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Challenges in Establishing an American Global Campus in Korea

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2014 ASEE International Forum


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 14, 2014

Start Date

June 14, 2014

End Date

June 14, 2014

Conference Session

Track 1 - Session 1

Tagged Topic

Curriculum and Lab Development

Page Count


Page Numbers

20.6.1 - 20.6.10

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Paper Authors


Hongshik Ahn Stony Brook University

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Prof. Hongshik Ahn, Stony Brook University (SUNY)

Dr. Ahn is a Professor of the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics at Stony Brook University. From 2011 to 2013, he served as the first Vice President of SUNY Korea. Prior to joining Stony Brook University in 1996, he was Mathematical Statistician at National Center for Toxicological Research, US FDA. He has been an Associate Editor of Communications in Statistics since 2000. Dr. Ahn is included in Marquis Who’s Who in America.

He received his BS degree in mathematics from Seoul National University and his Ph.D. degree in statistics from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Imin Kao Stony Brook University

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Prof. Imin Kao, Stony Brook University (SUNY)

Dr. Imin Kao is the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS), and a Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stony Brook University (SUNY). He is also the founding Faculty Director of the Information and Technology Studies Undergraduate College (ITS College)–one of the six thematic Undergraduate Colleges at Stony Brook University, established to transform the university life and learning experience for the undergraduate students at Stony Brook. Since becoming the Associate Dean of CEAS, he has been leading and/or participating in various curriculum initiatives such as SUNY Korea, the new Civil Engineering, 5-year BE/MS, and Mechatronics programs. He is also responsible for College-wide ABET assessment and accreditation. Professor Kao has received Student Service Award and Center for Prevention and Outreach Partnership Award. He is co-author of a book chapter ”Pedagogical Use of Video Podcast in Higher Education: Teaching, Learning and Assessment”, In Ubiquitous Learning: A Survey of Applications, Research, and Trends, edited by Terry Kidd & Irene Chen, Published by Information Age Publishing.

Being the Director of the Manufacturing and Automation Laboratory (MAL) at Stony Brook, he conducts research in the areas of Microsystems and MEMS, intelligent fault detection and diagnosis, robotics, intelligent contact interface, stiffness control, wafer manufacturing, and wafer slicing using wiresaw. Prof. Kao served as an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transaction of Robotics and Automation.

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Yacov A. Shamash Stony Brook University

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Dr. Yacov A. Shamash, Stony Brook University

Dr. Shamash is Vice President for Economic Development and the Dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University. As Vice President, Dr. Shamash supervises the University’s three incubators, two New York State Centers for Advanced Technology, the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT), the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center (AERTC), the Small Business Development Center, and the workforce development programs of the Center for Emerging Technologies. The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences has more than 2,000 undergraduate and 1,300 graduate students. During his tenure, College research expenditures have increased six fold to $30M per year. In 1994 he helped establish the highly successful state-wide SPIR program (Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence). During the past ten years, working through the
SPIR program, the College has partnered with more than 395 companies to assist them with more than 2,127 projects. Dr. Shamash is responsible for starting several program, including degree programs in SUNY Korea.

Prior to joining SUNY Stony Brook in 1992, Dr. Shamash served as the Director of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Washington State University when he established the National Science Foundation Industry/University Center for the Design of Analog/Digital Integrated Circuits.

He is a member of the Board of Directors of Keytronic Corp., American Medical Alert Corp., and Applied DNA, Inc. He is also a member of the Long Island Software & Technology Network (LISTnet) and the Long Island Angel Network.

Dr. Shamash has also held faculty positions at Florida Atlantic University, the University of Pennsylvania and Tel Aviv University. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Imperial College of Science and Technology in London, England. He has authored more than 130 publications and is a Fellow of the IEEE.

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ChoonHo Kim

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Dr. ChoonHo Kim, SUNY Korea

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A Bachelor in Chemical
Engineering, Sogang University, Seoul, Korea

2010.02 - Present President of SUNY Korea
2010.04 – Present President, Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology Korea (CEWIT Korea)
2007.05–2010.03 Executive Vice President for Public & International Affairs, Konkuk University
1998.06–2007.04 President, Korea Electronic Technology Institute (KETI)
2004.11 - Member, Global Directory of Who’s Who

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Challenges in Establishing an American Global Campus in KoreaThe State University of New York at Stony Brook (SBU) launched a global campus in theIncheon Free Economic Zone (IFEZ) of South Korea. Specifically, the College of Engineeringand Applied Sciences (CEAS) of SBU opened selected graduate programs in 2012 and anundergraduate program in 2013. More degree programs are scheduled to follow. Severalchallenges encountered while implementing the global campus will be addressed.First, cross-cultural working relationships among academia, government, and industry arecritically important. In order to establish an academic institute and offer degree programs, anapplication needs to be submitted to the Ministry of Education (MoE) of the Korean government.Once the application is received, MoE forms a review committee consisting of members fromgovernment, academia, research institutes, and other organizations. It takes between severalmonths to more than a year for the application to be approved through a thorough review process.Various requirements need to be met, such as a high percentage of overseas full-time faculty, anda low student-faculty ratio. Although an American university, SUNY Korea is constrained bythe rules and policies set by the Korean Government. It is subject to a special law for foreigneducational institutions but does not receive all the benefits available to Korean universities.The second challenge pertains to the faculty. It is difficult to attract faculty internationally due tothe language barrier in Korean society and financial constraint. The Department Chairs were sentby the home campus, but there were not enough professors at the home campus. The schoolattempts to keep the balance between the international faculty and the local faculty. The finaldecision in faculty hiring and decisions of academic matters are made by the home department incooperation with SUNY Korea. Since faculty members were not allowed to submit a grantproposal to certain funding agencies in Korea, the university had to appeal to the government.This continues to be a struggle as the government tries to facilitate the establishment of globaluniversities in IFEZ while maintaining consistency with existing laws and regulations.The third challenge is about student and student recruiting. It takes a long time for a newinstitution like SUNY Korea to acquire name recognition. There have been tremendous efforts inrecruitment both locally and internationally. The final admission decisions are made by theacademic departments (graduate admission) or the Undergraduate Admissions Office in its homeinstitute in New York using the same standards of admissions. SBU and SUNY Korea havedecided to maintain quality of students, thus, enrolling fewer than the student quota allocated bythe MoE in the first few years, while maintaining the diversity of the student body. It is, therefore,critical that SUNY Korea receives subsidy from the Korean government to cover the financialshortcomings in the first few years while establishing a campus with quality students and faculty.In addition, the postponement of military duty of Korean students on campus was another task tobe solved because SUNY Korea is not categorized as a Korean university.Challenges are expected while establishing a new global campus such as SUNY Korea. As weare dealing with and resolving these issues, new future challenges will undoubtedly come upwhile building a well-established campus. Academic-government-industry collaborationsremain important as we strive for excellence in SUNY Korea.

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