NATIONAL CHENG KUNG UNIVERSITY, TAINAN, TAIWAN
BANYAN
Volume 5 Issue 1 - June 27, 2008
Commentary
Da Hsuan Feng
Inside-Out and Outside-In: New Vistas for Taiwan Industrial-Academia Collaborations for Economic Development?
Article Digest
Yue-Dian Hsu
Legal Supervision of the Educational Administration: From the Perspective of Studentship at the School
Wen-Chau Liu
Temperature effect on impact ionization characteristics in metamorphic high electron mobility transistors
Chuan-Pu Liu
Development and investigation of magnetic nanowire arrays in mesoporous matrices
Hwa-Teng Lee
Effects of In addition on the Lead-free Sn-Ag-Sb Solder
Article Digest
Der-Her Lee
A Protection Method for Mudstone Slopes in Southwestern Taiwan
Jo-Shu Chang
Feasibility study on bioreactor strategies for enhanced photohydrogen production from Rhodopseudomonas palustris WP3-5 using optical-fiber-assisted illumination systems
News Release
News
Mr. Robert Tsao, Honorary Chairperson of the United Microelectronics Corp (UMC), visited NCKU and delivered a lecture to the students
Opportunities
Activities
Editorial Group
Inside-Out and Outside-In: New Vistas for Taiwan Industrial-Academia Collaborations for Economic Development?
Da Hsuan Feng

Senior Executive Vice President, National Cheng Kung University

A speech delivered at the "Germination Workshop: A Milestone for Taiwan Science and Technology Foresight"
Organized by the National Science Council Technology Building, Taipei
Chair of the Workshop:  Academician Eugene Wong (王佑曾院士)

Academician Engene Wong, Director Wang from NSC, Director Ni from the Ministry of Education, distinguished colleagues from eight research intensive universities in Taiwan, from Taipei to Kaohsiung, ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of NCKU, I want to express my deep gratitude to Eugene for inviting NCKU to have a place today to talk about this enormously important subject for Taiwan in particular, and Asia Pacific in general.  It is important both intellectually and economically!  Also if economics can impact politics, than politically as well!

Eugene, while I know the word "germination," or 萌芽, I have never seen it used in such a poetic manner in describing the discovering and nurturing of epoch changing technology which may be lurking in Taiwan, especially in universities. So, congratulations for portraying this concept in such a succinct manner!

As an administrator of a research intensive university in Taiwan, I would be remiss in my duty if I did not give a few words of propaganda about NCKU, although I am sure all of you in the audience know quite a bit about it, maybe even more than me since I merely parachuted into Tainan some nine months ago.

Something about NCKU

NCKU has nine colleges and around 50 institutes.

There are two points I like to raise regarding my NCKU "propaganda", and both have profound implications on our "intellectual output," which of course are directly correlated to Eugene's germination concept!

First, NCKU has around 21,000 students, half of them are graduate students.  Since we only have 1,250 faculty members, this means that on the average, each faculty will have to support financially and intellectually some 8 graduate students. In fact, I have seen that there are faculty members in some departments with over 20 graduate students in his/her laboratories. Compare this with Kyoto University, whose students' population is similar to NCKU, it has over 3000 faculty members. Hence, it appears that the workload for faculty in NCKU, as outstanding and as hardworking as they are, is undesirable intellectually, if not physically.

Second, NCKU annual research dollars income from all sources is around $80 million (US) dollars per annum. By adding the 5Y50B money into the equation, also the fact that faculty members are paid 12 months and not 9 months annually and overhead rate is far lower than US universities, this number could be as high as $100 million (US.)

Let me give you an interesting way to view this number.  Since I know Texas well, I can say that (not including the medical universities such as M. D. Anderson Cancer Center since they play in a completely different sandbox,) only University of Texas at Austin, Texas A and M University have significantly higher research dollars per annum than NCKU. In population size, these two universities are also significantly larger.  Other research universities, such as University of Houston, Texas Tech University, and Rice University are roughly the same as NCKU. Actually, if one recalculates the number by factoring in buying power, I suspect NCKU's number will be a lot bigger. 

What this is implicating to us is that the research output of Taiwan's research intensive universities are approaching or surpassing many research intensive State universities in the US. Therefore, from this view point, I think it is very exciting to note that it is not beyond the realm of possibility that there are truly epoch changing technologies that are lurking in the corridors of Taiwan universities, waiting to be "germinate!" This makes the issue raised by Eugene in this workshop even more exciting.

So, what is the mission of NCKU?  Well, from every corner of the university, from engineering to medicine to humanities to social science, I heard that it is consistent with "To be the economic and intellectual engine of southern Taiwan in particular, Taiwan and Asia Pacific in general!"

This sounds awfully good.  Can we put it into practice?  We can only if we can stimulate economic and intellectual development synergistically.


Copyright National Cheng Kung University