A history of the presidency of National Taiwan University: The relationship between the university and an evolving democratic nation

Tsai Ta-Tang, Florida International University


Higher education always plays an important role in the development of a nation. Taiwan is no exception. Graduates of the National Taiwan University have occupied most of the important positions in this country and today many devote themselves to the development of Taiwan since the central government of the Republic of China (ROC) withdrew from Mainland China and re-located to Taiwan in the winter of 1949. The higher education system in Taiwan, including university and junior colleges, received special attention from the government except from 1945 to 1949 during the transitional period; the time of the early restoration year and the central government's retreating period from Mainland China. The five presidents of National Taiwan University who served from 1949 to 1993, Fu Szu-nien, Chien Seu-liang, Yen Chen-Hsing, Yu Chao-chung, and Sun Chen, are the subject of this research. All of the presidents were appointed by the government which established a direct connection between the government and the university leadership. The purpose of this study is to understand how each president balanced politically assigned roles and expectations with personal visionary academic responsiveness to the principles which define the university. Each president and his tenure were analyzed using historical research, a developed leadership model, an integration of role theory, Locke's leadership model, Wiles and Bondi curriculum leader tasks, and Burn's leadership style. Results of analyses of documents showed that all presidents of the National Taiwan University were highly respected due to their academic background, personal characteristics, and contribution to the university as a leader. Meanwhile, implementation and achievement of the presidents led to the conclusion that appointed university presidents had significant relationships with government policy. Their leadership style was affected strongly by their personal traits and knowledge and the social and political climate of the time.

Subject Area

Higher education|School administration|Education history

Recommended Citation

Ta-Tang, Tsai, "A history of the presidency of National Taiwan University: The relationship between the university and an evolving democratic nation" (1996). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9731974.