Date
24 May 2017
HKU council chairman Edward Leong said a report has been filed with police about the storming of the council chamber by protesters on July 28. Photo: TVB
HKU council chairman Edward Leong said a report has been filed with police about the storming of the council chamber by protesters on July 28. Photo: TVB

HKU council decides to name pro vice chancellor next month

The University of Hong Kong council has decided not to wait for a yet-to-be-found deputy vice chancellor before appointing a fifth pro vice chancellor for the university, Apple Daily reported Wednesday.

After a five-hour meeting that ended at 10 p.m. Tuesday, the council announced it will decide at next month’s meeting whether to endorse a search committee’s recommendation of a candidate.

The committee unanimously recommended early this year that former HKU law dean Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun be appointed pro vice chancellor for academic staffing and resources, a newly created post.

But last month, the council affirmed its decision to delay the appointment of the pro vice chancellor until a new deputy vice chancellor and provost, who it said will be the person’s supervisor, has been appointed.

The council’s decision on July 28 to delay the appointment yet again enraged student protesters, who stormed the council chamber. A few council members were sent to hospital.

Council chairman Edward Leong Che-hung said after the meeting Tuesday night that vice chancellor Peter Mathieson had told the council it would not be possible to find a suitable candidate for deputy vice chancellor in the near future.

On that basis, Leong said, the council has decided to discuss the recommendation of the search committee and make a decision about the appointment when it meets again next month.

In regard to the storming of the chamber, Leong said a report has been filed with police, as criminal activity was clearly seen on that day.

Leong also said the council decided to accept the senior management team’s recommendations as to the actions to be taken regarding a controversial donation to the university that Occupy movement founder and HKU Associate Professor Benny Tai Yiu-ting had channeled through Chan.

The team reportedly found that although Chan failed to reveal the source of the donation immediately to the university, he did not do it intentionally (Chan later disclosed the information).

Therefore, the team suggested that the university send Chan a letter to remind him that, as a senior member of the teaching staff, he has a responsibility not to be similarly careless in the future.

Meanwhile, it recommended that Tai be barred for three years from assuming any management position at HKU.

Calling the proposed letter to Chan a very mild punishment, education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen, who is the convener of an alumni concern group, said the council should explain the purpose of the letter clearly, or it might end up preventing Chan from becoming the new pro vice chancellor.

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TL/AC/FL

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