[New Presidency] Inaugural Address: Realize Our Vision through Consistently Promoted Excellence
[New Presidency] Inaugural Address: Realize Our Vision through Consistently Promoted Excellence
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  • 승인 2011.09.06 12:54
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Mr. Tae-Joon Park the Founding Chairman, Mr. Joon-yang Chung Chairman of the Board, distinguished guests, faculty, staff and students of POSTECH,

It is my great honor and privilege to be appointed as the 6th President of POSTECH.  I would like to express my deep appreciation to the POSTECH Board of Trustees and the Chairman of the Board for their confidence and trust in me to lead POSTECH to the next level of excellence. 

POSTECH was founded only 25 years ago.  Yet, due to the belief and tireless efforts of the Founding Chairman of the Board, Mr. Tae-Joon Park, the Founding President, Dr. Hogil Kim, faculty and staff members many of whom are here today, and many other people, POSTECH has made enormous strides to become a top Korean and Asian university in such a short time.  I would like to pay my deepest respect to your determination, spirited will, sacrifice, perseverance and passion that you have devoted to making POSTECH what it is today.  As I commit myself to putting all my efforts into achieving even greater development of POSTECH, I would like to start my presidency by reviewing POSTECH’s founding tenets, which are the following:

(1) to produce well-educated and trained future global leaders
(2) to perform pioneering fundamental and applied research in science and technology
(3) to translate our research through collaboration with industry to enrich the lives of the people of the world, and
(4) to serve the nation and the mankind.

I believe all of us gathered here today share a common vision for the future of POSTECH in which (1) POSTECH becomes a great place for learning where inspired students can learn from inspiring professors and (2) POSTECH is recognized as an outstanding research institution where faculty, students and graduates pioneer and lead the science and technology fields and discover solutions to the world’s grand challenges through innovation and collaboration.
To realize our vision, we need to establish a pervasive value system throughout the campus where excellence is pursued above all else by individuals as well as the organization, and decisions are made consistently in favor of excellence although they may be difficult and/or painful in the short term.  Excellence needs to be promoted consistently, protected vigorously and rewarded significantly. 

One of my greatest joys as a faculty member in the last 29 years is to share my knowledge and experience with students and see them succeed after graduation.  We need to be a role model for our students, help them develop a dream, make it grow and maximize their talents, and equip them with the proper training and right spirit so that they can pursue and realize their dreams in their future professional careers.  Our students must be provided with solid foundation and motivation for them to become life-long learners.   Our education needs to be transformed from analysis to more synthesis to foster creativity, from narrow coverage to a broad systems-oriented one, and from classroom teaching to student learning and discovery under faculty mentoring. 

It is critical to recruit and retain outstanding faculty members.  While individual faculty members must continue to increase their scholarship, we need to target and initiate important research programs in POSTECH’s strategic areas and lead them globally.  Developing an environment conducive to collaborative/interdisciplinary research that breaks barriers and spans multiple disciplines and different departments and institutions will be a high priority.  Excellence in research with creativity and persistence will lead to fundamental discoveries and breakthrough technologies that could change the existing paradigms, ranging from healthcare and food to systems and building a green future. 

From my experience, it is quite challenging to translate our research towards commercialization.  In spite of this difficulty, we need to strive to achieve it via understanding industry and their needs better and developing a mutually-beneficial relationship.  At the same time, we should communicate truthfully and effectively to the industry and the populace on our academic mission, core values and research and educational achievements and visions.

For POSTECH to become a world-class university, it will take additional resources, ranging from faculty and staff to financial and space.  We cannot accept the status quo.  Instead, we should push the envelope and try our best to meet this need through maximizing the efficiency of currently-available resources internally and generating new resources externally.  For this, excellence in education and research and meaningful collaboration and communications with government, industry, foundations and individuals will be essential.

Currently, higher education around the world is facing serious challenges.  For POSTECH to propel itself to become an outstanding university in these difficult times, faculty, students, staff and alumni as well as the Foundation/Board of Trustees and the central administration should share the common vision and double our efforts towards our goals with dedication and passion.  Also, we need to increase our partnership and collaboration with external constituents, e.g., industry, government (Pohang, Gyeongbuk and national), individuals who love and care about POSTECH, and all Korean people.  Korea has made astonishing progress in a short period of time that surprised the world.  Yet, Korea cannot join the club of the top 5 nations in the world without a truly great university.  I believe that POSTECH is well-positioned to take a leading role in this.  We should become a beacon for other universities, the Korean society and the world.  For this, in addition to excellence, we need a campus-wide culture of integrity, professionalism, openness, and collaboration.

Our goals might seem impossible today.  However, POSTECH 25 years ago was only a dream of our Founding Chairman and Founding President.  With perseverance, commitment and efforts of many people, this dream of an international-level research-oriented university has been being realized.  Our dream for the next 25 years is to make POSTECH one of the best universities in the world.

St. Francis of Assisi said “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”  Today, I would like to invite everyone to join me on our voyage and pursuit to become one of the world’s greatest universities in the 21st century by working together patiently, tackling difficult issues systematically, making hard choices wisely, and not being afraid of taking risks to make the seemingly impossible possible and raise the quality of education, research and services to an extraordinary level of excellence. 

Before I conclude my speech today, I would like to ask every Postechian to share the vision and actively participate in achieving the vision and our external supporters and friends for your continued interest and support for POSTECH.  

Once again, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Founding Chairman Mr. Tae-Joon Park, the Chairman of the POSTECH Board Mr. Joon-yang Chung, and the 5th President Sunggi Baik for their tireless efforts and enormous contributions to POSTECH.

Thank you very much!








 Yongmin Kim
President, POSTECH