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Choi Hae-beom, The president who has loved Changwon University more than Anyone for Four Years.
  • Seo Seong-Il, reporter
  • 승인 2019.04.14 22:17
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Choi Hae-beom, The president who has loved Changwon University more than Anyone for Four Years.

Choi Hae-beom, who has been president since May 2015, has one month left as the appointed president of Changwon University. He has more feelings than anyone else about Changwon University. Let's hear the story of the president who has worked hard for our university for four years.

Q : Could you tell me about yourself before you became the president of Changwon University?

I was born in Gimhae in the late 50s. As a child, my family was poor. So I remember studying really hard. I used to spend more than four hours a day commuting to school. I studied really hard when I was young, and our nation was not in as good of a position as it is now. So I wanted to be a helpful person to my country and my neighbors. With that in mind, I constantly challenged myself. As a result, I became a public servant of a state agency. I started as a lecturer at Changwon University in 1987 and have been working here for 32 years. I put more effort into the education of humans than the education of the intellect. I encouraged students to challenge things all the time, and taught them in hopes of living a life for their neighbors and their country. Changwon University is everything in my life. The best thing in my life is Changwon University. I thought it was the way forward for Changwon University to help students achieve what they wanted. I thought that if Changwon University went that way, Changwon University would be great as a university. I also thought that students would be more satisfied if Changwon University became a great university. With the aforementioned thought, I became the university president after teaching my students as best as I could.

Q : What were the most rewarding things during your term as president?

There were so many rewarding moments and things during my time as president. The first was when Changwon National University was selected for various state projects such as being selected by Ace Business Group, Link Business Group, and Startup College. The Ace Business Group was most rewarding as many students were able to travel overseas and other countries. The second is when Changwon University formed an alliance with more than 300 small and medium-sized venture companies. Changwon University signed 'MOU' with these companies and received more than 300 applications from them last year. It gave me the impression that not only Changwon University but also Changwon area talent was nurtured and jobs were created. The third was being chosen as a Self-Improvement University. Being chosen as a Self-Improvement University proves that it is becoming a leading university. The selection to Self-Improvement University was especially impressive because it proved that it was not a bad university but a good Changwon university. The fourth is the improvement of the facilities. I wanted to make students feel proud of our University. I thought it was important to improve facilities for school pride. So I made an effort to rebuild the university Main Building, and I have also upgraded many facilities such as artificial turf on the fields, changing the running track and remodeling the 21st Building. Also, I felt rewarded every year because I felt the level of students at Changwon University is rising.

Q : What were the difficulties during your term?

Above all, it was difficult to reconcile and unify the opinions of school members. In 2016, Changwon University was chosen for the Lifelong Education University Support Project. In the process, many of the professors were opposed so, it was difficult to incorporate their opinions. The Lifelong Education College Support Project is aimed at educating workers about their job expansion, reemployment and second start-up. I thought the university was an institution that introduced a new education system to the local community and taught for the local community. Moreover, I think the essence of national universities is to be responsible for the community, but many professors disagreed. Also, I have regrets that I wish I had gathered many people's opinions in one place. The president needs the consent of university officials, when the president is working outside of university. However, I had a situation that my interests were not aligned with university officials. University officials were satisfied with the current situation of Changwon University, and I didn't have another choice. In those days there was a lack of unity with university officials, but I hope that unity will improve in the future.

Q : How has your experience as president changed you?

Before I served as president, I had not interacted with students except for interacting with them in professor's office. But while I was president, I heard more points of view than when I was in the professor's office. While serving as president, I started to think about various things such as the community, the nation, politics, and universities around the world. So my view and values were broadened. When I was professor, I focused on the education of my students but when I was president, I thought about what I could do for the university.

Q : Lastly, do you have any advice for Changwon University students?

I want to tell students to live with confidence. Students should want to experience a lot of things and our students should always proceed confidently. From one point of view, there is only one winner but from a 360 degree point of view, there are 360 first place medals. In our society, students' dreams should not only be to become government officials, bankers, etc. Students should participate in various activities and work toward different goals. Also, I want students to become experts in various fields. Students will be able to become leaders in society if they try because they have potential. I will return to my original duty as a professor after serving as president. Starting May 29, 2019, I will go back to being a professor of global business at Changwon University. And I will do my best for Changwon University students to work in various places.

▲ Choi Hae-beom, president of Changwon University 사진 출처 = 경남일보

Seo Seong-Il, reporter  qlvmfl99@naver.com

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