University President Professor H K Chang talks about his retirement plan

Victor Fung

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University President Professor H K Chang will retire in May 2007. By then he will have served City University of Hong Kong for 11 years.


Professor Chang informed the Executive Committee of the University Council in June his intention to retire when his current contract expires on 30 April 2007.  At the Council meeting held on 28 November, Professor Chang urged Council members to form a Search Committee for a new president as quickly as possible, and the Council decided to do so.


Here are 5 questions a NewsCentre reporter presents to Professor Chang:


Reporter: How did you feel the moment you decided to retire?


Professor Chang: My decision to retire did not come at any single moment.  I knew when I should retire the moment I signed my second contract with the University.  Even though I had told in the last few months quite a number of people my intention to retire on time, I did feel both a sense of relief and a touch of melancholy after I formally urged the Council to form a Search Committee at its recent meeting on 28 November.  Relieved, because I did what I had known for a long time I would do; melancholic, because I love CityU and the time to say goodbye is in sight.


Reporter: If students and staff ask you to stay because they will miss you, what will you say?


Professor Chang: I would say I appreciate their sentiment but I would also tell them that I will have given 11 years of my life to the University. The normal retirement age for staff is 65 and I will be nearly 67 when my contract ends. It will definitely be time for me to start a new page in my life.


Reporter: What will you focus on in the one and a half years before your retirement?


Professor Chang: I think the University’s development is on the right track but we need to consolidate our achievements and handle the future challenges carefully and skillfully. This is why, after an extensive round of consultations with staff of all fields, I have recently established six Task Groups to deal with the major issues at hand, namely, Space Use and Planning, Self-financing Programmes, Research Enhancement, Four-year Education, Staff Recruitment and Retention, and Student Performance and Conduct. I have asked the chairpersons of these Task Groups to submit to me their reports before June next year so that we can integrate them and take necessary actions in a timely manner.  Besides chairing one of the Task Groups myself, I will continue to chair the Steering Committees on Internationalization and Mainland Activities. Our drives to recruit high-quality students from Hong Kong, the mainland and overseas must continue. On 28 November, I stated to the Council and also the Management Board that I will continue to do my best as President of the University until the end of my term.


Reporter: What qualities does your successor need to help bring CityU to reach another new height?


Professor Chang: I have told the Council and the Management Board that I will not take part in or comment on the selection of my successor, as is customarily the case at other universities.


Reporter: Do you have plans how to spend your retirement life?


Professor Chang: Reading, listening to music, walking in the woods, having quality time with my family, meeting with friends, and writing articles and/or books.


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