Dongguk University (DU) announced a mid-long-term development strategy plan dubbed the 2020 vision plan on April 20th and held a public hearing on this plan. The public hearing was abuzz with intense debate as panel members’ opinions regularly exceeded their time limits. Even though the hearing was held during the midterm exam period, many enthusiastic students participated and listened attentively to each comment. The 2020 vision plan has not yet officially been announced, but the main issues are as follows.
The 2020 vision plan sets DU’s goal as being a member of the five leading private universities by improving its infrastructure of educational facilities and to support the professors who work eagerly on research. The plan draws up a budget of at least one trillion won (1,000,000,000,000 won) for performing this huge project. Also the vision plan suggests the proper Donggukian’s features should be, A.C.T.I.V.E which means adaptive, creative, tolerant, identifiable, versatile and ethical. A.C.T.I.V.E also coincides with Buddhisms six key points for gaining enlightenment from a modern point of a view. The 2020 vision plan has significant meaning in that it provides a guideline for school development over the next ten years which is a very long time. The 2020 fails to take notice the next three points of a view.
First, another big project is already in motion. In 2006, marking DU’s centenary, Project 108 was launched. This project has been continuing until now, and should be allowed to finish its plan completely. DU must show that its policies are durable and consistent if they are to move forward with introducing the vision plan. “Most mid-long-term plans die out even if the plan is a great and novel idea. So the most important thing is how we proceed to carry out the plan.” Mun Byung-Ho, The General Alumni Union’s vice president, said. The 2020 vision plan should upgrade the previous project and carry out what Project 108 was supposed to have accomplished. As Mun points out, DU has to show its willpower can last over the next 10 years.
Second, the 2020 vision plan does not have any specific plan how to secure the one trillion won needed for its implementation. DU expects alumni’s donations, research income - when obtaining orders from government - and income that subsidiary companies could make for a profit. Very little of the money is present and available at the moment. If DU cannot make money to the extent that they expect to, then they will have to make another substitute plan which defeats the purpose of a plan in the first place.
Third, should not this plan be discussed between fellow Donggukians? As with most plans made at DU, they exclude students, faculty members and other school personnel in the making of these critical decisions. “It is one way to advance DU by simplifying the administration system but a good understanding of each staff member, student and DU’s headquarters is equally important.” Won Chung-Hee, labor union of school officials’ chair man, said.
|The panel members debate intensely on the 2020 Vision Plan before the beginning of hearing. / Photograph: Lee Jong-seog|
“Student Council proposes a request for improvement in the educational environment to DU’s headquarters. Some requests should be on list for the 2020 vision plan I think. Also students need some time to gather their opinions before announcing this big plan.” Park In-Woo, The General Student Council’s chairperson, said.
The 2020 vision plan’s success rests on this. Can those involved maintain the willpower and level of commitment that is required to carry out this plan and will the money be available when it is needed? Additional public hearings are also very important and should be held to give more discussion concerning this plan.
Lee Jong-seok firstname.lastname@example.org
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