[Vol.20] The Growth Engine of "Brand New UST" is Trust-based Convergence (Kapdong Park, Dean of Student Affairs)
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- Registration Date : 2016-12-28
Kapdong Park, the Dean of Student Affairs who has led the office of Student Affairs since 2014 after serving as the Dean of office of Academic Affairs and office of Planning, presented a new vision of "Trusted UST through innovation of education and research convergence system." He also did not forget to give an advice on the attitude that each and every student has to have as the protagonist of the new history. The future of UST has become more interesting owing to the constant system restructuring, which has been done with trial and error.
Providing more thoughtful and reliable solution
He said, "UST turns 13 this year. The age of 13 in a human's life is a time when the beauty of spring flowers and the storm and gale of adolescence coexist. It's a time when one has to set a vision for a new world, have his or her own dream, and make extraordinary efforts for a better future. Now is the time for UST to check its current status for sustainable development."
He had drawn a macroscopic blueprint or mid-to-long term strategy, which is so called UST VISION 2025, as the Head of office of Planning, and the Student Affairs Department is where he realizes the blueprint under the cooperation with the government-funded research institutes. As the steersman of the office of Student Affairs, Mr. Park is trying to communicate with students in spare moments while he deals with various affairs such as student selection, support for them to adapt to the differentiated education system of UST, fostering as the future science and technology leader, and post-graduation employment and career management. First and foremost, in order to establish trust between UST and students, Dean Park began informing the status of the organization without adding or concealing anything.
"I have been to a meeting with students just before. I listened to the voice of the them and explained about new systems. In particular, for programs that were prepared with great efforts but are going to be reorganized/discarded after trial and error, it is important to give full explanation about the change and share the lessons from it, as well as to form a consensus about what is the right response from each position. I think we have to disclose what is right and wrong to get a proper solution and help from the members."
The dean asserted the priority task of UST is to establish the school's identity. The title of "National research institute (associated) university" is nothing more than a declaration of its identity.
"UST is nurturing core talents in the field of national strategic science and technology through curriculum that is differentiated not only from general universities but also from universities specializing in science and technology. UST students can absorb global research results in a short time, with the help of knowledge, skills and researchers that the government-funded institutes have fostered for decades. Students can utilize cutting edge, large, specialized research equipment and facilities that are scarcely held by general universities and participate in national research and development projects as student researcher. All the experience they will have in the projects including research, training, paper writing will serve as precious experience asset for them.
Make the most of UST's unique system
Before joining UST, Kapdong Park has worked at private optical communication company and Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science, striving to create "Alive Standard." Science technology has inseparable relationship with standard.
"In order to overcome the limitations of growth potential in an uncertain future, approach by scientific and technological method or presentation of objective evidence is very important. Establishing timely standards will drive growth and spur innovation, but I have often witnessed standard became barriers to common goals if they were outdated or if they failed to reflect critical demand."
Recently, as a result of a series of events such as the MERS outbreak, natural disaster prediction (earthquake and tsunami) failures, nuclear plant accidents, and cell phone battery explosion, the credibility for science and technology has decreased while the negative perception and anxiety about them are increasing.
"I think the reliability issue of modern science, especially national research projects, lies not in money or manpower, but a cultural difference. Scientists need to collect and analyze evidence and check and develop each other's studies through open communication rather than holding on to speed-race like competition. We should actively inform the public about why we should follow new methods. We must form a consensus through in-depth research and objective verification of the expert group to fully explain the benefits of new science and technology as well as the negative effects and to resolve the anxiety of the public and inform them the desirable way to overcome it. "
He was also a scientist who majored in physics. His method to gain trust as a researcher was to know exactly what he does not know and disclose the fact so as to find a colleague or mentor who would solve the problem together.
"As I look back, I was a student with many questions and sometimes a little weird. I bothered my friends and mentors a lot. (Laughs) If you are a science major, you have to distinguish what you need to get aware of by yourself and what you should recognize in a face to face discussion. I am a professor, but I often tell students, "I have no clear idea about this." I think that does not result in a loss of authority, but rather a more solid foundation of trust. If you encounter a closed wall, ask yourself first, then your friend, then the professor, and if you still fail to find an answer, you can go so far as to attend academic seminars where the experts gather.
Again, he unfolds a new map
As you can see, all of what he said is the things we have to take with a long breath. Dean Park said with confidence, "In order to meet the expectations of the public and to be a science and technology institute serving to society, we must overcome conflicts and exclusiveness between disciplines, industries, public and private sectors and get together based on trust."
"If you are a USTian, you should not hesitate to go to the moon, dive deep into the sea below 10,000 meters, or go to Antarctica or Mars. As it takes a long time to go the untrodden, far, and tough way, we need a firm vision of why and for what I am doing this. In addition, we have to bring various groups of experts together to come up with 'trustworthy results.' As our researches are national projects commissioned by the government and funded by the taxpayer's money, we have to approach them carefully, and all the members have to internalize their responsibility and ethics. ""
He added that nonetheless the challenges arise every now and, so we need the power of the system to break through the walls that are not easy to overcome by ourselves.
"To help students from the moment they enter UST so that they can determine their career goal and manage relative career, we launched a 'Career Development System.' The trust and reputation of the school comes from students. I believe that it is our mission to cultivate talents with research capabilities and knowledge that are required by the nation and society, so that the 'UST' can be a certified check. We will continue to solicit the nation's trust by contributing to national science and technology or education-related issues in increasingly larger portion."
Even now Dean Park is looking for improvements in every part of UST. The reason why he can keep smiling even in such fierce work that does not give him a room to slow down the tension 365 days a year is that UST has vast growth energy, trustworthy staff, and vision. UST has a lot of work to do and far way to go to regain the trust of the public and to be reborn as a national research institute association graduate school that gives sense of hope to the people. With the hope for the school's advance as a leading national research institute university at the center of industry-academia cooperation and international cooperation network, we give strength to my knees again with enthusiastic zest.