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Farewell Ceremony for DKU President Soobok Kim and Inauguration Ceremony for President Soon-Cheol An
Writer 국제교류팀 우지환
Date 2023.10.05
View Count 648
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Dankook’s 18th University President, Soobok Kim, expressed “gratitude to the Dankook family,” while the incoming 19th President, Soon-Cheol An, shared his “commitment to increasing university finances and improving the university’s reputation […] and [asked the community] to join in writing Dankook’s history of innovation.”


On September 7th, a special ceremony was held at the Dankook University’s Nanpa Concert Hall on the Jukjeon campus to bid farewell to Dankook’s 18th University President, Soobok Kim, and to welcome the University’s 19th President, Soon-Cheol An.


Many guests attended the ceremony, including the Dankook Foundation’s Honorary Chairman Choong-sik Chang, incumbent Chairman Hosung Chang, DKU Alumni Association President Sang-bae Lee, Saeeden Presbyterian Church’s Senior Pastor Kang-suk So, Pai Chai University President Wook Kim, parliamentarian Choun-sook Jung (Democratic Party of Korea), and university officials. The guests applauded the new president’s blueprint for the university while paying respect to his predecessor for his hardworking efforts.


Former DKU President, Soobok Kim looks forward to “the new president being at the center of leadership for the university’s future”


Stepping down from the university president position, former DKU President Soobok Kim said in his departure speech that “it has been an honor to be the first Dankook alumnus to serve as university president throughout the 72-year history of Dankook. I will always be proud and grateful for being a part of Dankook’s history.” Kim, who was known for placing importance on communication, also looked back on his 4-year term and commented that “despite hardships, such as COVID-19 and the grim reality of declining school-age population faced by higher education, we were able to overcome many impediments thanks to the passion all Dankookites demonstrated toward the university.”


During his term, President Soobok Kim rapidly responded to the global pandemic by setting up an emergency committee, acting as a strong backdrop for the university, and making it possible to maintain steady university operations and a stable research foundation. He also contributed to boosting industry-academia partnerships and strengthening the university’s research capabilities by continuously winning government grant projects, including the Campus Innovation Park project, the Convergence and Open Sharing System (COSS) project, and the Humanities-Utmost Sharing System (HUSS) project.


Incoming President An “to open the age of Dankook Innovation 5.0 for Dankook University”


Meanwhile, in his inaugural address, incoming President Soon-Cheol An said, “it is an honor to be given the role as President of Dankook University which boasts a rich history and tradition of 76 years,” and added, “I am aware of the responsibilities and mission bestowed upon me. I will strive to realize an innovative Dankook along with Dankook Foundation’s Honorary Chairman Choong-sik Chang, Chairman Hosung Chang, professors and faculty members at the forefront of education, the 230 thousand Dankook alumni, and our wonderful students.”


During his speech, President An expressed his aspirations to “open the age of ‘Dankook Innovation 5.0’ leveraging the university’s innovation DNA in the face of higher education’s crisis triggered by a declining school-age population, deteriorating university finances, hierarchical ranking of universities, and excessive regulations.” He promised to “carry out [his] role as university president, building on the philosophy of Honorary Chairman Choong-sik Chang, to develop new visions and reach for higher goals when crises arise rather than relying on makeshift measures.”


Dankook’s new President, Soon-Cheol An, said he will continue to promote the key values of ‘Dynamic Dankook 2027,’ which was led by Dankook Foundation Chairman Hosung Chang when he was the university’s president, to realize ‘Dankook Innovation 5.0.’ An stressed that he will implement seven key initiatives under the two main strategies of increasing the university’s financial base and securing global competitiveness.


To increase university finances, An shared his commitment to secure more government sponsored projects, set up a ‘Dankook Partnership Quad’ that connects industry, academia, government, and research parties, lead regional innovation projects, grow the university development fund, and promote technology holding companies and school-based enterprises. In addition, An will also strive to strengthen Dankook’s reputation by building a digital education infrastructure based on artificial intelligence and metaverses, establish a Dankook International College, and set up a new department for majoring in Korean Studies.


President Soon-Cheol An also shared his determination to “run the university based on best practices and common sense, to reinforce principles and rationality, and to set an example of fair management where people who work hard are rewarded appropriately.” He went on to say that “[I] will strive to protect the tradition and values of Dankook University that reflect our founding spirit and strengthen the university’s base by interpreting the university’s founding philosophy to fit modern society and take the lead for the future.”


Dankook Foundation Chairman Hosung Chang expressed “appreciation to the former president for [his] efforts in advancing educational innovation for the future,” and asked “the incoming president to open a new chapter for the university with remarkable insight and leadership.”


Meanwhile, Dankook Foundation Chairman Hosung Chang also took the podium and said, “[I] express my heartfelt appreciation to former DKU President Soobok Kim for his efforts and strong responsibility showcased as he took on his role as captain of the Dankook ship over the past four years,” and went on to add “[I] also look forward to DKU’s new President Soon-Cheol An in opening a new chapter for the university with his remarkable insight and leadership to launch Dankook toward a future full of hope.” Honorary Chairman of the Dankook Foundation, Dr. Choong-sik Chang also congratulated President An on his inauguration.