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Inauguration ceremony for the 14th President of KAIST held on July 14, 2010​
View : 12114 Date : 2010-07-15 Writer : ed_news

President Nam Pyo Suh was sworn in as the 14th President of KAIST at an inauguration ceremony taken place on July 14, 2010. He has become the first incumbent president who succeeded to secure a second term in office.

While vowing to continue to make his efforts in developing KAIST as one of the world’s leading science and technology universities, President Suh noted, in his inauguration address, that “over the past four years, KAIST has instituted many difficult and controversial policies and procedures, and as a result, the university has become more competitive and stronger for the future.”

The president also laid out major goals of education policies and principles to be implemented in the next four years. The full text of the inauguration address follows below:
Inauguration Address

Nam Pyo Suh
The 14th President of KAIST
July 14, 2010

Members of the KAIST family:  Thank you for joining this illustrious gathering to commemorate the commencement of the 14th Presidency of KAIST.

In many respects, this is the beginning of a new era for KAIST. Today, we march forward – more boldly, more confidently than perhaps ever before – in our mission to become one of the world’s leading science and technology universities.

I am indeed honored – and humbled – to be leading this effort for KAIST. I do not take this responsibility lightly, and I would like to express my extreme gratitude to the many people who have given me their confidence and support, without which I would not be standing here today. In particular, I would like to thank the Chairman of KAIST Board of Trustees, Chung Moon Soul, for his guidance and unwavering support. He has been an inspirational leader for KAIST, and it has been my singular honor to learn from and work with him. I also would like to thank all the other members of the Board of Trustees, each of whom has provided thoughtful and productive advice and guidance.

I would also like to thank Minister Ahn Byung Man, Vice Minister Kim Joong Hyun, Director Kim Young Sik and Director General Yoon Hun Ju for their support of KAIST and my reappointment as the President of KAIST. Their continuing support of KAIST has enabled KAIST to make major strides toward achieving its goal of becoming one of the best universities in the world.

While this commencement signals a beginning, we are building upon a rich past. There are many who have admirably led and served KAIST since its birth in 1971. They achieved a great deal for the good of our beloved institution and for Korea. And thanks to the tremendous efforts of many here today, the past four years have been especially fruitful ones in KAIST’s history.

Today, KAIST stands as one of the world’s major research universities. No other university outshines us in terms of the quality of professors, staff and students, financial support for faculty and students, and our physical infrastructure. KAIST has become an idea factory, where education and research co-mingle to create solutions and establish new paradigms that benefit humanity – both present and future. You can see this clearly in the intellectual vigor and “can-do” attitude that permeates our campus.

In the field of research, our faculty, students, and staff have made seminal contributions to science and technology – contributions that will change the history of science and technology, and hence the way society functions and people think. In the field of education, our enhanced programs are empowering students with the ability to understand issues, analyze problems, and synthesize solutions. Our physical environment, which is key to the quality of education and research that KAIST provides, has also improved with many newly constructed and renovated buildings, thanks to the generous support of major donors from all around the world, the Korean government, and the Korean people.

Today, scholars in a number of countries across five continents pay attention to what we do here at KAIST. We are indeed blazing new pathways in many fields that will guide the work of future generations of scientists and engineers.

All this has not been achieved without sacrifice. Over the last four years, we have instituted many difficult and often controversial policies and procedures. I believe these have helped KAIST become more competitive and stronger for the future.

But change affects people and institutions in both negative and positive ways. While these new policies have benefited some, I am acutely aware that they have, at the same time, caused discomfort and pain for others. To those who have suffered because of the changes that have been made during the past four years, I ask for your understanding and offer my sincere apologies. We must endeavor to minimize the negative consequences of transformation, as we strive mightily to realize our dreams for this great institution.

To do so, we, as a community, must first redefine and recommit to common goals:

First, we must arm our students with the ability to think both creatively and logically, to work collegially across cultures, and to lead wisely and with integrity.  We must give our students the foundation to become players on the world stage, whether they become captains of industry, heads of state, or leading inventors and academics.

Second, we must also support our professors as they impart their vast knowledge and experiences with students. We must also enable them to fulfill their aspirations to become the world’s leading scientists, engineers, and scholars.

Third, we must direct KAIST’s energies toward addressing the most pressing problems of the 21st century. Let us not forget that we have a responsibility far greater than ourselves.

Finally, we must execute all these undertakings well for the benefit of the Korean people, in whose service KAIST was established 40 years ago.

It may now be the right time for us to assess our efforts over the last four years and set the course ahead.

KAIST’s successes are largely due to our professors. They have made major discoveries and inventions, which have won them international awards and recognitions. They have received significant research grants and contracts from many government agencies and companies, which have enabled KAIST to make unique contributions. They have published outstanding research results in leading journals and obtained patents in many countries. These achievements have helped bolster KAIST’s global standing.

KAIST professors have more opportunities to pursue research because our enviable financial structure provides the ideal balance between teaching and research. I can think of only a few other universities in the world that have such a situation. With these opportunities, we also have our share of challenges. One of the pressing challenges is to hire more professors, since 50 percent of our faculty will retire in 10 years. We will apply some of the gifts KAIST has received to create several junior chaired professorships to recruit promising talent. We also will work with the government to receive more faculty positions to prepare for the future.

