Dr. Kim In-Chul was inaugurated on Feb. 25, 2014 as the 10th president of Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (HUFS) at its Seoul Campus. He succeeded President Park Chul who had successfully fulfilled his term of office.
At the inaugural ceremony, newly inaugurated President Kim made an impressive speech. Excerpts from the speech follow:
Honorable Chairman Lee Nam-ju and members of the Board, outgoing President Park Chul, fellow professors, staff and students, President Kwon Sun-han and members of the Alumni Association , thank you for joining us in this inauguration ceremony.
I would also like to express my deepest gratitude to other important guests for honoring this occasion with your presence: former Minister of Education, Science, and Technology Ahn Byeong-man, President Oh Yeon-cheon of the Seoul National University, Ambassadors, and my formal supervisor, Professor William Boyer, Professors Marian and Howard Palley, and many more.
Just moments ago, I accepted the office of the 10th President of the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies along with the mandate of leading the university towards 100 years based on six decades of established values. First, I would like to thank my predecessor, President Park Chul, who has demonstrated steadfast leadership for the past eight years and is leaving behind a legacy of excellent achievements. As president, I pledge to continue that legacy and to do my utmost to advance HUFS as the finest educational institution of Korea as well as a world-class university. I will devote myself to building a dignified, captivating HUFS.
Established in 1954, amidst the ashes of the war, HUFS was at the heart of the modernization of Korea and has been the driving engine behind the modern power of the Republic of Korea. Following the forward thinking vision of the university’s late founder, Kim Heung-bae, HUFS has nurtured human capital based on foreign language and regional studies education. Our university is facing with the demands of the era. We must move beyond the unidirectional, inward looking paradigm of academic tradition where foreign languages and literature is brought in from overseas and disseminated domestically. We must evolve towards a convergent, outward looking paradigm of academic advancement that disseminates information, knowledge, and the culture of Korea. This is the future of HUFS, a roadmap towards 100 years that is uniquely HUFS in style.
As president, I will implement the initiatives that were promised for the improvement of competitiveness and promotion of the university.
First, I will work to strengthen HUFS’s core competencies: its language and regional studies programs. Using this as a basis, I will strive to realize creative convergence of academic fields. I will work to achieve interdisciplinary convergence, transcending the barriers of the sciences, humanities, business and economics, social sciences, law, and so on. The integrated Seoul and Global Campuses, starting from this year, will serve as a foundation for such an endeavor.
In addition, I will continue to carry out the campus infrastructure improvement project that is currently underway. I will spur the process of modernizing the Global Campus as well as securing transport infrastructure to realize the idea of a “campus you want to visit, a campus that you want to stay in.” I will create a “campus town”, expanding the reaches of the Seoul Campus and overcoming its spatial limitations. The planned HUFS hospital, if built, will serve as a cornerstone for the establishment of HUFS medical school. I will keep all possibilities open and pool the wisdom of all those involved to ensure it happens.
To ensure the continued development of our university, securing funds is essential. I recommend, and ask for the continued support and guidance of the board members and Alumni Association members in improving our financial condition. As a result, the university will actively expand cooperation between the public, private, and academic sectors. In particular, I will take the initiative in securing large scale research service contracts. Internally, I will improve administrative professionalism in the school’s profit-making businesses to improve revenue.
One of the phrases that my lifetime mentor Ahn Byeong-man is fond of is the “art of association”. When managing HUFS, I will adhere to the wisdom in this phrase, and will not reject anyone because of differences in opinion and choices. Even if a conflict of interest arises, if those involved are part of HUFS, I will respect and accept them.
Let us endure and breathe together, encourage each other in unison as we reach for the goal of HUFS development. Let us remember and repay the sweat and tears of all who stand beside us. We must never forget to be fair in our assessment of past accomplishments and in the sharing of the rewards. My wish is that together, we can create a free and peaceful university full of passion. I will always stand in the places most full of difficulties, amidst the lowest ebbs.
HUFS is on the verge of taking the next step towards 100 years and of becoming a different HUFS. I ask for your support for HUFS as it contributes to national development and the prosperity of humanity through its values of Truth, Peace, and Creation. I hope for your continued interest in HUFS.
I wish for the good fortune of all who have taken the time out of their busy schedules to be here today, and extend my heartfelt gratitude.