National Taiwan University president-elect under fire

Concerns have been raised over how Kuan Chung-ming was selected as leader of Taiwan’s top university

February 23, 2018
National Taiwan University
Source: iStock

The incoming president of Taiwan’s leading university has yet to begin his term because of controversy over his position on the board of a private company and allegations of plagiarism, according to reports.

Kuan Chung-ming, who was a minister without portfolio in the previous Kuomintang government and is a former chief of the National Development Council, had been due to start as president of National Taiwan University on 1 February.

But that was put on hold when, in January, it was revealed that he failed to report his role as an independent board member at Taiwan Mobile during the selection process.

The company’s vice-chairman, Richard Tsai, and two other Taiwan Mobile executives sat on the 21-member university committee that chose Mr Kuan to become president. 

Eight NTU professors held a press conference on 31 January criticising the presidential selection process, according to reports.

Chang Liao Wan-chien, a legislator who is a member of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party, has also alleged that part of an academic paper that Mr Kuan presented in May 2017 had been plagiarised.

Mr Kuan has denied the charges, and NTU has said that it will not formally investigate the claims because the paper was a “work in progress” and the conference at which it was presented was an “informal” one, according to reports.

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