Taiwan Theological College Principal Breaks Silence on

Mar 06, 2003 01:33 PM EST

The Rev. Liao Siang-sin, principal of Taiwan Theological College, an agency of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) has broken his silence on the topic of an early February resignation of six faculty members. He called a conference to air his side of the dispute.

He said that his period of silence was based on his faith. He needed to reflect before responding. "In the midst of attack", he said, "I needed to reflect on the suffering spirit of Jesus." He added, "What has happened in this affair is the greatest blot on the school in its 120 years of history. It is the worst example!"

In the conference, he pointed out that the group resignation affair is based in the denial of promotion to one faculty member, Dr. Cheng Yangen (Ti* Giongun). He detailed the four criteria upon which promotions are decided: 1)Scholarship; 2)Manner; 3)Service; and 4) Faith, Character and Interpersonal Relationships. He said the reason for denial of promotion was very concrete, in fact, that it was an "open secret".

He pointed out, if they didn't have reason and assurance, in fact, proof their hands, then the two professors who voted against the promotion would not have done so. The promotion was denied because of Dr. Cheng's service, faith, character and human relationships. He asserts that there were reasons, and evidence, but was unwilling to go into further detail.

Speaking to the matter of how the church at large has not heard the reasons for the denial of promotion, Rev. Liao said, "This is according to school policy. Faculty only have access to the decision. The voters may not disseminate individual explanations as to why a matter passes or goes down. If everyone feels this policy is unjust, then the policy can be changed."

The conference continued with statements about others among the group that resigned. Dr. Liao also fielded questions regarding resignations during the previous academic year. The school's board appointed Dr. Liao to a three year term when he was 63 years of age. Now he is 65, the mandatory retirement age (also by school policy), but expects to serve out his term and retire at 66.

By Albert H. Lee
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