A lot has happened over the last year. Indeed, a lot has happened in the last three months since I wrote in this space; and the Convocation Standing Committee (SC) had found itself having to organize a second Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in less than three months. Nevertheless, as I had said in my last Column – Issue 5 dated 30 September – our University is OK.
Once again, the SC had reflected, immediately after the voting results were available, the results and views expressed at the second EGM to the Council which had in turn replied that they would discuss the matter at their scheduled meeting next week.
But even before the EGM was convened, the writings were on the wall. We have said in November that we are deeply concerned that the Constitution and Rules for requisitioning an EGM which were adopted decades ago could be subject to abuse and that we are now taking urgent steps to review the provisions therein with a view to making proposals to amend them at a future General Meeting.
At the second EGM, of the more than 165,000 Convocation Members, 4,454 registered voters voted. I had said on the record afterwards that it is for the individual to interpret how representative the voting results are.
Indeed, for the Convocation to continue to be relevant and useful to the University, we need a mechanism to reflect the majority and mainstream views and concerns of the membership speedily, scientifically, reasonably accurately and with accountability. We need such a mechanism badly. We are on our way, and we urge you to join us, just as what Professor Peter Mathieson has appealed to all, to make the University Asian’s global university.
On this optimistic note, I wish all of you and your families a Happy Christmas and a prosperous, wonderful and mindful 2016; and I hope to talk to you again soon