KAIST also has an outstanding group of staff members, who manages all phases of KAIST’s operations, including our relationships with government and industry. Their workload has been heavy, since we have undertaken many major research projects and innovative educational programs during the past four years. I salute the effort of our staff for the job well done. To reward exceptional performance, we must improve our personnel policies so that the most productive and creative staff members are recognized and promoted in a timely manner.

Because of the achievements of our faculty and staff, the Korean people and friends abroad have responded with their support. Major gifts by Chairman Chung Moon Soul, the generosity of Dr. and Mrs. BJ Park, Chairman and Mrs. Neil Pappalardo, Dr. Lyu Keun Chul, Chairman and Mrs. Donald Kim, Chairman and Mrs. Kim Byung-Ho, Chairman and Mrs. Cho Chun-Sik, Chairman Bae Hwi-Yul, Chairman Lee Chong-Moon, Dr. Lim Hyung-Kyu, Chairman Lee Hak-Yong, Dr. Kang Baek-Hyun, Chairman Mr. Ahn Seung-Pil, Mr. Chung Seung-Ryul and his family, and thousands of other donors, including those who wish to remain anonymous, have made KAIST much more competitive. The number of donors has increased exponentially during the past four years to over 4,300 benefactors. On behalf of all members of the KAIST family, I say, “Thank you.”

While KAIST is stronger than ever financially, we have a long way to go to be competitive with richer universities of the world. It is up to us to show that we deserve the continued support of the Korean people and our benefactors.

We have almost completed the construction of seven new buildings and are about to start four more construction projects. While significant, KAIST still has many old buildings and facilities that require extensive maintenance. We must continue to raise the quality of KAIST’s infrastructure to support the groundbreaking research and teaching being undertaken in these buildings. Because we have neglected some of these buildings for so long, it will take a massive investment to renovate them.

Not one of the accomplishments of the past four years could have been made without the world-class leadership of vice presidents, deans, directors, and department heads. They have worked day and night to lead our university. I am particularly indebted to Provost Chang Soon Heung, who has led all aspects of KAIST’s operations. Vice President Yang Jiwon has ably dealt with our relationship with government and external organizations. Vice President Kim Sang Soo has played a key role in establishing and operating the KAIST Institutes, including the construction of the Park KI Building. Vice President Kang Minho effectively led the integration of KAIST and ICU. Dean of Academic Affairs Lee Kwang Hyung has done a superb job of administering our academic programs. Dean of Students Paik Kyung Wook has successfully dealt with all matters pertaining to the well-being of students. Dean Im Yong Taek has been outstanding in all aspects of our relationship with outside organizations. Dean for Research Professor Yang Hyun Seung, Dean for Academic Information Yoon Hyun Soo, Dean for Admissions Kim Do Kyung, Dean for EEWS Lee Jae Kyu, and Dean for Technology Transfer Park Sunwon have been exemplary leaders of KAIST. Our academic deans, Dean Do Young Kyu, Dean Dong Won Kim, Dean Sang Yup Lee, Dean Seung O Park, Dean Lee Yong Hoon, and Dean Ravi Kumar have shown great leadership and served KAIST most effectively. Professor Kim Soo Hyun has done a great job for the KAIST Development Foundation and for the KAIST Alumni Association. Director Lee Sang Moon has been a distinguished leader of our administration. Also I would like to thank the head of the Planning Office Jang Jae Suk and Team Leader Kim Kihan for their exceptional work, notwithstanding the difficult tasks they had to perform.

Many of our faculty members who have not held any office formally have made KAIST what it is today. Their commitment, scholarship, mentorship to our students, and their service for KAIST and Korea have made strengthened KAIST as an institution. In this regard, I would like to thank Professor Kim Jung Hoi for his great leadership of the Faculty Association.

Finally, I owe a great debt and special thanks to my office staff. Chief of Staff Won Dong Hyuck has been an exceptional colleague in executing the work of the office of the President of KAIST. He was ably assisted by Mr. Cho Boram, Ms. Hong Yoonju, and Mr. Kang Yong Seop. They have worked tirelessly and their achievements on behalf of KAIST have been tremendous.

I would be remiss not to recognize the most important member of my life, my wife, who shares my commitment and passion for KAIST’s success. Without her undying support and wise counsel, I would not be here today. I am eternally grateful.

There is a great deal of exciting and challenging work ahead.  We will now begin to form a new team for the next phase of KAIST’s development. As of August 1, 2010, Professor Choi Byung Kyu will be the Provost, Professor Yang Dong Yul will be VP in charge of KI and research, Professor Joo Dae Joon will be VP for External Affairs, and Professor Lee Gyun Min will be the Dean for Academic Affairs. There will be some other changes as well. I ask each and every one of you to give them your support as they undertake new tasks for KAIST.

Our work will not be easy. We must move forward with an unparalleled dedication to excellence, a palpable and contagious sense of enthusiasm, a genuine trust in and respect for one another, and an unfailing belief in what KAIST should and can be. 

I pledge to do my best to serve you and KAIST most effectively. With your help and through our work, we will fuel the pride into Korea and its people through the education of our young people and through innovative research that will fundamentally change our world for the better.

Thank you.

Inauguration ceremony for the 14th President of KAIST held on July 14, 2010 이미지
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