What Kind of Treatment Will “KAIST Mechanical Engineering Professor” G-Dragon Receive at School?

Despite being a prominent figure in K-pop culture, G-Dragon’s appointment to a field that appears to be outside of his realm of expertise has left many confused.

On June 5th, G-Dragon was presented with his appointment certificate as an invited professor at the “Innovate Korea 2024” event, which took place at KAIST’s main campus in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, specifically at the Ryu Keun-chul Sports Complex.


In order to improve the global competitiveness of Korean culture, this appointment is focused on incorporating the latest advancements in science and technology from KAIST into K-content and the cultural industry. As a part of this endeavor, KAIST will work with G-Dragon’s agency Galaxy Corporation to establish the “Entertech Research Center”within the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

G-Dragon has been invited to deliver special lectures on leadership to both undergraduate and graduate students. During these lectures, he will share his personal experiences and insights as a renowned global artist, aiming to inspire and encourage students to pursue their own ambitions and overcome obstacles on their journeys.

The duration of his appointment is two years, concluding in June 2026.


G-Dragon, as an invited professor at KAIST, falls into the non-tenure-track faculty category, as defined by the Higher Education Act. Most commonly, professors are divided into two categories: tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty. Invited professors are classified as part of the non-tenure-track faculty group.

Tenure-track faculty positions are typically what come to mind when one imagines university professors. These roles require specific research accomplishments, such as publications, in order to be hired and promoted. This category encompasses positions such as assistant professor, associate professor, full professor, and university president, and they are typically salaried with guaranteed job security.

Non-tenure-track faculty refers to a diverse group of professors and instructors who are not on a tenure-track. Their responsibility is to attract highly qualified experts who may be challenging to secure as tenure-track faculty, thus aiding in the advancement of research and higher education in specific areas.


Apart from the adjunct, visiting, honorary, and part-time instructors outlined in the Higher Education Act, there are also designations such as chair, endowed, special appointment, and visiting professors. These titles primarily belong to non-tenure-track faculty and are typically compensated based on hourly rates. Their contracts typically span from a few months to one or two years.

It is common for celebrities to be appointed as non-tenure-track faculty when they become professors, following in the footsteps of G-Dragon. Many celebrities can be found teaching in departments that align with their expertise, such as broadcasting, acting, film, and music.

Some notable examples of professionals in the performing arts industry include Ock Joo-hyun, a musical actress who held positions as an adjunct professor at Dong Seoul University and an invited professor at Dankook University’s Performing Arts Department. Another example is Lee Soon-jae, an actor who currently serves as an endowed professor at Gachon University’s Department of Performing Arts.

In 2010, Kim Young-chul, a comedian, gained attention for his appointment as an adjunct professor in the Hotel Tourism Interpretation Department at Seoul Arts College. His appointment was based on his proficiency in English, rather than his area of study.

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