Dear Colleagues and Students,
I wish to express straightaway my deepest gratitude to all CityU staff members for their professionalism over the past few days. It has been a very difficult time for everyone but I draw encouragement from the manner in which staff and students have worked closely together to handle this highly regrettable situation.
In particular, I thank those colleagues whose incisive decisions and rapid response ensured the safe and timely evacuation of everyone who was in the vicinity just before the collapse of the roof of the Multi-purpose Hall in the early afternoon of 20 May. I am relieved that the two colleagues who were injured and a third individual employed in the catering service who was hospitalised with shock were safely discharged from hospital on 20 May. We will continue to provide assistance to all affected colleagues and students.
Campus safety is, and will continue to be, our top priority. A nine-person committee has been set up to investigate what caused the incident and why, and to make recommendations on how similar incidents can be prevented in the future. The committee will also seek external expert advice on a needs basis.
The committee will deliver to the University on 6 June a report that will be made open to the public. During these next two weeks, the University will provide periodic updates to the media and the campus community through University Announcements. Meanwhile, safety inspections are being carried out on all the buildings affected by the incident, and a more comprehensive round of inspections on other campus facilities will follow.
Over the past few days, the University has received many phone calls and letters of support from our alumni, Council members and friends in the community. Their input is a tremendous source of encouragement for our staff members who are working under high levels of pressure. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the various units and offices on campus that have worked closely together to provide excellent follow-up services. Their input has helped to minimise disruption to our daily operations and reduce levels of inconvenience for staff and students.
What happened on 20 May constitutes an important lesson for the University. We will take this lesson seriously and learn from it. We are determined to ensure that the campus remains a safe place to study and work.
Let me close by thanking all our staff members once again for your help during this highly challenging period.
President and University Distinguished Professor