is fully guaranteed.
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