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No. 15 3 May 2004


College site
Council Chairman, Sir Gordon Wu, told staff in an open forum on 27 April that he is committed to having the new Community College built on campus. His choice of site is the small hill between the swimming pool and Nam Shan Yuen, which, he said, is a five-minute walk from the campus pedestrain entrance. The University is believed to have filed an application for a government site at Tsang Kwan O for the community college. At the forum, Sir Gordon did not specifically say if the bid for the off-campus site should be abandoned, but reiterated his wish to have the new College on campus. It is expected that some government approval has to be sought for his plan, and this needs to be fast-tracked. He also disclosed that a building on the site of the open car park next to the Sports Complex is in his plans to cater for an anticipated increase in student numbers due to the switch to a four-year curriculum in a few years' time.


Meetings with faculty teaching staff
In two separate one-hour sessions, held on 27 and 28 April, Prof David Tong, Deputy President, met with close to 200 teaching staff from the Faculties of Business, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Science and Engineering. At the first-ever "town hall" meetings, which Prof Tong emphasized meant as a forum for staff voices and for gathering opinions on issues relevant to the University, he posed three questions:

ĦE Are there too many chair professors at CityU?

ĦE Should all chair professor teach?

ĦE Should CityU be a "teaching only" university?

Some participants felt that the questions were not called for because these were issues that they believed should have resolved. Others would like to hear more about the factual background to these queries; still others believed that, especially for the first two questions, departments heads should be given the flexibility to cater to their special needs.

At the end of the sessions, participants were asked to fill out a simple questionnaire on the three questions. Prof Tong stressed that the results of the survey are primarily for the benefit of his work as the chief academic officer of the University. However, if staff are interested, he will communicate the results at an appropriate time. He also stressed that these questions were not his creation but in the past months, these have been raised in public. He thought it would be beneficial for the Management to know what the teaching staff think collectively and such information will enable the Management to make informed decisions to steer the University forward. Prof Tong also said more "town hall" meetings will be held in the future.

Internal transfer of College general grade staff
The University has urged heads of Faculty departments and administrative units to "give serious consideration", based on an equal opportunities principle, to applicants from the College in their internal recruitment exercises. The University has already mandated a hiring freeze of new administrative staff from outside, due to impending budget constraints. Staff representatives of the two staff consultative committees have requested that general grade staff in the College be given priority for internal transfer when a vacancy exists in the rest of the University.


CityU-PolyU collaboration
The second meeting on deeper collaboration between CityU and PolyU met on 29 April. The working group on the issue is co-chaired by the Deputy Presidents of the two universities, and involves about 20 senior academic and administrative staff. Four sub-groups impanelled in the last meeting on 2 April, on taught postgraduate programmes, engineering programmes, joint admissions, campus development and facility management services, submitted initial reports on what collaboration is possible and ways to proceed.


In the 2004 Ranking of Universities in Hong Kong, conducted by Education18.com, a popular local website, CityU comes first in teaching and learning, third in research output, and fifth overall, which is one step higher than last year. The achievements in teaching and learning correspond with the favourable comments in last year's second round of Teaching and Learning Quality Process Review. Advances in "research are equally impressive as CityU does not have a medical school and is generally not treated as a "comprehensive" university.


TEA plaque
On 30 April, the plaque honouring Teaching Excellence Award winners was moved to the entrance lobby of the pedestrian "red-door" entrance on the 3rd floor of the Academic Building.


2004-05 budgets
The Finance Committee will meet on 4 May to consider budget proposals for 2004-05, based on the recommendations of the Management Board's Budget Committee. It is believed that all departments and administrative and support units will then be informed of the indicative budgets for planning purposes, before the Council makes a final endorsement in June.


"Asian-Pacific Economies: Multilateral versus Bilateral Relationships," 19-21 May, organized by APEC Study Centre. Enquiries: (852) 2788 8805.

"4th International Conference on Marine Pollution and Ecotoxicology," organized by the Centre for Coastal Pollution and Conservation, and the Department of Biology and Chemistry, 1-5 June, CityU campus.

"Early Hong Kong Eateries," until May 12, 10 am-7pm, CityU Gallery.

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