GNP “We will scrap all SNU budget” … Ahn resigns

Disclaimer: The following is a totally unauthoritative personal translation of an article appeared in <The Hankyoreh> on October 28, 2011. It reports the sudden resignation of Cheol-soo Ahn, the president of Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology (AICT) Seoul National University (SNU) possibly due to pressure from the Grand National Party (GNP) who thinks they lost the Seoul mayoral by-election to Won-soon Park, the consolidated opposition candidate of Seoul mayoral by-election, due to Cheol-soo Ahn’s open support for him. Many twitterians consider this a brazen move by a political party who does not understand the change in political fabric due to developments in IT sector, especially the SNS services which make the exchange of information, news, and media easy, cheap, and instantaneous. Professor Ahn, the former CEO of AhnLab, the successful Korean anti-virus company, is actually a symbol of pride of Korean IT industry. All rights of this post stay with the author of original article or with <The Hankyoreh> and this post will be scrapped immediately with their request. Original article (in Korean) can be reached by the link at the bottom.

Gyeonggi-do who provides ‘3.5B KRW (3.2M USD) every year’ threatens

Ahn, President of Advanced Institutes of Convergence Technology (AICT), resigns.

He still keeps the Professorship of Seoul National University (SNU) and the Deanship of Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology (GSCST), SNU.

Cheol-soo Ahn, Dean of GSCST SNU, leaves council chamber of SNU main building in Gwanak-gu, Seoul, in October 27 afternoon after attending the Deans’ meeting. (Photo by Newsis)

Professor Cheol-soo Ahn resigns from the presidency of AICT in October 28. Earlier, Gyeonggi-do provincial assembly Grand National Party (GNP) threatened “to scrap all budget to AICT” unless president Ahn resigned.

SNU announced today that “President Ahn asked for resignation from presidency of AICT and we accepted.” It is just 2 months since he was designated on last August 10. SNP did not disclose any detailed reasons for resignation. An SNU official simply tipped “President Ahn delivered a letter saying ‘he resigns for personal reasons’.” Ahn still keeps his professorship of SNU and deanship of GSCST SNU.

His abrupt resignation does not seem to be unrelated to pressure from political sphere. Earlier, Gyeonggi-do provincial assembly GNP threatened on last October 24 “In our common sense, we cannot understand his behavior to jump into politics by supporting a specific candidate of Seoul mayoral by-election” and then added “if he still keeps on getting involved in politics, we will cut budget support to AICT altogether.” President Ahn, that day, met Won-soon Park, then consolidated opposition candidate of Seoul mayoral by-election, and delivered a letter asking for public participation to election vote, reassuring his support for Won-soon Park.

AICT is a public institution set up with a fund of 142.5B KRW (130M USD) from central government and Gyeonggi-do in 2008 and Gyeonggi-do is providing 3.5B KRW (3.2M USD) every year to AICT. Also, selected as an institution for administration audit by Gyeonggi-do provincial assembly, this institution expects an audit on November 10.

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