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DPP revokes proposal to defer NTU president-elect's appointment

2018/01/28 19:17:28

Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔)

Taipei, Jan. 28 (CNA) The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus has withdrawn a resolution demanding that National Taiwan University (NTU) defer its appointment of Kuan Chung-ming (管中閔) as NTU president because of plagiarism allegations.

The DPP pulled the resolution on Friday night out of respect for university autonomy and academic independence, the party said, and while the opposition Kuomintang (KMT) welcomed the move, it asked the DPP to apologize for smearing Kuan's academic reputation.

The DPP legislative caucus proposed the resolution on Jan. 23 in an attempt to prevent Kuan, who served in the KMT administration under President Ma Ying-jeou from 2013 to 2015, from taking over as NTU president.

The resolution demanded that the Ministry of Education ask the university's presidential election committee to clarify allegations that Kuan plagiarized a student's master's thesis prior to his appointment.

It was not put to a vote, however, because there was no consensus between the ruling and opposition legislative caucuses.

DPP legislative caucus whip Ker Chien-ming (柯建銘) said on Saturday that the proposal had been withdrawn the previous day.

Another DPP legislative caucus whip, Ho Hsin-chun (何欣純), said Sunday that the resolution was withdrawn out of respect for university autonomy and academic independence after NTU issued an official statement rejecting the plagiarism allegations.

The Education Ministry also fulfilled its responsibility by requesting that the school investigate the case and clarify relevant questions, Ho said.

According to the NTU statement, a conference paper co-authored and presented by Kuan did not violate its regulations because the conference paper was not a formal publication.

It also said that the parts Kuan was accused of plagiarizing were actually taken by the student from Kuan's unfinished paper.

The withdrawal of the resolution should mean that the university can proceed with the appointment, but a similar motion brought by the New Power Party could be still put to a vote in the Legislature, opposition Kuomintang Legislator Lee Yen-hsiu (李彥秀) said.

She said, however, that political interference in the university's presidential election should not be allowed.

KMT Legislator Ko Chih-en (柯志恩) said that while the DPP has returned an open space to universities, it still should apologize for smearing Kuan's academic reputation.

Another KMT lawmaker, Lai Shyh-bao (賴士葆), welcomed the DPP's move, saying it went against public opinion.

Lawmaker Chen Yi-chieh (陳怡潔) of the opposition People First Party also called for the removal of influence of political parties, the government and the military on university campuses.

Regarding the New Power Party's proposal, Ker said the DPP caucus will not weigh in if the proposal is put to a vote in the Legislature.

Kuan is slated to be sworn in as NTU president on Feb. 1.

(By Liu Kuan-ting and Evelyn Kao)
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