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Taiwan Ministry of Education scraps election of major university president

NTU will have to restart selection procedure from the beginning: reports

NTU President-elect Kuan Chung-ming (second from left) with supporters before the announcement.

NTU President-elect Kuan Chung-ming (second from left) with supporters before the announcement. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Following three months of reviews and a change in minister, the Ministry of Education announced Friday evening it had rejected the election of former National Development Minister Kuan Chung- ming (管中閔) as president of the country’s most prestigious college, National Taiwan University (NTU).

Since his election last January, Kuan, a former Kuomintang minister, has been caught up in a web of allegations, ranging from failing to reveal a board membership and plagiarism to teaching at three Chinese universities in violation of laws banning such activities for Taiwanese professors and government members.

His inauguration was scheduled for February 1, but the ministry refused to allow him to take office.

Following Friday’s decision, the selection procedure for a new NTU president will have to be repeated right from the start, the Apple Daily wrote. There were contradictory remarks in the media as to whether Kuan would be allowed to run for president again or not.

The main objection to his becoming president was the fact that he had not reported that he was an independent board member at Taiwan Mobile, while Richard Tsai (蔡明興), the chairman of the Fubon Financial Group, which controls the cellphone system operator, sat on the NTU selection committee.

Kuan’s activities in China also attracted attention, as they might have conflicted with rules restricting Taiwanese university professors from serving in China and barring Cabinet members from working there shortly after leaving government office.

Kuan maintained he was innocent and repeatedly criticized the ministry’s stance.

During the three months of review, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) resigned and was replaced by Wu Maw-kuen (吳茂昆).