The Ministry of Education recently provided advance notice of changes to the regulations governing the organization and workings of university presidential selection commissions. It is generally believed that these changes are a response to the National Taiwan University presidential appointment controversy, and some have taken to calling them the "Kuan Chung-ming clauses" after the NTU president.
The Ministry of Education recently announced changes to the regulations governing the organization and workings of university presidential selection commissions. A limit of two terms has been placed on commission members, and a selection commission can be disbanded by a university affairs committee if it fails to carry out its duties or cannot resolve selection disputes within a three-month period. These changes generated controversy after the announcement. Education Minister Pan Wen-chung says the major premise for the amendments was university autonomy.
Making the processes public, making information transparent, and avoiding conflicts of interest are all issues that are controversial. We wanted to return to the premise of university autonomy to allow schools to resolve disputes in the event that selection commissions face controversies or related situations.
The minister added that the authority to disband presidential selection commissions has been given to university affairs committees, and the ministry will not interfere. The next step is to gather the opinions of universities. National Cheng Kung University Secretary-General Lee Ching-chang says his school established a task force to study changes to regulations last year and is preparing to amend the presidential selection method. However, as the overarching principles remain indeterminate, progress has come to a halt.
The premise is that there is a dispute in the presidential selection commission. At that time, we would probably follow the Ministry of Education's amendment direction to conduct some research.
National Taiwan University Secretary-General Sun Hsiao-chih also responded to the amendments, issuing a statement that said the amendments can be accepted in general terms, and the most important parts are the detailed regulations on how the relationships between selection commission members and candidates should be disclosed and the specific course of action and mechanism on how to prevent conflicts of interest for commission members. However, as the amendments are too detailed, they may be overkill. Nevertheless, once the changes take effect, there will be a concrete legal and administrative basis for the selection of university presidents.