2014 New Year’s Message from the President of POSTECH

2014-01-02 1,479
I wish all POSTECH members and their loved ones health, happiness, and prosperity in 2014. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank each and every member of the POSTECH community for hard work, dedication and understanding in 2013 although it was a challenging year. I hope that we can make 2014 a memorable year by working together with a renewed resolve to realize our founding tenets and common vision for the future of POSTECH.
In my inaugural address in September 2011, I quoted St. Francis of Assisi: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” The past two-plus years of my presidency have been mainly about doing “what is necessary.” We fostered a culture that promotes excellence, ownership, integrity, professionalism, and collaboration & communication, which would become a firm foundation to build a bright future for POSTECH. A new vision for POSTECH’s second leap to become one of the world-leading universities was developed. New principles and directions have been introduced to achieve a balance between education and research and to raise the ethical standards across campus. New policies and strategic initiatives for POSTECH’s future development (e.g., space policy and new academic-industry relationship) were also started in this period.
As we enter upon a new year, I expect that 2014 will be the year in which we can transition into doing “what is possible” while we continue to do what is necessary. Although our efforts to go back to basics and achieve higher standards in education and research caused inconvenience and pain for some, I think the new policies developed in the past two years would help POSTECH in the medium and long term to attain its maximum potential. A culture of excellence and integrity is starting to take root on campus thanks to the patience, understanding and efforts of many Postechians. Now it is time to think seriously about not only what we must do but what we can do to advance POSTECH to the next level of excellence and put our heads together to come up with creative ideas and wise solutions. I hope the year 2014 will see lots of innovative ideas and proposals for POSTECH’s advancement being put forth and explored. If we come out from the comfort zone and continue to strive for excellence, I am confident that one day we will find ourselves “doing the impossible” and our vision of becoming a world-leading university will no longer be an impossible dream.
In order to lay down a solid foundation for our second leap to become a world-leading university, we have been working on establishing a mid-/long-term advancement plan for POSTECH. The plan advances the long-term best interest of POSTECH rather than short-term results, and puts genuine and authentic substance over outward appearance.
Also, POSTECH’s goal of becoming a world-leading university needs to be founded on strong academic units. Each academic department has been developing a well-thought-out strategic plan that is congruent with POSTECH’s vision to achieve academic excellence in student-centered nurturing education and pioneering research. Since POSTECH is a small university, we need to focus on quality rather than quantity, leverage our strengths to the maximum, and collaborate seamlessly within POSTECH (with other departments) and with outside institutions. Furthermore, the “selection and concentration strategy” must be practiced wisely where POSTECH needs to strategically select a small number of important research areas and invest our precious resources into these areas so that POSTECH can excel and lead internationally in these selected research areas in the next 5 to 10 years. The departmental strategic plans, which will become strong building blocks for POSTECH’s future, need to be compatible with POSTECH’s mid-/long-term advancement plan. At the same time, this mid-/long-term advancement plan if needed will be updated once the departmental strategic plans are finalized.
No matter how well laid-out our plans may be, however, our endeavor to become a world-leading university will not succeed without the passion, spirited will, and perseverance of each and every one of us. Let us do our work sincerely, faithfully, and passionately and bring out the best in us by pursuing excellence consistently. I am confident that 2014 will later be remembered as the year in which a substantial and important foundation for POSTECH’s second leap was set if we press on with a steadfast vision and courage.
Once again, I wish everyone a Happy New Year in 2014!
Yongmin Kim
President of POSTECH