Ewha’s 17th Presidential Election took place on Nov. 25 and 26 with nine candidates running for the office. The final vote counts were announced on Nov. 26 and finalized with the Board of Directors decision on Nov. 27.
Kim Eun-mi, professor in the Graduate School of International Studies and director of the Global Health Institute for Girls, has been declared the next president of Ewha.
Kim is a graduate of Ewha’s Department of Sociology and attended Brown University for her master’s and doctoral degrees in sociology. She also served as the dean of the Graduate School of International Studies from 2005 until 2017 and the dean of Ewha’s Graduate School from 2017 to 2019.
Outside of Ewha, Kim has been an honorary professor at the International Institute of Korean Studies in University of Central Lancashire in the U.K. since 2019. She served as the president of the Korea Association of International Development and Cooperation in 2011 and 2012. She was also a member of the Committee for International Development Cooperation under the Prime Minister's Office. Additionally, Kim was part of the Policy Advisory Committees in two ministries, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Gender Equality and Family.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the election was conducted online. Voters who registered beforehand to participate were sent a link that led them to the K-Voting system, created by the National Election Commission.
Prior to the elections, each candidate recorded a video of their pledges, accessible to the Ewha community on the official Election Commission webpage.
A policy debate was held as well, but due to social distancing measures, only a limited number of people were allowed to participate. The debate proceedings were separated into four target audiences: students, faculty, alumnae, and staff.
All the following debate proceedings were posted on the election webpage.
The presidential election tallied votes from school staff, faculty members, students, and alumni. The proportional value of the votes were divided as follows: faculty members accounted for 77.5 percent, school staff 12 percent, students 8.5 percent, and alumni two percent. In the first round, 6,424 votes were cast, while the runoff saw a total of 6,341.
On the first day of voting, professors Kim Eun-mi and Kang Hye-ryun from the Division of Business Administration, received the most votes with 22 percent and 24.4 percent respectively. These candidates then competed in a runoff election on Nov. 26.
In the runoff election, Kim received 51.9 percent of the votes, securing her position as Ewha’s 17th president.
Considering the proportion of votes, Kim received 536 votes and Kang received 496. Kim’s position was finalized by the Board of Directors on Nov. 27.
According to Kim’s pledges, she hopes to specifically work on improving Ewha’s standing in research through increased funding. She emphasized the current lack of support for the research sector in the school, citing the disappointing Brain Korea (BK) project results announced early this year. Ewha was not named to any of the BK projects for various majors, missing out on the opportunity to receive government funding.
Kim also hopes to establish the country’s first undergraduate artificial intelligence program through a combination of online and offline courses.
Furthermore, she spoke on solving issues related to scholarships, administration, and teacher certification examinations. Kim promises to bring the Ewha community together for staff, students, and alumni.