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Global Dongguk

By Lee Ji-eun, Social Desk Editor
Ryu Seo-hyun
Cho Ryeo-jin
The Post Reporter

Dongguk University (DU) was ranked 27th in the university evaluation conducted by JoongAng Daily.  Compared with other private universities like Korea University, (4th) and Sungkyunkwan University, (6th), DU received poor results in academic conditions, finance, facilities, professor's research and internationalization.  DU is rightly proud of its prestigious one-hundred-year tradition, but this pride and prestige is in danger of disappearing.
Oh Young-kyo, who was inaugurated as the 16th president of DU, proclaimed his 108 project on March 13 and 14 at both the Seoul and Kyoung-ju campuses and announced his ambitious plans to make DU the best private university in Korea.  He said he would focus on these plans until 2010 and would propel DU into a new era of aggressive growth based on five major strategies.  "When I applied for the position of president, I started to think about what I can do for DU.  The faculty and I made this project so not to waste my preparatory period, and we named it 108 project after Buddhists?108 prostrations,?said President Oh at his press conference held on March 28.
Some expect this project to be successful while others voice their concern about this project due to several reasons........................................................Ed.

Five Major Projects

1. Creating New Management System

New Strategies
-Reorganization of DU's management system: DU will introduce 'vice president for management?system in order to reinforce management function.  The organization is divided into four core departments: strategy, development, management, and school affairs.

-Establishing college-oriented management system and performance rating system: each college should form their own substantial schemes for efficiency, develop specialized strategies and assess personnel.  Then, the school authority will pay differently according to the results of individual performance.

-Improving decision-making process: DU will replace face-to-face meetings with computer-based communication to make decision-making process more efficient.

-Improving professor rating system and introduce annual salary system: DU will determine major personnel shifts with BSC (Balanced Score Card).  The assessment of professors will be conducted by educational achievement, research achievement, contribution to the school, and student evaluation.

-Revitalizing intramural communication via school homepage

President Oh said, "This management reshuffle is the fundamental idea of the 108 project.  This is because the new system can help DU to cultivate competitive students capable of succeeding in academic fields.  For example, only companies that can produce the best products will survive in the market place.  To do this, companies have to consolidate their product line by using the best technology.  This example can apply to our university, too.  The product line is the management system.  It is necessary to change the old structure into a new one to become the best."


"Moreover, the school authority will decide to continue to employ people by CDP (Career Development Program), which rates people according to career accomplishments.  As a result, a person who does not perform well may not be chosen.  Conversely, a person who perform well could be given an incentive like a bonus payment.?
On the other hand, some people have opposite opinion about this professor rating system and annual salary system.  They argue that the university is not a corporate enterprise but a place to educate people.  And they question the validity of the system that operates in the current circumstances.

"Most professors do not express their concerns even though they dread the rating system.  We have already recognized that many universities in Korea are planning the rating system deciding one's promotion and salary.  But I have no idea of how the school authority can assess our performance only by treatises, without providing us with facilities necessary for research.  So, the school should start to operate the new system only after research environment is established,?stressed Lee Jong-ok, a representative of Faculty Council.

2. Innovation and Globalization in Our Education System

New Strategies
- Laying out new educational goals and reorganize school precepts
- Offering a variety of curriculums through Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL)
- Turning the central affairs of education to each college from Academic Affairs.
- Strengthening academic-industrial cooperation
- Building up practical education courses for students planning to enter public affairs
- Increasing English lectures
- Promoting Inbound and Outbound internationalization
- Establishing Exchange Centers at sister universities
- Arranging global culture programs

The greatest concern of Donggukians is the quality of education.  This is because the classes they attend directly influence their chances of getting a job.  For improving lecture quality, President Oh said that it is important to renew our goals.  "I reevaluated the goals that former president Hong Ki-sam had set in his ?00th Anniversary Master Plan? those were Young Challenger, Creative Thinker, Ethical Global Leader.  I needed the new slogan, "World Wide Dongguk,"to prepare specific education programs.? During his 108 project speech, he stressed that DU should internationalize academically.
"Internationalization is a significant standard in ranking universities.  Both the quality and the quantity of English lectures should be promoted before anything else.  By the year 2010, I will increase the rate of lectures in English up to 50% and add more foreign teachers.  And academic and cultural exchange with foreign universities is as important as increasing the number of English lectures.  I reorganized the existing international exchange department; it is now called the Office of International  Program & Education.  This will increase the volume of exchanges.  I'm also planning to have exchange agreements with the Ivy League.  The Office of International Program & Education will announce more developed and detailed plans in the near future,?he added.

Operation Plans of Globalization Department

"Currently, globalization programs of universities is under the auspices of the Korean Government.  It means that our government has realized that globalization is a crucial factor to the economic advancement of our country,?said Kim Sang-yoo, who works for the Office of International Program & Education.  "Right now, we are focusing on establishing the International Summer School as our key global program.  Foreign professors from China and America are to come and give lectures in June and July.  We will prepare a boarding house for about 30 persons.  And we are going to organize exchange programs with the Ivy League and to establish internship programs with foreign sister universities.  International Exchange Affairs also has a plan that will enable DU students to get an academic cooperation degree from sister universities in China.  Although those plans are not materialized yet, they will be available by the middle of April.  We will do our best to give more opportunities to study abroad for DU students.?

