NTU president-elect vows not to be ‘knocked down by politics’

National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (???) said Saturday in California that he will continue to fight against the education ministry's decision not to confirm his appointment and will not give way to political pressure.

During a speech at the NTU Alumni Association of Southern California (NTUAASC) in Los Angeles, Kuan said he has been tempted several times to give up, since the Ministry of Education (MOE) failed to confirm him in the post following his election on Jan. 5.

However, Kuan said, amid the pressure over the past few months, former NTU President Chen Wei-jao's (???) has been encouraging him to stand firm.

Chen has made the point that the people coming out in support of Kuan's appointment are actually protesting against the government's attempts to undermine university autonomy, Kuan said.

"Therefore I will continue standing by the NTU, standing by academic freedom, and will not be knocked down by politics," said Kuan, who was invited by the NTUAASC to speak at its 45th anniversary event.

The invitation itself stirred controversy in the association as some members were supportive of the MOE's decision not to confirm Kuan's appointment as NTU president.

Due to the disagreement, more than 20 members of NTUAASC on Saturday announced that they would form their own alumni association in protest against the invitation to Kuan to speak at the anniversary event.

Following Kuan's appointment as NTU president on Jan. 5, he was due to take up the post on Feb. 1, pending confirmation by the MOE, but the ministry decided not to confirm him in the post, citing conflict of interest in the selection process.

Since then, two education ministers, Pan Wen-chung (???) and Wu Maw-kuen (???), have resigned over the controversy and NTU has not named an alternative candidate for the post of president.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel