mrevans@hku.hk

Senate

Senate

There is a tendency for university senior management teams to try and impose their will on the faculty. I would agree that there are some occasions on which this might be necessary, in the event of financial stringency for example. But a university does not function well if it is dictated to, academics are generally intelligent people and deserve the right to be consulted and to have their views heard. A little over a week ago the senior management of HKU put an item on the agenda of Senate to disestablish the Research Division structure of the Faculty of Science. It seemed that no-one in the Faculty had really been consulted on this, possibly the heads of department, but certainly not me, and the Directors of the Research Divisions also said that they had not been consulted. What was most concerning was that the wider faculty – through Faculty Board had not been involved in any way. Senate was therefore a highly charged affair. After an hour long debate on this matter, the President retired the proposal possibly to bring it back at another Senate. This does show that the faculty of the University can push back if they wish on matters that they care about.

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