According to GIST, Choi was not included on the shortlist due to having headed the Science Ministry, which controls the Gwangju-based institution. Choi headed the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning from April 2013 to July 2014.
The shortlist is said to be composed of two GIST professors and an unassociated applicant.
“(Choi) is highly qualified, but the nomination committee members appear to have agreed that (selecting Choi) would be going against ‘normalization of the abnormal,’” an unnamed GIST official told a local news agency.
“Normalization of the abnormal” is an expression coined by President Park Geun-hye, and refers to rooting out irrational or illegal practices in Korean society.
The news of Choi applying for the post of chief of GIST was met with criticism that he was following the practices of the so-called “gwanfia,” a term that combines the Korean words for “government” and “mafia” to refer to the network of corruption involving former government officials.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)