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SNU to hire its first female Korean economics professor

Seoul National University, one of the nation’s top schools, said its economics department will be hiring its first-ever female South Korean professor next year.

The news comes more than a year after the school failed in its first bid to appoint a female Korean economist.

Seoul National University (Yonhap)
Seoul National University (Yonhap)

The department said Monday that it has decided to appoint Park Yena, currently an assistant professor of economics at the University of Rochester in New York state. Park has postponed her official assignment until September next year and will begin her classes in the fall term, an official from the department said.

SNU’s economics department has had no Korean women on its faculty since its establishment in 1946. All 38 of its current faculty members are men.

The only female faculty member in the department’s history was assistant professor Sun Xifang, a Chinese national who was hired in 2009 and left in 2014. In May 2018 the school announced plans to appoint a female Korean professor through a women-only job opening, but the candidate withdrew her application before being appointed.

The chair of SNU’s economics department, professor Kim Dae-il, said Park had received the highest score among all the candidates during the general recruitment process for this post, which was open to both men and women.

Park, 37, graduated Seoul National University in 2005 and worked as an economist at the Bank of Korea until 2007. In 2014, she received a doctorate in economics at the University of Pennsylvania and has taught macroeconomics courses at the University of Rochester since June that year.

By Choi Ji-won  (