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Thursday,November 26,2020
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The Annual Salary System Is Meeting Resistance in the University Community
niversities are now preparing a system scheduled for 2002. According to a newspaper report, the Ministry of Education hinted that they will introduce an Annual Salary System of Professors (ASSP) in the near future.
The new system will be an annual  evaluate on that is commonly used in the business field. Each University will negotiate the annual salary of its professors through their research activities, teaching ability and social service.
The Ministry of Education said that the purpose of ASSP is to enhance the international competitiveness of Korean universities and improve the quality of education.
However, the university community, including professors, is raising its voice against ASSP. "ASSP is determined by the professors?achievements. However, the evaluation criteria for professors is not clear and an independent organization was not established to evaluate the ASSP. Thus, criteria for professors?performance evaluation has to be clear before anything else.?Kang Seok-weon, a member of the Faculty Council and a Prof. in Dept. of Japanese Lang. & Lit. at DU said.
In response to the Ministry of Education's unilateral policy on ASSP, a movement for organizing a labor union is rising among professors. The Faculty Council for Democratization, a radical association of professors, said that they will establish a labor union next February. "Today's status of professors is not what it used to be. The ASSP shows the need of organizing an umbrella labor union that speaks for all of us.?Prof. Kang added.
Actually, a few universities are operating the ASSP, but it seems hard to find any noticeable products. "Our university has been partly operating the ASSP since for a year. Professors who were employed last year are evaluated by its criteria, which are categorized into two sectors of research achievement and teaching ability. However, even if we made the criteria ourselves, it would not be easy to apply the system to professors. Thus, newly employed professors are receiving a yearly salary at one time but that is nothing but the sum of twelve months of salary and doesn't consider each professor's achievements,?said Kim Oh-sung, chief of the Planning Affairs at Yonsei University.
As for the ASSP, DU is taking  cautious steps. "Owing to unique structure of each university, it is difficult to follow the system of another university. The worst case is that the ASSP will bring about conflict between professors and School Authorities. So establishing fair criteria is the first thing that must be done before introducing the annual system at DU. We are preparing a blueprint of the annual system this semester,?said Cho Weon-saeng, a dean of the Investigation at DU.
"It would be desirable to inspire professors to devote more of their time to research activities. That is one of the goals of inducing the annual system. However, if School Authorities?criteria fail to get the consent of professors, the annual system would cause mutual mistrust." Prof. Kang urged.
It is true that the debate on the annual system is a "hot potato" iin Korea's university community. Today's university system is in danger of becoming a capitalist-based community. Adopting the annual system is a barometer of change in the university community.

Chun Tae-hee  pioneers21@hanmail.net

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