Taipei, National Taiwan University (NTU) said Monday it has retained a lawyer to settle a legal dispute involving the Ministry of Education's (MOE) refusal to approve the appointment of NTU President-elect Kuan Chung-ming (???).
In a statement issued Monday, the university expressed regret and a strong protest over the ministry's failure to approve Kuan's appointment, a move that NTU said violated the University Act.
The university has also retained a lawyer, it said, to appeal the ministry's decision to the Executive Yuan's appeals committee so that it can protect the university's autonomy in selecting its president.
If that does not resolve the problem, the university said it is prepared to take the case to Taiwan's Administrative Court.
The NTU presidential selection committee chose Kuan on Jan. 5 to head the school, but the MOE did not confirm his appointment to take up the post on Feb. 1 as scheduled.
The ministry decided in a closed-door meeting on April 27 not to approve Kuan's selection and sent an official letter to the university on May 4, asking it to restart the process to select a new president, citing a flawed selection process.
On May 12, NTU convened a school affairs committee meeting to address the issue, and the committee decided by a 76-43 vote that the MOE should quickly confirm Kuan's appointment in accordance with the law.
The university then sent a letter to the ministry on May 22 based on the May 12 resolution calling on the MOE to approve Kuan's appointment according to the law.
The MOE replied with another official letter to NTU on May 24, requesting it to restart the process to select a new president.
In its statement Monday, NTU stressed its consistent stance on upholding university autonomy, saying that the school's presidential selection committee confirmed on Jan. 31 that there were no issues with Kuan's qualifications as NTU president.
Acting Minister of Education Yao Leeh-ter (???) said Monday that the ministry respects NTU's decision to file an appeal to address the controversy.
Yao said the ministry will respect the results of the Executive Yuan's appeals committee and expressed the hope that NTU will also respect the results.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel