Ewha board wants Chung expelled ‘eternally’

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Ewha board wants Chung expelled ‘eternally’

The board of trustees of Ewha Womans University demanded the school expel the daughter of presidential friend Choi Soon-sil and punish 15 officials that gave her preferential treatment in admission, test scores and class attendance records.

The announcement Friday was the conclusion of a six-week probe that was launched within the school after former Ewha President Choi Kyung-hee resigned over mounting allegations she orchestrated the preferential treatment for Chung Yoo-ra, 20.

Chung gained admission to Ewha in 2015 as a dressage athlete and is currently on leave. She is reportedly in Germany. The school in Seodaemun District, western Seoul, has yet to announce whether they will accept the board of trustees’ request. The board confirmed most of what the Education Ministry announced in a separate probe two weeks ago, saying that several staff members gave Chung undeserved attendance credit and let her get away with having someone else take a test in her absence.

The board did not specify how many classes she skipped, but the ministry said last month that for eight of her courses at the school, she didn’t attend a single class - but still got credit for them all, which the board did not deny.

On admissions, the board also confirmed the ministry’s statement that Chung brought her 2014 Asian Games gold medal to an interview and asked the evaluators if she could show it to them, which violates school policies on fairness.

While the board did admit that the former admissions chief demanded Chung’s evaluators to “qualify the student who earned gold in the Asian Games,” it denied the ministry’s claim that the interviewers actually followed through. The deputy chief of admissions at that time was said to have “restrained” his superior, advising the chief to give the interviewers independence, according to the board.

Among the 15 Ewha officials that the board demanded punishment for, the former admissions chief and four professors were urged to receive “severe punishment,” which in the worst case could mean expulsion from the school, a five-year ban from teaching at any other educational institute and up to a 50 percent deduction from his or her pension.

Other staff members were recommended lower levels of penalties.

The board said Chung should be “eternally forbidden” to regain admission to Ewha, and that the school should scrap the early admission spots available for students with special talents in sports, from which Chung benefitted. This all comes separately from another probe that prosecutors launched into the school late last month. Authorities raided the campus and homes of several officials, including former Ewha President Choi.

The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education will announce today that Chung will have her high school diploma revoked for illegally skipping many classes, the office of Rep. Kim Kyung-jin from the main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea told the JoongAng Ilbo last Friday.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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