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No. 2   20 October 2003  

MB core group on budget constraints

The Management Board's core group, headed by Prof David Tong, VP (AA), initially proposed a "cocktail" approach to reduce expenditures and increase revenues to help tackle the impending budget contraints. President Prof H K Chang earlier told Linkage that in 2004-05, Government allocations to CityU will be cut by 8% in real terms and 13% in nominal terms. Indicative figures for the 2005-08 triennium are still outstanding from the Government. The Group estimates that, by 2008, the University could lose up to 35% of its recurrent income on a 2003-04 baseline, after the Government withdraws subsidies from Associate Degree and taught postgraduate programmes.

The proposed measures include year-by-year cuts to budgets and improving productivity (by considering outsourcing, merging of offices, etc). More flexible human resources policies will also be looked at, such as job sharing, time off in lieu of salary, etc. The Group conducted separate informal discussions with academic and administrative heads in mid-October. It will finalize its proposals for campus-wide consultation before the Council meeting on 24 November.

Role differentiation

Sir Colin Lucas, Oxford University's Vice-chancellor, led a UGC Working Group on role differentiation on a visit to CityU on 17 October. Through a number of presentations by, and discussions with, staff, students and industrial partners, the University showcased its existing academic strengths in selected "internationally competitive and locally relevant" areas, unique educational value to students, contributions to society and the region, and aspirations for a new role in higher education in Hong Kong and South China. President Prof H K Chang told the visitors that CityU should emphasize, as put forward in the Strategic Plan 2003-08, its mission to pursue excellence along an axis of professional education and applied research.

AD Group releases draft report

The Council Working Group on Associate Degree Programmes (AD), headed by Mr S M Chung, Treasurer, released a draft report 17 October, for consultation until 31 October. Among the 11 recommendations are:

  1. A new College should be established and commence operations in September 2004, offering primarily self-financing AD programmes, but other non-CityU pre-AD and top-up degree programmes may also be offered.

  2. The new College should have a high level of autonomy in its management and operation, with a company to be established under the Council to handle business and contractual matters.

  3. An Academic Board of Associate Degree Studies, under the Senate with delegated authority, will be set up in the College before September 2004 to oversee the academic management of its self-financing AD programmes.

  4. From 2008¡V09 onwards, when the College turns fully self-financing, staff salary packages will be based on the financial viability analysis to achieve, at least, a break-even situation.

  5. In the interim years of 2004 to 2008, an across-the-board 20% cut in staff salary (inclusive of the 6% following the civil service pay cut), without affecting other fringe benefits is recommended to start in July 2004. Existing College staff on superannuable terms are to switch to contract terms.

  6. The University should bid for a Government site for the construction of a new College campus.

  7. Before the new permanent campus becomes operational, further feasibility studies should be carried out on conducting self-financing AD programmes on campus.

The Group's draft report can be downloaded at www.cityu.edu.hk/cuc/WGAD.

Integrated communication

The Management Board will consider a proposal to integrate the internal and external communications of the University, to make communication more efficient and effective. The integration will draw on the existing strengths of the University Publications Office and Public Affairs Office. Meanwhile, the publications line-up will be consolidated into Bulletin, a news digest, Linkage, a staff newsletter, and CityU Today, a University magazine, effective January 2004.

Legco meeting

Mr Norman Leung, Council Chairman, and President Prof H K Chang will attend a LegCo Education Panel meeting today to explain the latest developments on the self-financing AD programmes, particularly in light of the proposals put forward in the Council Working Group's draft report.

Deputy President

Prof David Tong, the newly-appointed Deputy President, will assume duty on 1 December. The position of VP (AA), a post he has held for one year, will be abolished.

Self-financing taught postgraduate programmes

The Management Board will consider a proposal on new administrative arrangements for self-financing taught postgraduate programmes, including a centralized admission system.

QAC Chairmanship

Prof (Chair) Richard Ho, EF, has been appointed Chairman of Senate¡¦s Quality Assurance Committee, to replace Prof (Chair) William Wang, EE, for a two-year period until 31 August 2005.

Distinguished lectures

Prof Brian Anderson: "Pulling Information Out of the Clutter" 4:30 pm, 6 Nov, SCOPE Lecture Theatre. Prof Chi-Chih Yao: "The Enjoyment of Computing Theory" 4:30 pm, 10 Nov, SCOPE Lecture Theatre.

Election results

Mr Fung Wai-wah, DSS, and Mr Yu Choi-man, SDS, have been elected to staff consultative committees, representing, respectively, academic and administrative grades, and general and minor grades.

Upcoming events

  • 18th Congregation, 11¡V14 November
  • International Conference 2003: Ethnicity in Multicultural Asia, 27¡V29 November

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