Professor Hahn Hern-soo (Electronic Engineering) was elected the 13th president of Soongsil University in December 7, 2012. His term started on February, 2013. Many SSU students are wondering how he lead our school. So ST interviewed president Hahn Hern-soo and listened his thought and plan.
ST : Congratulations on becoming the 13th president of Soongsil University. As president, you should think about the direction of our university. What do you think about that?
Hahn : Soongsil University has a long history. When the period of Japanese colonialism, our university was established. After that, our school played a role in resisting against Japanese imperialism and producing many patriots. Also, unlike many universities that accepted Shinto Worship to survive, Soongsil University refused shinto worship and closed the school. After many years, our university was rebuilt when our country lost direction because of the war and division. Since then, our university has produced many ministers, done social work, and provided educational opportunities. But now, our university's role is working onways to solve many problems of our society and producing many global leaders. To achieve this, I will make an effort for communication and
combination of Soongsil people and I think we need a change to the present education system.
ST : To construct the communication system, communicating with students directly is important. Do you have any good idea?
Hahn : Quite frankly, it is difficult to communicate all students as the president. The president's role is adjusting and leading the teaching staffs, students, and alumni. However, the primary focus of Soongsil will be and has to be on its students. The goal of Soongsil University is how our students close our educational objectives. The teaching staffs should be a mentor for students. They should think what difficulty our students have before students have complain. If our students have complain, it must be remedied. To achieve this, the communication between teaching staffs and students is important. Although I can't communicate with students often, I will play a role to
adjust teaching staffs for development of student's life.
ST : You insist on changing educational policies for making global leaders. So, what direction will you take with SSU’s internationalization?
Hahn : Most departments in SSU provide some of the lectures in English, but some foreign students have trouble in this system because they have not many choices in choosing the coursework. Due to this problem, there are some people that all the lectures of SSU should be given only in English. If so, however, some students are completely out of their depth in an English class, and can’t even ask any questions. Consequently, an English lecture prevents students from making progress in studying. I think that not all departments, but a few departments could decide that their entire classes should be given in English. And international students will enter the specific department instead of departments.
ST : One of your election pledges is to make a school of specialization. Is the school related to the department for internationalization?
Hahn : The department I told you is a different pledge of mine. I said, as one of my pledges, school of specialization in Culture·Arts·Physics. Level of awareness of SSU is relatively lower than its potential and outcome. That’s because Soongsil has no such popular or well-known star professors or students. Star-making through...in a short time, whereas starmaking through culture, arts, and PE are rather easier. Professor or students, anyone with great potency will become a star. In short, I would like to make Soongsil a specialized school, and produce stars in SSU. Whoever potent professors or students, stars are easily made than education. In short, I would like to make the school of specialization, and produce stars in SSU. This can give a chance to enhance SSU’s level of awareness.
ST : Now SSU has low awareness, and some Soongsilians has lost confidence. What do you say to those students?
Hahn : I always tell my students not to put up with complaints. It is important to have high goals if you want to make much progress. You have to live with discontented thinking of “Why am I here? I must be there!” rather than easy thinking of “I am great enough now.” But this discontent shouldn’t end in itself. Additionally, you have to constantly bridge the gap between the ideal and the real. Our society is steps society. For one step, you must build up your own strength for jumping. SSU has various opportunities and Soongislians should develop the strength such as education, volunteer, and exchange programs. If you work on positive line using these chances, your confidence are surprisingly bred.