KNUE announced on March 14 that it has received a notice from the Ministry of Education that Dr. Lew Hee-chan has been named the university's 10th president. He also has become the first university president who has been elected under an open-recruitment system, since the university along with other national universities of education, have abrogated the past direct-voting system in 2012.
While a direct-voting system permits professors to select a president, the newly introduced open- recruitment system is an indirect election system that is directed by an election committee. The university’s Presidential Candidate Recommendation Committee is made up of twelve faculties, two staff members, one student, one alumnus, one local government official, and three eminent experts in the field of education. The committee is responsible for the entire process of appointing presidential candidates. The Minister of Education subsequently names one of the candidates appointed by the committee as the next university president.
Following several procedures in late 2015, the committee nominated two candidates including Dr. Lew among four applicants. It officially recommended these two individuals as final presidential candidates to the Minister of Education last January. However, a new president was not named in time and subsequently the post of president has remained vacant since the former president, Dr. Kim Joo-sung, completed his four-year term on February 29. After thirteen days of implementing an acting president system by the vice president, the university finally installed its highest leader on March 14.
Dr. Lew, the new president, holds an Ed.D. in mathematics education from Temple University in the United States of America, and bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics education from Seoul National University. He has been a professor in the Department of Mathematics Education at KNUE since 1991 and served as the university’s chief planning officer from 2008 to 2010. With his new role as president of KNUE, Dr. Lew is expected to serve the university until March 2020.
During the campaign period, Dr. Lew pledged to establish a research center (tentatively named the Future Cutting-edge Education Research Center) in cooperation with several enterprises which are interested in smart education. In his university development plan, he promised to ensure KNUE plays a pivotal role in the field of education. He emphasized the university’s geographical advantage, being in the middle of four major education-related government agencies: Ministry of Education, Korean Educational Development Institute, Korea Institute for Curriculum and Evaluation, and Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training.
The students, faculties, and staff members now look forward to seeing the ideas and innovative changes which the new president will bring to KNUE over the next four years.
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