[LETTERS to the editor]Endowments and professors
I was naturally gratified to learn recently that the UC Berkeley football team was ranked second in the United States and furthermore, that the Hewlett Foundation had donated $113 million to my alma mater.
Last month, Dr. Suh Nam-pyo, chief executive officer of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (Kaist), scored a $10 million donation from a Korean-American businessman, then rejected tenure for 15 professors out of 35 who applied.
Suh has also said that the school will filter the undergraduate students by their grades, and have the incompetent students pay 15 million won for tuition the next year while giving the rest full scholarships.
Bill Gates, a college dropout, established the Millennium Scholars program by donating $1 billion over 20 years.
(Actually, the Hewlett money at dear old Cal will be used to establish endowed chairs from which the occupants would never be ejected.)
It’s axiomatic: Prestigious U.S. colleges are governed by faculty senates. The administrative deans are mere antibodies.
Sure, reform is needed, especially when more than 90 percent of Seoul National University’s (SNU) faculty members are SNU graduates.
As Suh points out, in the United States, junior faculty are by no means guaranteed tenure.
And as many as 40 percent of them at one University of California campus are foreigners.
Richard Thompson, Hankuk Academy of Foreign Studies, Yongin, Gyeonggi
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