Message from the President

2020-04-17 542

Dear Members of POSTECH,

We are already half way through the semester that began online, an unprecedented occurrence caused by the onset of COVID-19. I am grateful to all members of POSTECH for your understanding and cooperation despite inconveniences and complications that have transpired from this unexpected situation.

With no confirmed cases from POSTECH or related organizations since March, the University was on its way to welcome the students back on campus by limiting off-campus visitors and disinfecting buildings weekly. However, the nationwide spread of COVID-19 is still at an alarming stage and we cannot assume that all members are guaranteed a safe campus life.

With two weeks left until the start of face-to-face instruction, I would like to inform you of POSTECH’s decision to extend the non-face-to-face lectures for the entire spring semester.

As you are aware, most University members live on campus and even if one resident is infected, it is likely to spread to the entire campus. For this reason, the University has strove to take preemptive action and at the same time, carefully deliberated an appropriate time to return to face-to-face instruction for experiments and labs, as POSTECH values educational programs based on hands-on experiences.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention analyzes that there is still a risk of a sudden surge in the number of infections due to the influx of overseas cases and those yet to be identified in the community, and is prolonging intensive social distancing. This analysis by the authorities is of great concern for the University members’ safety and POSTECH has decided to continue non-face-to-face instruction.

I would like to update you on the final exam period scheduled from June 22 – 27, 2020.

All freshmen will take their final exams in a face-to-face manner as they will be on campus to participate in lab classes during the Focused Supplementary Class Period. First-year students will live on campus from June 15th and will be allowed to enter the dorms from June 13th. The face-to-face exams will be meticulously prepared by securing a distance of more than 2 meters between students and thoroughly implementing preventative measures.

In contrast, second to fourth-year students will take their final exams in a non-face-to-face manner. However, those students taking lab classes during the Focused Supplementary Class Period can enter the dorms from June 20th.

As announced at the end of March, the Focused Supplementary Class Period will be held for four weeks from June 29 to July 24 after the final exam period, regardless of the extension of the non-face-to-face instruction. However, if normal operation becomes difficult due to the spread of the virus, we will update you again. But for those who are scheduled to graduate, we will operate special courses as not to interfere with graduation. Other academic changes will be notified through a bulletin message made next week.

I believe the current situation is equally frustrating for the professors who have diligently prepared for the new semester, freshmen who have anticipated a new college life, those who are about to graduate, and for current students whose classes have suddenly moved online. I am also saddened by the fact that the academic year cannot be carried out as planned due to these unexpected circumstances.

Under these extraordinary conditions, the University administration is committed to ensuring all students and professors their right to learn and teach. However, as iterated in my previous messages, the safety of our members is of paramount importance. The University owes it to its professors and students who chose POSTECH for their pursuit of education and research, the parents who have entrusted their children with high hopes, and staff and family members who devote themselves for the University.

I also understand that while POSTECH is trying to support you as much as possible, it is difficult to satisfy everyone as they were not prepared in advance. We will do our best until the end of this semester, and use it as learning opportunity to prepare our University to respond to unexpected situations in the future.

The strength of together held by Postechians overpowers all things. I believe that we can certainly overcome these difficult times if we stand together in solidarity.

In hopes for the cessation of COVID-19 and the stability of our communities, we will make every effort to bring all Postechians back together on campus in good health as soon as possible. I wish for the health and safety of our POSTECH family.

Thank you.

April 17, 2020

Moo Hwan Kim