The events of the spring semester of 2011, in which four students and one professor committed suicide, were determined to have been caused by the drastic reforms put in place by KAIST President Nam Pyo Suh’s administration. This set off a series of events that culminated with the formation of an Emergency Innovation Committee (EIC) meant to analyze any flaws or problems with the reforms that have been taking place within KAIST following the arrival of President Nam Pyo Suh.
Composed of thirteen members, including three student representatives, Young-chul Kwak, President of the 25th Undergraduate Student Council, Byeong-chan Lee, Former Vice President of the 24th Undergraduate Student Council, and Sang-hyun Ahn, President of the Graduate Student Council, the EIC tackled widely perceived problems ranging from the punitive tuition system to the necessity of lectures in English. The committee began discussions in mid-April in the aftermath of the Emergency Undergraduate Student Assembly held on April 13. Debate within the EIC continued throughout the summer until their final 26 suggestions were released on July 14.
KAIST’s administration has tasked a special committee to apply the EIC’s suggestions to the school’s many policies, regulations, and curricula. This new Undergraduate and Research Policy Committee (URPC) began work on August 16. As of the writing of this article, the URPC
The changes to be put in place by the URPC will be enacted with the hope that some of the shortcomings of past policies will finally be corrected, or at least dampened, providing an improved environment for education and research at KAIST.
Most of the more crucial elements of the EIC’s report have been summarized in English by The KAIST Herald. Please refer to the article “Feature: Possible Reforms at KAIST.”