Saturday, September 01, 2007

South Korea is more like the US than I thought

They even have prominent resume fakers!

Of all the recent revelations of résumé fraud here, the one involving a prominent Buddhist monk was perhaps the most shocking to a nation that values academic credentials almost as much as it does honesty.

The monk, the Venerable Jigwang, had transformed a temple in an affluent district of Seoul from a struggling collection of seven souls in 1984 to more than 250,000 members today, partly on the basis of his prestigious degree from Seoul National University, the country’s top academic institution.

“People swarmed in because they heard that a monk who had gone to a distinguished university was teaching the scriptures in English,” the Venerable Jigwang said at a confessional news conference on Aug. 18. “I think that the Seoul National University title more or less helped in propagation.”

Alas, he had no such title, and in that he was not alone.

After a news agency reported in July that an important art historian had faked her credentials, a nationwide wave of allegations and confessions followed that has so far swept up a movie director, a renowned architect, the head of a performing arts center, a popular comic book writer, a celebrity chef, actors and actresses, a former TV news anchor and now the Venerable Jigwang.

South Korea has been shaken as one prominent person after another has been exposed as having exaggerated, or fabricated, academic accomplishments.

The exposés have prompted prosecutors, the police, the Education Ministry and regional education authorities to announce plans to combat academic record fraud. Legislators have introduced a bill calling for a verification system.

I would like to take this opportunity to state once more for the record that, despite all appearances, and the University's claims to the contrary notwithstanding, Mungowitz and I really truly did graduate from Wash U.!!!

No comments: