The University of Hong Kong (HKU) has again delayed the appointment of a pro vice chancellor, this time until a new deputy vice chancellor has been named.
The vacancy for deputy vice chancellor was created when Ronald Chin resigned in November. He is due to leave this month, according to Ming Pao Daily.
Paul Tam has been named acting deputy vice chancellor.
By a vote of 12-6, the university council decided to fill the newly created position of a fifth pro vice chancellor after Chin’s replacement has been appointed.
However, since Chin announced his resignation, four pro vice chancellors have been named — two each in November and February.
And Ming Pao is citing multiple sources as saying none of the appointees had to deal with the issue of Chin’s replacement.
Johannes Chan, the outspoken former HKU law dean, has been widely tipped for the fifth pro vice chancellor slot.
His expected appointment has run into controversy over his political views.
Pro-Beijing newpapers have accused him of incompetence during his time as head of the law faculty.
Also, some unnamed parties reportedly sought to remove his name from consideration, causing delays.
Chan criticized the council’s decision, saying the reasons for the delay in appointing a pro vice chancellor are “mere excuses”.
Council chairman Leong Che-hung said the council’s collective decisions should be respected.
HKU did not comment on reports that vice chancellor Peter Mathieson opposed the postponement.
Council members who voted for it included Arthur Li, Leonie Ki, Margaret Leung, Ayesha Macpherson Lau, and legislators Abraham Shek and Martin Liao Cheung-kong.
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