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No. 53 5 December 2005


Task groups set up
Professor H K Chang
, University President, has appointed six task groups to look into specific areas of the work of the University in the next five years. The formation of the groups comes in response to the challenges facing the University in the near term. The task groups cover the 4-Year Undergraduate Degree Structure, chaired by Professor Chang; Self-Financed Programmes, chaired by Professor David Tong, Deputy President; Space Use and Planning, chaired by Professor Y S Wong, Vice-President (Administration); Research Enhancement, chaired by Professor Tong; Staff Recruitment and Retention, chaired by Professor Tong; and Student Performances and Conduct, chaired by Dr Jerry Yu, Chief Information Officer.


Campus development
At the University Development Forum on Campus Development on 24 November at the Wei Hing Theatre, two sites were identified for the Community College Building and the Academic-administrative Building for the four-year curriculum. The former will be built on the site adjacent to the Amenities Building and Sports Complex; the latter will be built on the site alongside Tat Chee Avenue. The University Council has approved these two site locations.


Avian flu and travel plans
At its third meeting on 29 November, the Ad-hoc Group on Prevention of Avian Flu discussed the arrangements for examinations and the student residences, in line with the Government's three-level response system on the prevention of a possible outbreak of avian flu. The Facilities Management Office has stepped up cleaning around campus and trained staff members on the appropriate way of handling dead birds found on campus.

In view of the semester break, the Ad-hoc Group have issued guidelines on travel for staff and students, reminding them to take the best precautions and check out the health tips suggested by the University's health experts when they plan trips outside Hong Kong. Please visit the University's avian flu website at www.cityu.edu.hk/avianflu/ for more details.

University domain names
The Management Board has approved the policies recommended by the Committee on Information Services and Technology on the registration and use of University domain names (e.g. cityu.edu.hk). First, the Computing Services Centre (CSC) is to be the main overseer for all internal and external university domain names; second, prior approval from the Finance Office and the CSC is required for any outsourced service that can be accessed through a University domain or sub-domain name, but hosted by an external party. The University is striving to protect the reputation of the University since domain names are institutional assets.


Special leave for Instructor grade
In an effort to help members of staff at Instructor grade enhance their professional development, the Management Board has approved a proposal that will allow instructors to apply for up to 21 days special leave (equivalent to 28 calendar days) to be used for academic and professional qualification attainment. Existing guidelines on leave for staff development allow special leave for activities such as, among others, professional or academic visits, study tours or collecting research data. It is hoped that the new guidelines will help instructors with their studies and provide an incentive for them to consider pursuing a longer-term academic career.


International awards
Professor Sugata Marjit of the Department of Economics and Finance has been awarded the VKRV Rao Prize in Social Science Research for Economics, a highly prestigious honour awarded to Indian social scientists by the Institute for Social and Economic Change in association with the Indian Council of Social Science Research.


External funding
The following members of staff have secured funding worth a total of $499,900: Mr Robert Jay Ellis-Geiger, Assistant Professor in the School of Creative Media, for a project on digital sound production in Hollywood film; Dr Sun Dong, Associate Professor in the Department of Manufacturing Engineering and Engineering Management (MEEM) for a project on high-precision equipment; Dr Michael Chan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology and Chemistry for research on non-metallocene polyolefin catalysts; and Dr B L Luk, Senior Engineer in MEEM for work on the promotion of the application of risk management.


International workshop
The University is hosting an international workshop on Meteorology and Climate over South China from 5 to 7 December in LT-16. It is the first workshop of its kind to focus specifically on the weather and climate of South China and will explore issues related to climate change, air pollution, severe weather and remote sensing applications.


Student scholarship
Ms Apple Fok Wai-ping
, a PhD candidate in the Department of Computer Science, has been awarded the Hong Kong Association of University Women Thomas H C Cheung Postgraduate Scholarship.


2005 University Greetings Card
The Communications Office has produced two designs for the 2005 University Greetings Card for sale at the Cut Price Shop on the University Concourse commencing Friday, 2 December. The cards cost $4.5 and $5.5 each. Stock is limited, so don't miss the chance to send warm greetings to your loved ones and friends during the holiday festive season!


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