3. Making the Best Educational Environment

New Strategies
- Securing studying areas of 4 hectares by 2011
- Building more semi-circular lecture rooms for discussion class
- Establishing professional libraries in each major field of study
- Constructing  residence halls by means of attracting outside investment
- Developing underground space of our school for lounges, conference rooms, parking places, etc.
- Renovating DU campus with the investment of the Seoul Metropolitan Government

President Oh is especially interested in making a more beautiful DU campus.  He thinks that students can learn better in a study-friendly environment.  "I will develop an underground campus at the site of Main Stadium, the swimming pool, and Hyehwa gate.  The upper part of the underground campuswill be used as classrooms or boarding house, and the lower part will be used as a lounge.  Actually, it will cost the earth to realize this master plan.  So I'm planning to solicit outside funding via the BTL (Build Transfer Lease) transaction.  This is how it works: if we offer a building site, then a private construction company will construct a building on the site.  When the building opens, the company will make a profit out of rents payed by the residents for, say, 10 to 15 years and eventually the company will return the building to DU.  Besides the underground campus, a huge parking zone, coffee shops, and boarding houses will also be set up in this way."

He also has a plan to cooperate with the Seoul Metropolitan Government to renovate the area around DU.  "DU has 4600ha of land, and I am promoting "Embellish Namsan?with the Seoul Metropolitan Government.  I told my plans to the Mayor of Seoul Metropolis a few days ago, he accepted it gladly.  We intend to offer a superb environment to the citizens around this area and to open DU's door for them. I want this project to be something that will benefit the our students and Seoul citizens as well."
Remodeling existing facilities is as important as building new buildings.  President Oh stressed that remodeling of some worn-out facilities will be done as a first priority.  "It is important to repair the facilities that students use frequently.  Wonheung Hall  is too old, so it needs to be remodeled first.  During the summer vacation, the Academic Cultural Center and Dongguk Hall are to be extended.  And I'm also considering an escalator from the subway station to the front gate."

4. Expansion of School Finances

New Strategies
- Reinforce fundraising ability

External Relations→ Department of Project Development: Using retained real estate, Project Development Team  will be in charge of financial affairs and developing new business.  And the Fund Raising Team will work out programs of funding, attract alumni in their enterprise, and manage alumni network.  They have a plan to induce more alumni to participate in fundraising project with the goal of 0.1 trillion Won by 2010.

President Oh also is designing a fundraising project with recourse to Buddhism, which can be a huge boost when we consider its magnitude in our nation.  As a part of this, he plans to connect with famous Buddhist temples and our students. If a temple provides a scholarship to a student and keeps a relationship with the student, both sides can be beneficiaries.

The key to success of 108 project depends on firm financing.  It is important to promote businesses that put the finances of DU on a firm basis.  "We are looking for diverse methods to raise funds based on BTL (Build Transfer Lease) and BTO (Build Transfer Operation).  And our 200,000 alumni and Buddhist temples have to start helping DU.  Therefore, we are planning to solicit donations from alumni and Buddhist temples,"said President Oh.

5. Vision for Hospital Management

New Strategies 

- Improvement of medical education and research
-Moving medical graduate school to Ilsan campus.
-Relationship between Oriental and Western medical science. 
-Redefining the standard of clinical instructions in achievement evaluation.
-Establishing Cell Bank and its advancement
-Growing as Medi-Cluster through educational and industrial cooperation

- Effective management of the hospital

-Unification of administration organization: Unify Dongguk medical center and Ilsan Buddhist hospital
-Giving full responsibility to hospital Dean
-Dividing the hospital into Oriental medicine and Western medicine so that it can advance in its speciality
-Improving customer service and care
-Global medical business
-Strengthening the marketing of hospitals

There are four Oriental medicine hospitals in Ilsan, Pohang, Gyeongju, and Bundang that are affiliated with DU.  These hospitals?business acumen is very low in comparison with other universities?hospitals.  Ilsan hospital has great equipments but a low number of patients.  It needs aggressive marketing to overcome its geographical disadvantage.  Gyeongju hospital has a geographical advantage but isn't trusted by local residents because of its low quality of medical care.  It needs to improve the quality of medical care.  Pohang hospital lacks skilled medical workers and equipment.  The morale is very low at Pohang.  Bundang hospital, is not living up to its high potential.  These hospitals need president Oh's vision to become prestigious hospitals in the future.

"DU should borrow good systems from different schools, instead of relying on one school model.  This is because one model is not enough to develop our school into one of the top private schools.  Unfortunately, there exist a big gap between top private schools and DU, and it is hard to reduce the gap.  Let me put it this way: let's say, other universities are running at 120 miles per hour and Dongguk is at 40.  And the gap is getting larger.  To catch up, DU will have to run over 200 miles per hour,?President Oh said.  His final 108th strategy in this project is " Participation of Members in DU"  "Change and renovation is possible only when every single member works together.  We all should be running in the same direction and with the same idea, although individual speed can be different.

I really hope that our 200,000 alumni and the Buddhist faithful think about what the best way is for our school.  The alumni should exist for DU, not for themselves. The Faculty Council and The General Student Council are the same.?He kept referring to the importance of participation.
The new president of DU is facing pressing issues and challenges.  He, better than anyone else, can change DU's demanding situation.  We hope that his ambitious plans and vision will put DU among the top private schools.

Lee Ji-eun  yukiilo@dongguk.edu

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