The final curtain
I have referred to the fact that I am coming to the end of my time as Dean at HKU, and this is it. Today is my final day. It has been quite a ride, tumultuous especially in the last two years. I am pleased to say that this evening I will be flying out of Hong Kong to see whether I would like to take up a new position elsewhere, so a new chapter beckons. I am very proud of what has been achieved in these last five years. The quality of the new hires that we have made is amazing, so truly exceptional young people have joined us. This has been shown in the fact that we won five NSFC excellent young scientist awards in its first two years, more than any other faculty in Hong Kong. We have just won three of the inaugural RGC fellowships, out of five in HKU. We started a new HKU-CAS lab the first new one for about ten years. And let’s not forget the superb RAE results, top in three UoA and improved tremendously across the board. This has all been done in the face of the protests that started about two years ago and the COVID pandemic. This is not to say that all is perfect, because it is not (of course). There are deep cultural issues in two departments that stand in the way of improvement there, a strong streak of conservatism still permits many, especially senior staff. But I have now done what I can and I wish the Faculty well.