Inauguration Speech

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Good afternoon.
And thank you for coming today.

My dear UNIST family members and honorable guests!
We appreciate you taking time out of your schedule to be here with us, today.

I particularly convey our special thanks to Chairman Dr. Hyun-Soon Lee, the board members for giving me the opportunity to be part of the UNIST family. I would also like to thank the government officials, including Minister Gi-Young Choi from the Ministry of Science and ICT.

My sincere gratitude also goes to Mayor Cheol-ho Song of Ulsan, Vice Chairman Mi Young Lee of the city council, Ulju County Governor Sun Ho Lee, Chairman Jung Tae Kan of Ulju Council, the members of the National Assembly, and various leaders from the industry, academics and institutes. We are greatly honored by your presence here at UNIST. Your presence has made this special occasion even more significant.

I would especially like to express my heartfelt thanks to my supportive wife and parents, and other members of my family for their unconditional love and support.

Today, I take office as the 4th President of UNIST.

I am deeply honored and very enthusiastic about becoming a part of UNIST, an institution that has grown immensely over the past ten years. That being said, I recognize the great responsibility that comes with this position, which is to develop UNIST as a leading university where science and technology advances for the betterment of the world.

UNIST has made countless efforts to realize the vision of becoming a top university for the advancement of science and technology since its launch in 2009. Furthermore, since its conversion to a research institute of science and technology, in 2015, it has contributed much to the innovation of high-tech scientific technology and the development of regional industry.

Despite its short history, UNIST has surprised the world by achieving remarkable growth based on its concentration strategies. I believe this is a result of the effort and dedication from all the members of UNIST. Particularly, I would like to express my special thanks to former Presidents, Dr. Moo Je Cho and Dr. Mooyoung Jung for their outstanding leadership in creating what UNIST is today.

University excel at “things that must be done” rather than simply “doing well”

As the newly appointed President of UNIST, I was given the vocation of securing a new growth engine with sustainable innovation. I am responsible for leading new change and innovation for UNIST to surpass its astonishing achievements up to date.

UNIST’s remarkable growth to this day was possible by selecting and concentrating on “Doing well.” The strategy of overcoming a newly founded university and effectively using limited resources and time made it possible for UNIST to become an innovative, research-centered university. We must move from simply “doing well” to excel at the “things that must be done.”

We live in an era where the presence of technology is overwhelming. This has revolutionized the way young people learn and understand, and has had considerable impact on education. Research-centered universities should thus be able to effectively educate talented people who will lead the future through these times, to lead technological innovation, and to provide a foundation for new industrial development. The “things that must be done” by UNIST is to carry out education and R&D beyond the speed of technological innovation. To do so, I would like to propose five major tasks to realize this goal.
First, I will lead the innovation of the educational system.

Most of the university classes are consisted of lectures from the basics to theoretical application like stacking a brick tower. This type of education locks up the students in old textbooks and grades, and does not provide enough motivation. I would like to newly develop the contents of education. I will set up vertical lectures where the students can learn the basics and applications from a single course and Project Based Learning (PBL) where students can learn by themselves through projects and club activities, and activate Co-op which is a long-term internship program in cooperation with companies.

Moreover, I will expand the basic education related to artificial intelligence and mathematics related to big data, so that the students will be able to study with interest and feel a sense of achievement while competing with the rest of the world. In addition, I will reduce the number of limitations of enrollment for graduate students so that the excellent scholars of the school will enter society to contribute to the national development of science and technology.

Second, I will start a new convergence research centered on Artificial Intelligence.

Recently, artificial intelligence is integrated into not only industrial areas, but also traditional humanities and social sciences such as law. I will strongly encourage the convergence of new renewable energy and high tech materials, which are the main fields of research from UNIST, with artificial intelligence. Furthermore, I will make the public industrial accident specialized hospital from UNIST with the support of the City of Ulsan and Ulju-gun as the heart of an AI-based healthcare system. In addition, I will make UNIST a leading pioneer in the fields of smart ships, self-driving vehicles and smart factories.

As I take charge of the innovation of a new industry, I will converge the study of artificial intelligence with the existing group research and convergence research taking place in the central fields of study at UNIST, namely of renewable energy and high-tech materials. To do so, I will focus on developing education and research related to Artificial Intelligence.

To this end, we will secure and actively support excellent professors from new industries that will lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and will develop a “Research Planning and Policy Center” to lead large-scale projects at a national level and to suggest a direction of development of the scientific technology of Korea, and to plan and hold “large-scale projects.”

Third, I will contribute to making Ulsan a smart industrial city.

Ulsan is the heart of Korea’s manufacturing industry with over 100 companies with annual revenue of 200 billion won each. I will help the companies enter the Fourth Industrial Revolution Era by maximizing the exchanges between UNIST and companies of Ulsan. I will support the development of new industries and provide foundations for Ulsan to become a smart industrial city through CEO/CTO technology forums to introduce new technology to the management of companies, focused lectures on AI and big data for employees, and Co-op programs for students of UNISTS where they will be given the opportunity to work at a company for six months.

UNIST is known as a school with active start-ups from the school members. Professors from UNIST have established 45 companies during the past six years, out of which 15 were selected as the TIPS company supported by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups. There is a company that has secured 25 billion won in investment in 2019 to prepare to be listed in 2020, and another company that manufactures medical devices to be introduced to the market approved by FDA from the United States.
I will activate start-ups from UNIST even more and make sure that the start-ups and technology transfer from UNIST will lead to the development of new industries of the area.

Fourth, I will lead the change and innovation of UNIST through cooperation and communication.
I will continuously communicate with the government, regional communities and UNIST members to share the vision and lead change and innovation. I will systemize various programs to interact and cooperate with all members and place my priorities on the process of collecting feedback when establishing major policies, such as public hearings.

Furthermore, I will improve the human resource management system to maximize the autonomy and creativity of the school staff, and promote a differential incentive system to secure and develop world-class professors.

In addition, there will be various policies to improve the expertise of the school staff.

Fifth, I will establish the foundation for the sustainable growth of UNIST.

I will make my utmost efforts to secure excellent new professors, the best scholars and talents needed to establish the research and education infrastructure. In particular, I will cooperate with the central government, the City of Ulsan and the Ulju-gun municipal government to expand contributions, discover new programs and attract large-scale projects.

These increased donations will secure a development fund, and newly develop and operate the “Development Fund Foundation” for a systematic organization of the development funds to start new programs.

Furthermore, I will provide institutional arrangements to discover and support venture companies for win-win growth with UNIST and invest for the future with various resources.

The other pillar for the sustainable growth of UNIST is globalization. We will establish the President’s International Advisory Committee, which is composed of people with international reputations, and operate the International Advisory Committee for each major field, laying the foundation for UNIST’s global growth.

In addition, we will double our efforts to attract excellent students by strengthening exchanges with leading universities in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, in parallel with the exchanges of advanced universities.

UNIST that changes the world.

“First In Change,” the slogan of UNIST, denotes the willingness pioneer innovation, not simply following the latest trends. In order to become an innovative school, we must have an innovative culture and system within the school.

This cannot be done alone. It can only be achieved with efforts and cooperation from everyone. I would like to strongly request your cooperation for sustainable growth of UNIST. It can be realized with your interest, attention and cooperation.

I would like to thank those of you here today and all members of UNIST who have taken the time to attend the inauguration ceremony today, and I wish the best of luck to everyone.

Thank you