Park Jae Kyu (the former Minister of Unification) was appointed as the 12th President of Kyungnam University (KU). Hanma Academy, an educational foundation (Chairman of the board Lee Dae-soon) held a board meeting on November 29th and appointed Park Jae Kyu, the current president of the university, to be the university’s 12th president. An official from Hanma Academy said, "Currently, local universities are experiencing various crises, including a decrease in the school-age population and the concentration of universities in the metropolitan area." In this crisis, President Park Jae Kyu led the diversification of local education with a wide range of human networks at home and abroad and strong leadership to guide student success and educational innovation. The directors said, "President Park has laid the foundation for fostering future talents demanded by the times and society, so he is the right person for the current president."
Until now, while serving as a professor and president, President Park has presented clear visions and goals to university members with creative wisdom and leadership whenever the university has experienced a crisis. As a result, KU was selected as a ‘General Financial Support University’ in the Ministry of Education's ‘3rd cycle University Basic Competency Assessment in 2021.’ Also, it has been selected for many national projects and financial support projects, including the Ministry of Educations ‘3rd circle LINC 3.0 (leaders in industry-university cooperation 3.0),’ the Ministry of Unification's ‘2022 Regional Unification Education Center Project,’ the Ministry of Education's ‘Local Government-University Cooperation-Based Regional Innovation Project’ and the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s ‘Future Car Technology Convergence Innovative Talent Cultivation Program.’ The new term of the president is four years, lasting from February 8, 2023 to February 7, 2027. In his inaugural speech, Park said, "KU has been making remarkable achievements as the organizer of various state-run projects, including the Future Car Technology Convergence Innovative Talent Cultivation Program in the South Gyeongsang Province. Also, we were able to lead the innovation of university education and play a pivotal role in local industry-academic cooperation thanks to the dedication of the Hanma family and the local people who supported the university with extraordinary acuteness and passion.” President Park also said, "In particular, the government's university education policy has also changed significantly recently, easing various regulations on university management and emphasizing university autonomy and specialized education. So, as I take office as the 12th President today, I would like to propose four creative innovation directions (4Cs) that our university should change in the future. First, KU should be transformed into a customer-oriented and consumer-oriented university. Second, KU should be transformed into a university that leads future educational contents that meet the needs of the times and society. Third, KU should be transformed into a university with ‘a distributed responsible management system’ through decentralization. Fourth, KU should be transformed into a community-friendly university that contributes to regional development and improving the quality of life of local residents."
Finally, he stressed, "Since the university is a creative educational ecosystem and a win-win community where students, professors, and communities come together, we will always become an educational organization that respects autonomy and diversity and start a new leap toward the 100th anniversary of KU’s foundation."