A professor at Kyunghee University has been sentenced to jail and put under court custody after showing preferential treatment to celebrities during the admissions process.
On October 8, judge Lee Sang Joo of the Seoul Central District Court charged professor “A” with obstruction of business and sentenced him to 10 months in prison.
Earlier this year, the university was surrounded by controversy after it was reported that three applicants to the graduate school’s programs (CNBLUE’s Jung Yong Hwa, singer Cho Kyu Man, and the head of a small business) had received falsified high scores for admission interviews that had not been held. Jung Yong Hwa previously issued a personal statement about the matter.
According to reports, “A” told the vice president of the External Cooperation Administration (referred to as “B”) in January of last year, “Jung Yong Hwa [who submitted an application for the graduate doctoral program in applied arts] can’t attend the interview due to his schedule, so look for another way.” In response, “B” decided to falsify Jung Yong Hwa’s interview score and admit him.
After ordering the interview panelists to leave the score blank on the evaluation sheet, “B” filled in the interview score and rankings for Jung Yong Hwa, who didn’t participate in the interview. “B” then handed the falsified evaluation sheet to the teaching assistant and ordered that the information be entered into the computer system as is.
“A” also used a similar method for singer Cho Kyu Man, who submitted an application for the graduate doctoral program in postmodern music. Cho Kyu Man was overseas at the time of the interview and did not submit the required documents for his application, but was admitted after his interview score was falsified using a similar method.
The judge said, “‘A’ used his position as the head of the department to influence the interview panelists to change the interview scores based on his own intentions. He determined the admissions process for masters and doctoral programs.”
The judge continued, “The recruitment of students for the masters and doctoral programs, which are a gateway for cultivating human talent for academic research at the university, was controlled by ‘A.'” They added, “‘A’ did this with the aim of furthering his personal interests, which were in line with the interests of the applicants or their agencies, and not for the school’s promotion or advancement, and therefore severe punishment is needed.”
The judge concluded, “I took into consideration that ‘A’ seemed to be reflecting on these crimes and that he’s never received criminal punishment before.”