With today’s inauguration as the 20th president of Sookmyung Women's University, I solemnly pledged to continue the founding spirit of Sookmyung and devote to the development of Sookmyung Women’s University as a prestigious woman’s university leading the future on the world’s stage. I take on the responsibility of advancing Sookmyung Women's University, which has continued a brilliant history and a proud tradition, with a heavy and humbled heart.
We are currently facing an unprecedented crisis due to COVID-19. It is difficult to even imagine what our lives will be like in the unanticipated new normal era. Universities are in the midst of this crisis. The education that needs to develop future talents has lost its way. Now is the time when the spirit of Sookmyung and the power of Sookmyung are most needed.
Sookmyung Women's University has been forging new paths during crises since 1906, when it first opened the school with five girls on a school site in Yongdong Palace in Hanseongbu. As Korea's first national private school for women based on the founding ideology of “cultivation of female leaders who contribute to the development of the nation, people, and humanity,” Sookmyung led the national movement during the Japanese colonial period, and over the past 114 years, we have produced female talents from all walks of life and fulfilled our vocation of the times to lead the industrialization and democratization of Korea.
With this strength of Sookmyung, now is the time to overcome today's crisis by gathering the strength and wisdom of all Sookmyungians in the name of Sookmyung. Furthermore, looking forward to the 120th anniversary of the foundation in 2026, it is time to prepare a comprehensive blueprint for the development of Sookmyung.
Dear honored and beloved Sookmyung family!
Sookmyung must bring together all of its competencies to open a new era and go beyond a national university status to a “global Sookmyung leading the world.” To this end, I will focus my efforts on the following three tasks.
First, it is to build Sookmyung's differentiated educational contents to nurture “creative and converged talents who can embrace the world.”
With COVID-19, the problem of one country is not limited to that country no longer, and everyone is experiencing the importance of interconnection and cooperation around the world in their daily lives. In order for our proud students to grow into talented people who actively prepare for the future society at such a turning point in the history of civilization, it is necessary to cultivate talented people who not only possess solid basic competencies and expertise, but also education of global citizenship capabilities with a sense of mission as a part of the community.
For this purpose, I will lower the barriers between disciplines and establish a creative convergence education system. In addition, I will establish a community-based value of sharing, coexistence, and cooperation based on respect for human beings, and solidify the framework of whole-person education that can positively change the world.
In addition, I will establish a “Sookmyung Cloud Campus” that supports these educational innovations. I will establish a “self-directed online education system using AI technology” and plan to expand an “open education platform” to share and cooperate with educational contents and technologies around the world. Accordingly, I will expand and reorganize the current “Information and Communication Center” into the “Digital Information Innovation” to solidify the data-based information infrastructure and education system optimized for the digital environment.
Second, it is the establishment of a “Sookmyung Research Cluster” that discovers and supports research areas specialized to Sookmyung.
Universities lead the world with advanced researches. Researchers must create advanced research results that will lead the future through free pursuit of truth and rigorous ethical practices. I will reinforce a support system to generate advanced research results in fields that can represent Sookmyung in the future rather than focusing on short-term performance. In addition, I will do my best to expand convergence researches, technology development, and industry-academia cooperation.
Third, it is the establishment of a “Global Sookmyung Campus.”
The internationalization of universities is now a necessity, not an option. Through active international exchange, I will actively discover and attract talents from every country to respond to the global era and contribute to enhancing the competitiveness of universities.
In addition, in the COVID-19 pandemic situation, I will expand an open “global online education” system that supports not only offline education but also creative and diverse online education beyond the boundaries of time and space.
Dear Sookmyung family members!
Even though we are currently facing a crisis, there is always light at the end of the tunnel. Sookmyung’s 114 years of history is the living proof.
To achieve the innovation of “cultivating creative and converged talents who can embrace the world” and a “global Sookmyung,” I will do my best to become a president who can take decisive action and change with the demands of the world through vigilance.
Today, I take the first step toward the challenge of a new Sookmyung. I will bring together all of us to create a new turning point in Sookmyung's education and research, and begin the innovation of “Global Sookmyung Leading the World” under the name of prestigious Sookmyung so that we can create a meaningful and happy campus toward the realization of a greater value.
I sincerely ask for the active participation and support of all who love Sookmyung.
Sookmyung Women’s University President Yunkeum Chang