My Very Dear Fellow Convocation Members, Warmest greetings from your new chairman!
I was elected less than a week ago to head this statutory body of which you are all members; and I thank colleagues of the Development and Alumni Affairs Office (DAAO) for hosting this column by which I hope to communicate with you on a regular and continuing basis.
Sir Robert Black was Chancellor in 1958 when the Convocation was established under the University Statue to provide automatic membership to all graduates and teachers of the University. He said at the time that “Convocation would give the graduates of the University, as a body, an opportunity to have a voice in the University Affairs and, also, because it should help to bring the University and the community of Hong Kong closer together.”
We now have over 186,000 members and are still growing. An institution of the size for people of every age and interest will naturally have different views on many issues, but it is hoped that when it comes to issues impacting the University, the members would all have HKU’s well-being and excellence as their paramount concerns. More importantly, we hope that these issues would help to unite the membership and to develop solutions that would be conducive to making our alma mater a top class university in the region and in the world.
Thus, while the recent incident concerning the appointment of the Pro-Vice- Chancellor (Academic Staffing and Resources) of the University has caused disputes among the University, alumni, staff, students and the community at large, we believe that solutions acceptable to all can be reached as long as there is a willingness between Convocation members to work together for the common and greater good of the University. Specifically, if each party concerned can be given the time and space to discharge its respective duty, a solution will be just round the corner.
On this optimistic note, I would urge you and the groups you represent to tell us what you think should be done and can be done so that this Convocation as a body can offer help and ideas to the University. You can do this by writing to DAAO or to any one of us on the Standing Committee or to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Thank you for reading and I hope to talk to you again soon.