KAIST Rejects 6 Unproductive Professors

    March 04, 2008 06:52

    Last year the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) rejected a large number of professors who applied for tenure. This year it has sacked six professors with poor research records, including one who faked his research. The news comes as a big shock to those inside and outside academic circles.

    Of 25 professors whose contracts with KAIST ended in February, KAIST decided not to renew the contracts of six -- three full professors, two associate professors and one assistant professor.

    One of the two associate professors was an associate biological science professor, identified as Kim, who was found to have fabricated research published in major journals including Science and Nature. KAIST said it deferred their dismissal by a year to give them time to find new jobs.

    Of the 19 professors whose contracts were renewed, KAIST offered two-year contracts instead of the usual three-year ones to two professors as a warning.

    KAIST professors had been previously offered five-year contracts. But the contracts were reduced to three years as part of a reform drive after president Suh Nam-pyo took office in 2006.

    KAIST had previously exempted all undergraduate students from tuition fees. But the university has decided to have those students with a GPA of 2.7 or less out of 4.3 pay tuition of W60,000 to W6 million (US$1=W947) per semester from this spring.

    Last year the university rejected 15 (43 percent) of 35 professors who applied for tenure for poor research records, which caused a stir in academic circles.

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