Audit for illegal affairs favoring Chung Yoo-ra in progress
Audit for illegal affairs favoring Chung Yoo-ra in progress
  • Son young-chai, Kim Jee-min
  • 승인 2016.11.14 13:41
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The Ministry of Education (MOE) has started a special audit on Oct. 31 over alleged special favors granted by the school regarding Human Movement Studies major Chung Yoo-ra. The investigation, scheduled to be completed on Nov. 11, has been extended by four days, and will be completed on Nov. 15.
According to the investigators, the pending investigation has been extended due to the wide range of information and documents under investigation. Also, the investigation is operating face-to-face private interviews with not only Chung, but her mother Choi Soon-sil and other university affiliates. Previously, the MOE stated that the lack of references and materials regarding Chung’s admission process and academic achievement rubrics were stagnating the investigation.
Accusations mostly stemmed from her application process, the replacement of her academic adviser, and biased grading. Accordingly, the MOE has launched a two-week inspection by sending 12 inspectors to comparatively investigate Chung’s application and academic evaluation with fellow athletes who were administered via the same application process in 2014. Students’ records of attendance, GPA, and admission will be comparatively analyzed.
According to school discipline, athletes applying for the Department of Human Movement Studies, now the Department of Kinesiology and Sports Studies, are only eligible if they obtained a medal from either a national or international competition within three years before the application deadline of Sept. 16, 2014. However, Chung is known to have credited her gold medal from the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, which she acquired on Sept. 20, four days after the deadline.
In addition, suspicions from professors who conducted admission interviews have been raised that Professor Nam Kung Gon, the former Dean of the Office of Admissions, conveyed orders to select the student with the gold medal. On the day of the interview, Chung actually showed up wearing her gold medal.
Allegations of the school’s favoritism toward Chung were highlighted when Choi threatened to sue Professor Ham, Chung’s previous advisory professor for warning Chung that her absences and low GPA might amount to expulsion later on. Chung’s GPA was reportedly 0.11 in her first semester.
Choi demanded a new advisory professor to Professor Lee, the dean of the department, which was accepted. Chung faces accusations of receiving special favor in academic credits as well. According to the school’s new regulations, students who are absent due to international competitions, training, and practice sessions can file official documents proving their participation to substitute for their attendance. Chung is accused of benefitting from this regulation without submitting the necessary paperwork.
In the department of Chung’s major, curiosity and suspicion about Chung’s admission, whereabouts, and attendance had been raised as early as February 2015. Now, more than a year later, their questions have been answered loud and clear by the media: Chung was exempted from the minimal attendance policies, and she took advantage of regulations without submitting required documents. She plagiarized assignments, on which she scored above average despite her failure even to meet deadlines, and this also triggered red flags of possible preferential treatment regarding her academic credits.
Chung, who registered the current semester, but took a leave when accusations arose, is said to have been unseen in her department.
Meanwhile, the school could be subject to punitive measures, depending upon the results of the special inspection. If the suspicions revolving around Chung’s illegal admission are proved to be true, the maximum quota for freshmen entering in 2018 could be cut by 10 percent, according to the Higher Education Act. The MOE may also cut or even cancel the education funds Ewha is currently receiving. The school is expressing uncertainty toward the possible sanctions.
“As the inspection is still in process, it is hard to predict what measures the school will have to deal with,” explained Kim Dae-in, Deputy Director of the Office of University Planning and Coordination.

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