New Ewha president holds “Open Debate”
New Ewha president holds “Open Debate”
  • Lee Yoon-soo
  • 승인 2014.08.31 23:12
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The new Ewha president Choi Kyung-hee started her first official event in front of 997 Ewha professors with an “Open Debate. It was held on Aug. 20 at the Ewha Campus Complex Theater. Differing from annual faculty meeting, the “Open Debate” allowed the president and professors to freely discuss issues related to Ewha.
Professors were allowed to make formal complaints or requests to the president, who stood on the podium as the main speaker of the event. Professors who wished to stay anonymous could send text messages, some of which were discussed during the debate. As there was no restriction on topics, professors were encouraged to submit any issues concerning Ewha’s present and future.
The debate started with a question from professor Kim Hee-sun (Architecture Design).
“I heard the word ‘innovation’ a lot recently, which made me wonder the innovative plan Ewha has for College of Engineering,” professor Kim said.
As a response, president Choi explained her personal definition of the word “innovation.”
“With a history of 128 years, Ewha has a strong stability,” president Choi said. “However, we need to be more prepared than this. Development through interdisciplinary approach on education is what I call ‘innovation.’”
Professors not only called for improvement and reforms but also gave suggestions to improve Ewha’s educational environment. As an example, they pointed out the problem of faculty evaluation system. There was an opinion that the evaluation system hinders professors from freely bringing up research of high quality.
A professor demanded a modification in the system for self-regulation and autonomous environment for professors. Also, professors brought up the need for one-stop channel with the president that allows them to easily submit their suggestions regarding Ewha’s development.
During the heated discussion, professors and the president shared ideas on collaboration between colleges, improvement of studies in engineering and natural sciences, Ewha’s reputation and future of global Ewha.
Furthermore, delicate issues such as teaching environment and welfare system for professors were also discussed in the meeting. Some professors conveyed complaints on the maternity leave and childcare system in Ewha.
“Regarding this complaint, we aim to build an institution within Ewha campus to accommodate children of professors and even graduate school students until the end of the year,” president Choi answered. 
Throughout the discussion, the president also emphasized the need for flexible communication within the school community.
“Whenever there is no feedback to your ideas, do not hesitate to contact me through a personal e-mail,” president Choi said.
Professors agreed with the intention of the event.
“There were a lot of press covering the event which I think is a proof of confidence that we have clear and well-directed plans for the school,” professor Kim said. “It was great to share ideas with professors from various departments.

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