Hung threatens lawsuit over pundit accusations
Ministries confirm authenticity of Hung’s US master’s degree
Following accusations that her master’s degree credentials earned in the United States were faked, Deputy Legislative Speaker and likely Kuomintang ( KMT) presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu ( ) vowed to retaliate with legal action. In response to the accusations, both the Ministry of Education (MOE) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed the existence of Hung’s master’s degree.
Local political pundit Clara Chou ( ) yesterday claimed that Hung had deceived the public by stating that her academic record at Northeast Missouri State University (NMSU) in the United States constituted a master’s degree. Following the accusation, Chou demanded that Hung bow out of the presidential race.
Chou claimed that Hung only earned credits during a summer session at the university and not a master’s degree and that the university itself was not recognized by the MOE. In response to these allegations, the MOE stated yesterday that NMSU was indeed on the MOE’s list of recognized colleges and universities. The MOE only requires foreign degrees to be certified if the credentials are used for applying for higher education degrees in Taiwan, becoming a civil servant, or becoming an instructor or receiving a promotion at a university. The NMSU was established in 1867 and renamed in 1995 to Truman State University in honor of Harry S. Truman, the only U.S. president to be born in the state of Missouri.
Responding to Chou’s accusations, Hung’s staff vowed to take legal action against Chou, stating that it could not “concede to the trampling of justice and allow righteousness to be destroyed.”
Her campaign staff also issued a copy of the candidate’s degree, showing that she had earned a “Master of Arts” in August 1991. The back of the copy also indicated that it had been verified by “Coordination Council for North American Affairs,” one of Taiwan’s representative offices in the U.S. Hung began and com- pleted her studies abroad using spare time when the nation’s Legislature was in recess, in which she made three six-week trips in a span of three years. Officials at MOFA later confirmed that such verification procedures testified to the existence of Hung’s degree.
In an earlier post on her official Facebook page yesterday, Hung wrote that her master’s degree earned at NMSU was authentic. She added: “while it may not be coming from an institution such as Ms. Chou’s Harvard University ( degree), nor be used for civil servant’s exams or certificates, my time spent studying abroad in the U. S. was very precious.”
According to her government website, aside from her master’s degree, Hung earned her bachelor’s degree at Chinese Cultural University and also received credits at National Chengchi University.
This photo shows a copy of a diploma released by likely Kuomintang presidential candidate Hung Hsiu-chu’s staff yesterday, following accusations made by pundit Clara Chou that Hung never received her master’s degree. Hung earned her master’s degree at Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in 1991. The authenticity of her diploma was verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.