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No. 8 19 January 2004


New role statement
City University was given a new role statement by the University Grants Committee on 10 January, Prof H K Chang President, when he met with the Working Group on Role Differentiation, chaired by Sir Colin Lucas. The new role statement is believed to drive the Academic Development Proposals 2005-08, now under draft, that the University will submit to UGC later this year. The statement reads, in full that CityU:

offers a range of professionally oriented programmes leading to the award of first degrees, and a small number of sub-degree programmes;
pursues the delivery of teaching at an internationally competitive level in all the taught programmes that it offers;
offers a number of taught postgraduate programmes and research postgraduate programmes in selected subject areas particularly in professional and applied fields;
emphasises application-oriented teaching, professional education and applied research;
aims at being internationally competitive in its areas of research strength;
emphasises high value-added educational programmes for whole person development and professional competencies and skills;
maintains strong links with business, industry, professional sectors, employers as well as the community;
pursues actively deep collaboration in its areas of strength with other higher education institutions in Hong Kong or the region or more widely so as to enhance the Hong Kong higher education system;
encourages academic staff to be engaged in public service, consultancy and collaborative work with the private sector in areas where they have special expertise, as part of the institution's general collaboration with government, business and industry; and
manages in the most effective and efficient way the public and private resources bestowed upon the institution, employing collaboration whenever it is of value.
Items (b), (e), (h), (i) and (j) are similar for all institutions: item (f) is specific to CityU.

Prof Chang welcomes the new statement. He said CityU now has a better and more focused statement than the previous version given to us some nine years ago. The statement allows us to grow academically into "a university of significance." He also views the new role statement as a "contract" between UGC and CityU, and thus "it is imperative that... we can live up to this defined role," he said, lest we forget future UGC funding will be tied to the performance outcomes based on our assumed role.

In setting similar entries in role statements for all the institutions, the UGC wishes to emphasise the need for all teaching to be delivered at an international level and for "deep collaboration" among institutions. The UGC also stresses the importance of institutions and their staff to actively engage in public service, consultancy and collaboration.

The UGC intends to review the role statements at the end of the next triennium in 2008.


AD Final Report
The Council, on 14 January, endorsed the recommendations in the Final Report, submitted by the Working Group on Associate Degree Programmes, chaired by Mr S M Chung. (www.cityu.edu.hk/cityutoday/)


Faculty giving
The University, through the Development and Alumni Relations Office (DAO), has launched a staff giving campaign in late December. Under the campaign, staff are encouraged to donate, on a voluntary basis, any appropriate amount. By now, more than 130 staff members have donoted HK$800,000.


Ex-gratia payment for redundancy
The Management Board in its 9 January meeting endorsed, in principle, revising the formula for calculating ex-gratia payment for redundancy cases that may arise after 1 July 2004. The recommended revised formula, to incorporate staff input through consultations before putting toward to the Council, will be E=Y/2 x M, where Y is the number of years of staff member's prior continuous service and M is the final monthly salary. A cap is put at 12 months' salary. This is a reduction from the existing formula in use in the Departure Scheme, applications for which will close on 14 February.


Sabbatical and professional development leave
The Management Board endorsed proposals by the Staff Development Committee to review the two kinds of leave, the former for academic staff and the latter for academic equivalent administrative staff. The major recommendations, to be effective 1 July 2004, have to go to the Council via the Staffing and Conditions of Service Committee. They are, in essence: (a) the University may contribute, at a rate of one month for each year of service, towards sabbatical leave for academic staffˇXboth contract and superannuable termsˇXappointed on or after 1 July 2002; (b) the professional leave scheme shall be discontinued.


New Year staff party
A Chinese new year staff party will take place in the Multi-purpose Room and Chai Tai-Ho Hall, on 28 January, the seventh day of the new year, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm. The party will feature buffet style lunch, performances and lucky draws.


Dr Priscilla Leung, Assoc Prof (SLW), has been appointed arbitrator of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and panel judge of the Panel of Neutrals of the Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre under CIETAC.


More Kudos 
The Ancient Ceramics Scientific Authentication Centre of CityU Professional Services Ltd received certification from the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency as having fulfilled the requirements of ISO 9001:2000. Dr P L Leung, Assoc Prof (AP), is Centre Director.

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