Most HKU staff have no confidence in Arthur Li, poll shows

April 23, 2015 13:34
In a survey of academic staff at the University of Hong Kong, some 87 percent said Executive Council member Arthur Li (inset) is not suitable to be the next chairman of the HKU governing body. Photo: HKEJ

Most faculty members and employees of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) don't believe that the appointment of Executive Council member Arthur Li to the HKU governing body last month would benefit the institution, according to an internal survey.

In the poll conducted by the HKU Academic Staff Association, 85 percent of the 152 respondents said they had “no confidence” in Li's role in the university council, Ming Pao Daily reported Thursday.

Some 87 percent said he was not suitable to be the next chairman, a post he has been tipped to take over from Dr. Leong Che-Hung this year.

Dr. Cheung Sing-wai, chairman of HKU Academic Staff Association, said he had sent the survey results to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, who appointed Li to the HKU council last month, and urged Li to quit the governing body.

Critics have said Li's appointment to the HKU Council would hamper the university's autonomy.

Li, a former secretary for education and manpower, has blamed the decline of local universities in international rankings on professors who would rather appear in talk shows than do their job of teaching.

His remarks earned a rebuke from Professor Johannes Chan Man-mun, former law dean in the university, who questioned Li's understanding of the role of academics.

If university staff simply devoted themselves to teaching and writing scholastic papers without caring about what was happening in society, the institution would soon turn into an ivory tower and fail in its duties, Chan has said.

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