- Yunkeum Chang inaugurated as the 20th president, “Achieve a global Sookmyung to lead the world”
On September 1st, Yunkeum Chang, the 20th president elected by the university's first full member direct election system, was officially inaugurated. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Chang decided to release an online video containing the inauguration and congratulatory remarks on the school's YouTube channel in the near future rather than omitting the inauguration ceremony.
In her inaugural address, President Chang released the blueprints for her future term. Commenting on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on humanity around the world and the crisis in university education, President Chang proposed three challenges.
First, President Chang pointed out securing differentiated educational contents to foster “creative and convergent talents who can embrace the world” as the top priority. She said, “To prepare for a rapidly changing future society, we need not only expertise, but also global citizenship capabilities as a community,” and “To this end, we will establish a demand-centered convergence education system and practice a whole-person education that can establish community values of sharing, coexistence, and cooperation.”
In addition, she also promised to establish a “Sookmyung cloud campus” and an “autonomous online education system,” and make a plan to expand the “open education system” that shares and cooperates with educational contents and technologies around the world.
Along with this, she also plans to create a “Sookmyung research cluster” that discovers and supports specialized research areas and a “global Sookmyung” campus that expands opportunities for global open education. President Chang emphasized that “While developing research fields that represent Sookmyung, we will open a leading global online curriculum to grow into a university where talented people from different countries gather.”
President Yunkeum Chang received her bachelor’s degree from the Department of Library & Information Science at Sookmyung Women’s University, a master's degree in Library & Information Science from Indiana University, and a doctorate degree in Library & Information Science from the University of Wisconsin.
After taking office as a professor in the Department of Library & Information Science in 2004, she served at the university as the director of the Sookmyung Leadership Development Institute, the executive director of the Asia Pacific Women's Information Network Center, and the director of Leadership Education Center. She also served as a member of the Korean National Commission for UNESCO, chairman of the next generation co-organizing committee of the 66th UN DPI/NGO conference, president of the Korean Biblia Society for Library and Information Science, a member of the national archives management committee of the National Archives of Korea, and a member of the Naver News algorithm review committee, among others.
Previously, President Chang received attention as the first president selected by all members, including professors, staffs, students, and alumni, through a direct election system. President Chang’s term of office is four years from September 1 to August 31, 2024.
Meanwhile, the online inauguration video planned due to COVID-19 consisted of congratulatory performances by the school members and congratulatory message from outside guests such as Sookmyung Educational Foundation's Chairman Seung-han Lee, Sookmyung Women's University’s Alumni President Jong-hui Kim, and Seoul National University President Se-Jung Oh. In particular, the members of the Sookmyung Philharmonic Orchestra, composed of students from College of Music’s Department of Orchestral Instruments, grabbed people’s attention as they gathered videos performed at home and edited them in the form of a LAN connection performance to convey their congratulations on the inauguration.