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Hallym University’s 40th Anniversary Commemorative Speech by President Choi Yanghee

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  • Writer Global Engagement Center
  • 작성일 22.09.28

40th Anniversary Speech
 [Hallym University 40th Anniversary Ceremony]

Hallym University Faculty, students, and alumni,

   Hallym University started 40 years ago in March 1982 with 228 students in 4 departments, but in 2022, it has grown dramatically to 57 majors and 7,335 enrolled students. The late founder, Dr. Yoon Duk-sun, built a nest for Hallym at the foot of Mt. Bongui in Chuncheon with a dream, hope, and passion to achieve the talents needed by the nation through “a small but great university” and gave full support to it. In accordance with this will, Hallym University has grown explosively and has emerged as a top-ranking university in Korea within a short period of time.

Fellow Hallym families,
   We are here today to celebrate the achievements of Hallym University over the past 40 years. Although many higher education institutions have been established in Korea, there are few universities that have grown in scale, qualitatively developed, and respected by society like Hallym University. But we must not settle for reality. We must continuously pursue university innovation with new determination. This is because the improvement of Hallym University's competitiveness will only be possible when we design and pursue a new future, not when we are complacent with the past.

   What is the role and mission of the university? 40 years ago, Hallym University announced its founding philosophy of “cultivating talented people with rich humanity and creative intelligence, and promoting academic and cultural development”. To this end, he insisted that research and education should be conducted in response to the real world while cultivating a broad cultural perspective, high ethical judgment, and physical health, and strengthening global cooperation.
   However, 40 years later, universities around the world are facing a completely different environment from the past. The means of production, distribution, processing and utilization of new and innovative knowledge are overflowing, threatening the unique role of universities. Colleges from the past to the present are where students graduate from high school, enter college, earn credits, and meet certain conditions, receive a degree and enter society.
   Professors have made it their business to discover new knowledge through research and to easily solve it and provide education to students in the classroom while considering the university as an ivory tower and being protected by the retirement age guarantee system. In addition, professors are evaluated for the quantity and level of research as well as the content and quality of lectures, and are ordered to maximize their competency in a system where promotions or salaries are adjusted accordingly. Students must also follow the tightly structured framework of liberal arts, majors, electives, and non-curricular subjects.
   Universities in this shape are expected to no longer survive in the future. A variety of alternatives have already emerged and are experiencing explosive growth. For example, universities that do not have a campus, such as Minerva University or Taejae University, do not have physical classrooms and all classes are conducted in an online discussion format, universities that introduce courses provided by online lecture companies and do not hire full-time teachers, and several universities jointly share educational functions. Education companies that reject the existing degree system such as bachelor, master's, and doctorate and switch to nanodegree are gaining popularity. In response to this, the HR system is spreading in society in which people are treated equally even if they do not have a major if they have job competencies when selecting people for jobs.
   Korean universities are said to be in crisis. They are used to half-price tuition, poor government funding, poor endowment income, and a loose sense of work.

 Here, the emergency light is turned on to secure new students due to the decisive drop in the population. Perhaps in the short term, this pressure must be a factor that makes the growth of the university difficult, but I believe that the spread of various alternatives mentioned above is the fundamental crisis facing the university rather than such a pressure factor.

 Therefore, we must not only enjoy today's growth achieved by Hallym University over the past 40 years, but also reflect on the future and prepare countermeasures at the same time.
   A university is like a living creature moving in slow time. Decisions must be made carefully and there is a special organizational culture, such as taking some time to reconcile the various opinions and visions among the components. Therefore, it is essential to accurately design and carry out the process of predicting the future and establishing countermeasures. For this, I plan to have a direct conversation with all the teachers throughout the second semester. We know you are busy, but we encourage you to attend and share your views and vision.
   The future vision chosen by Hallym University is “a university where members are happy, an open university, a university that helps students grow, a university that communicates with the local community, and a leading university that leads others”. Over the past year, I have been working with university members to refine an action plan that will bring this to life. Accordingly, the names and functions of several organizations have been adjusted. Various action plans have been introduced or are being prepared to drive innovation.
   On this meaningful occasion to commemorate the 40th anniversary today, I would like to highlight some factors that we should place high value on for change and innovation at Hallym University.
   First, the growth of each member will be the most important. Professors will support you to gain recognition on or off campus. In particular, we want to discover individuals, groups, and academic organizations that create high-impact outcomes. Impact here will vary by field or major. What you did and what you are doing are important, but we will create an atmosphere of constant discussion on what to do and what we can do well in the school. If these efforts bear fruit, Hallym University will become a university where excellent professors come naturally.
   In order for universities to overcome the enterprise-type alternative education body, universities must also change. By improving the stereotypes of bachelor, education, research, and administration, it is necessary to provide students with a flexible, autonomous and high-quality education, thereby ensuring a satisfactory career path after graduation. Is the subject syllabus effective? We plan to preemptively overcome the crisis by examining many factors, such as whether graduation requirements are realistic, providing education that considers career paths after graduation, and whether alternative educational means such as MOOC and AI are well utilized.
   Over the past year, Hallym University has made efforts to achieve labor-management harmony, and I can say that labor and management are moving together in a positive direction step by step. I believe that real progress comes from talking, understanding and making concessions to each other.
   Dear members of Hallym,
   Hallym University is located in Chuncheon, Gangwon-do. However, this only refers to the physical location. In conversations with the local community, I have always said, “Let’s go beyond Gangwon.” I think that when we change our perception that Gangwon-do and Chuncheon are part of the center of the Republic of Korea rather than the fringes, peripheries, and borders, our goals for everything become clear and our motivation rises. When you change your mind, you see something different. You need to get to the center and be ready to paint the big picture.
   The world is changing so fast that Chuncheon is no longer a place that took hours to get to and from 40 years ago. After 5 years, it can be reached within 30-40 minutes even from the center of Seoul. Moreover, in the online world, everyone is central. Hallym University, which will be reborn as a metropolitan university, is not far away, and we need to upgrade our vision and strategy accordingly. Open Hallym University will communicate with the wider world, and I think it will bring better opportunities to professors and students.
   Hallym University is expected to achieve good results this year in terms of the freshman enrollment fill rate. Hallym University's global rankings and domestic university rankings are also maintaining the level of previous years. However, if you look closely, you can see that Hallym University's reputation is undervalued compared to reality. We want to make efforts to properly inform Hallym University, create success stories, and actively communicate with the outside world.
   Hallym University, an open university, aims to lead opinions on major social issues by meeting, communicating, and cooperating with internal members and external experts.

 There are few professional, independent, and autonomous think tanks in Korea. We plan to have the three flagship research institutes that Hallym University is nurturing, namely Hallym Academy of Sciences, Medical Bio Research Institute, and AI Research Institute, discover innovative and professional agendas and present their opinions. With this, Hallym University is expected to move closer to the new model of a comprehensive knowledge institution needed for the future society, not just an educational institution.
   Dear members of Hallym University,

   In the daunting celebration of the school's 40th anniversary, we share vision and aspiration for the future because there is hope that Korean university crisis (discussed above) can be wisely turned into an opportunity. We want to make a leap forward at Hallym University by strengthening communication with all of you and gathering wisdom. Lastly, I would like to express my infinite gratitude to Chairman Yoon Dae-won, who always protects Hallym University and does not spare any support.

   Thank you for listening.

2022. 9. 28.
  Hallym University President Choi Yanghee