Uncertainty looms over inauguration of NTU president-elect

Taipei-There remains uncertainty over whether National Taiwan University (NTU) president-elect Kuan Chung-ming (???) will assume his post on Feb. 1 as scheduled, with the Ministry of Education insisting on Tuesday that the university's selection committee must clear up allegations Kuan plagiarized a student's master's thesis before he can be appointed.

On Jan. 5, a 21-member selection committee at NTU chose Kuan, a minister in the Kuomintang administration of former President Ma Ying-jeou (???) from 2013-2015, as the university's new president.

However, his appointment has been delayed over plagiarism allegations, with the Democratic Progressive Party and New Power Party legislative caucuses on Jan. 23 proposing resolutions intended to prevent Kuan from becoming NTU president.

The two proposals were later withdrawn after NTU issued an official statement rejecting the plagiarism allegations as baseless.

The university said in a statement issued on Jan. 26 that Kuan's selection had been handled according to regulations established by the ministry and he should be approved as the university's president.

In the statement, NTU said that it collected information related to the charges, but determined at a meeting earlier that day that there was no case to answer.

According to the NTU statement, a conference paper co-authored and presented by Kuan did not violate its regulations because it was not a formal publication.

In addition, it also said that the parts Kuan is accused of plagiarizing were actually taken by the student from an unfinished paper by Kuan.

Commenting on the matter, Minister of Education Pan Wen-chung (???) said Tuesday that selecting the university's president is the responsibility of NTU's selection committee and so it must investigate the case and provide answers to questions that have been raised.

Pan said as far as he is aware the NTU school authorities are soliciting the selection committee's opinion on whether another meeting should be convened to officially address the issue.

Also on Tuesday, NTU Secretary-General Lin Ta-te (???) said the university is seeking the committee's view in the hope of achieving a timely resolution of the matter.

On Tuesday evening, sources from NTU said that the selection committee was likely to convene at noon the following day to discuss the issue of Kuan Chung-ming's appointment and would immediately submit its proposal to the Ministry of Education.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel