Sogang’s March is full of the evergreen spirit of youth. Freshmen look this way and that and ask for directions to their first lectures as seniors exchange warm greetings. The brisk pace of students and their excited voices merge into a veritable buzz of expectation for their coming semester. Such elation is to be expected on the first day of class, especially for those who have just earned the title of being a collegian ― something they have longed and endeavored for over several years. Their sweat and tears have paid off as they have proven that they are worthy of said title and stepped through Korea’s narrow gate to university. It is here where the irony rises: what if the professors themselves have somehow evaded the even narrower gate to appointment? What if Sogang’s corruption and incompetence have endowed its professorship on those not cut for it?
The string of events that started from the Namyangju crisis directed heightened attention on the Jesuit foundation’s corruption and lack of management abilities. The unofficial nomination of the presidency led to students of Sogang further querying whether other Jesuit faculties enjoy a similar special treatment unbeknownst ― and detrimental ― to us students.
Article 6 Qualification of Appointment of the articles of association states,
①. Faculty ranking above Assistant professors should have experience as stated in Article 20 Protocol 1, be qualified under the education law, and fall under one of the following categories. The Teachers' Personnel Committee, hereinafter in this Article referred to as the Committee, is to review and acknowledge his or her qualification as an educator and research achievements as a full-time faculty.
<Amended on 2005.11.15> <Amended on 2012.7.18.>
1. Doctoral degree (excluding honorary doctorate)
2. Outstanding research, performance in the industry - university collaboration (including past career), or education performance correspondent to Protocol 1. <Amended on 2011.12.14.>
Article 9 Procedure of Appointment of the articles of association states,
③. The procedure of special appointment of faculty is as follows.
<Enacted on 2005.11.15>
4. The appointment of a Jesuit qualified as provided in Article 6 is enacted through special regulations. [Moved from Article 2 Protocol 9]
Said special regulations are left unspecified to this day. In an attempt to shed some light on this secrecy, Sogang’s Emergency Planning Committee (EPC) requested disclosure on the special regulations of appointment of Jesuit faculty. The headquarters, however, expressed displeasure and demanded the committee to do so through a formal request of information disclosure.
Through the committee, The Sogang Herald submitted the request on January 1, to which the headquarters responded with a notice of extension. It was the day before holidays ― January 25, 4 p.m. ― when at long last the headquarters declared a decision of non-disclosure. The grounds for the non-disclosure stand as follows: “The above information pertains to in-house human resources affairs, and thus its disclosure may disrupt the fair performance of duties and honest gains of our school.”
Last February 2, the EPC uploaded a post on Facebook regarding their recent efforts. The committee expressed their disappointment and criticism by writing, “Our right to know encompasses the standards for appointment qualifications. The fact that Jesuit faculty’ wages are part of the educational expenditures and that they offer courses is where our right to know arises.
“The disclosure of these special regulations is crucial in verifying whether Jesuits are being appointed in accordance to legitimate standards. Irrational appointments, if they are taking place, should be criticized and rectified. If unqualified faculty appointed through said regulations is doing harm to the educational level of our school or our students’right of education, the transparent disclosure of regulations would contribute to our school’ interests. If special regulations are staying veiled regardless of their contents and unnecessarily stirring members of the school, again, their transparent disclosure would contribute to our school’ interests.”
Let us retreat to the question posed priorly: what if Sogang’s corruption and incompetence have endowed its professorship on those not cut for it via special regulations? If so, who bears the cost of such irrational endowments? The question tells its own tale ― the lamentable fact is that students, us Sogangers, are in the position to foot the bill. Sogang must reconsider its past course of action and deliberate whether the preferential treatments enjoyed by Jesuit members within the school have been clipping albatross’s wings.
©EFC facebook page