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KAIST president R. Laughlin speaks during a news conference
KAIST president Robert Laughlin speaks during a news conference at the Government Complex in Kwachon, south of Seoul, Tuesday. / Korea Times 2005-02-01 THE KOREA TIMES By Kim Tae-gyuStaff Reporter Robert Laughlin, president of Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), takes a step backward from his hardline push for KAIST reform in the face of strong opposition. The 1998 Nobel laureate in physics, who took the helm of the nation’s top technology university last July, made the point Tuesday at a press conference at the Kwachon Government Complex in southern Seoul. ``Privatization of KAIST is not on the table. We are only discussing securing money for the advancement of KAIST as a world-class institution,’’ the 54-year-old president said. Laughlin also denied the swirling suspicions that he plans to transform KAIST to a general-purpose, undergraduate-focused college from the current research-oriented graduate school. ``The issue we are discussing is moving the business model of KAIST toward the one used by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, not changing KAIST’s structure,’’ he said. This is a retreat from his original plan to fundamentally overhaul the state-funded KAIST to a market-oriented institute by several aggressive measures. In a new investment strategy for KAIST in December, roughly five months after his tenure began, Laughlin said KAIST is trapped in a funding squeeze from which there appears to be no exit. He then suggested revamping its traditional emphasis on graduate education because this type of system has come to be out of tune with the market. He even proposed expanding the enrollment of KAIST to 20,000 from the current total of 7,500 and charging tuition fees of 3 million won per semester from the current fee of under 850,000 won. The surprise reform plan created a backlash from KAIST faculty, students and government officials, who regarded the scheme as a privatization attempt. In the process, professor Park O-ok, dean of the school’s planning office, resigned from his position in early December and asked Laughlin to abandon the reform. In response, Laughlin said the miscommunication resulted from the secret process of KAIST reform discussion. He expected policy announcement in early March to clear up misconceptions. Regarding Park’s protests, he said: ``I had a personality problem with him but that has now been fixed.’’ Yesterday, Laughlin appointed Chang Soon-heung, professor in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering, to fill Park’s position. email@example.com
U.S. Nobel Laureate to Run Korea's Top Tech University
Robert Laughlin, President of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) DAEJEON, July 14 (Yonhap) -- Nobel Physics Prize laureate Robert Laughlin was sworn in Wednesday as the first foreign president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), South Korea"s top technology university. Laughlin, in his inauguration speech, pledged to transform the state-run Korean university into a globally competitive educational institution, while also vowing to make it research oriented. "Many people have asked me how I, as a foreigner, could possibly understand the situation here at KAIST, much less figure out a path forward," he said. "The short answer is that the situation here is not unique. The problems facing the research university are historical in nature and essentially identical all over the world." He added the same worried discussions are taking place in other universities around the globe such as at Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Heidelberg and Tokyo. "I have come here not to solve your problems but to solve my own," the 54-year-old American said. Laughlin said KAIST is a large, well-functioning organization for which few things needed to be changed. The former Stanford University professor also promised to work hard to lead the university in a novel direction. "All of us in the technical university have a holy obligation ... we are here for the sole purpose of having big dreams and finding the strength to make them come to pass," Laughlin said. "As far as I"m concerned, my job comes down to one thing: to make sure that your dreams are big enough, and to help everyone here -- faculty and students -- find the means to make them come to pass. That"s all," he said. The ceremony was attended by Science and Technology Minister Oh Myung, Daejeon City Mayor Yeom Hong-chul and U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Thomas Hubbard, among others. On Thursday, Laughlin is scheduled to meet President Roh Moo-hyun in Seoul. Laughlin will start his four-year term from mid-August, KAIST said. Laughlin won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1998 with Horst Stoermer of Germany and Daniel Tsui of the United States for discovering a new form of quantum fluid that gives more profound insights into the general inner structure and dynamics of matter. On May 28, he was chosen to run the Korean university at a board meeting. (END)
Nobel Laureate Heads KAIST
Nobel Laureate Heads KAIST By Kim Tae-gyu / Staff Reporter THE KOREA TIMES 05-29-2004 A Nobel laureate will lead the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), winning a stiff race with a pair of strong Korean candidates. The KAIST on Friday said the state-financed institute appointed Robert Laughlin as its 12th president instead of two local hopefuls, professors Shin Seong-cheol and Park Seong-ju. This is the first time that foreigners take charge of the KAIST since it was established in 1971 and Laughlin also is noted in the history as the first Nobel Prize winner to head Korea"s educational institute. After receiving approval of Science-Technology Minister Oh Myung, Laughlin will be inaugurated as early as next month, according to a KAIST official. Laughlin, a Stanford professor, made his name after being co-awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics with Horst Stoermer and Daniel Tsui for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid. The findings, which explained the fractional quantum hall effect for the first time, have been recognized as a significant breakthrough in understanding quantum physics. The American physicist had also sustained a special connection with Korea even before he garnered the prestigious prize and has visited Korea several times. Early last month, Laughlin was named to head the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP) in recognition of his notable interest in Korea. The APCTP is an international research institute headquartered inside Pohang University of Science and Technology in North Kyongsang Province. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nobel Laureate Applies for KAIST President
Korea Times / 2004.5.17By Kim Tae-gyu / Staff Reporter A Nobel laureate has applied to become president of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), with the final decision scheduled for late this month. The state-financed institute said on Sunday Robert Laughlin had thrown in his hat for the candidacy of the 15th president, along with a couple of Korean competitors. Laughlin, who was born in California in 1950, made his name after being co-awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Physics with Horst Stoermer and Daniel Tsui for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid. The findings, which explained the fractional quantum hall effect for the first time, have been recognized as a significant breakthrough in the understanding of quantum physics. The American physicist had maintained a special connection with Korea even before he received the prestigious prize and has visited Korea several times. Early last month, he was appointed to head the Asia Pacific Center for Theoretical Physics (APCTP), the international research institute headquartered inside Pohang University of Science and Technology in North Kyongsang Province. According to a KAIST official, Laughlin said during his latest visit to Korea this month that he would develop the KAIST as a research-oriented model and would limit involvement in management to encourage scientists to focus on creating value. The KAIST board will select the next president May 28. Among other candidates are KAIST professors Shin Seong-cheol and Park Seong-ju. email@example.com
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