The Abolition of Faculty Dean Election at CUHK

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    我們從中大教職員得知,大學校方正部署改變學院院長之遴選制度,並於十一月十八日發出一份題為Faculty Deanship之英文文件。詳細研究該文件並對有關背景進行了解後,我們對此事有極大憂慮。


    細讀校方十一月十八日之文件,對於現行制度和提議之改變兩者當中之利弊,都不見有所分析,校方提出之理由,主要是二零零二年宋達能報告書﹙Sutherland Report﹚有關大學管治架構之有關立論,以及大學教育資助委員會之促請,我們認為理由並不充份,校方應詳細探討其中利害,從而確定符合大學情況、對未來發展最為有利之方案,不宜倉促行事。





    1. 聲明中提及之宋達能報告書可從網上下載:

    2. 校方就改變學院院長任命方法事提交教務會之文件可從網頁下載:

    3. 上述校方有關文件之簡要版如下:

    Faculty Deanship



    Background to governance review

    The Sutherland Report (2002) accepted by UGC and the Government asks the institutions to review their governance structure.
    The University Strategic Plan adopted in February 2006 recommended that the Council should take the further review of governance as a matter of priority over the next year. (Section II.7.11).
    A Panel of Experts has made recommendations for the consideration of the Task Force on University Governance under the Council.
    Background to the issue of deanship

    CUHK Faculty Deans are currently elected and serve on a part-time concurrent basis.
    In all other HK institutions, Deans are appointed after an appropriate search process, and in most cases serve on a full-time basis.
    The Sutherland Report (2002) accepted by UGC and the Government asks the institutions to move to a system of appointed Deans. (The University of Hong Kong moved to adopt a system of appointed Deans in 2003.)
    The Panel of External Experts has advised the Task Force on University Governance along the same lines, but emphasized a proper search process.
    Comments sought

    Teachers are requested to comment on a proposal whereby each Faculty Dean is appointed after a proper and transparent open search process involving significant input from the teachers of the Faculty concerned, to serve on a full-time basis (unless the appointee concerned prefers a concurrent appointment).

    Rationale in support of full-time appointment after a search process

    Deans will have clearer responsibilities and accountability lines.
    They can focus more on longer-term strategic planning, resource allocation and management roles.
    They will have a clearer identity as a member of the senior management team of the University.
    There will be devolution of authority and responsibility (including budgetary and personnel-related functions) to the Faculty Deans.
    They will have more resources at their discretion to meet special needs within their respective Faculties.
    There will not be any required teaching or research load for the full-time Faculty Deans.
    They will not be subject to conflict of interest and conflict of commitment in discharging their management responsibilities.
    The tentative proposal

    The broad outlines of the tentative proposal are as follows.


    A search committee will be formed with a majority of members drawn from the Faculty concerned. The composition of the search committee will be confirmed by the Senate and approved by the Council.
    The search committee will make such consultations as necessary and come up with nominations for consideration.
    The search committee will recommend candidates for consideration by the University. In the event that an external candidate is recommended, (s)he will need to go through the usual procedure for an academic appointment as well.
    The Council upon the advice of the Vice-Chancellor will make the appointment.
    Terms of appointment

    A Faculty Dean appointed under the new procedure will normally serve for a term of five years, which can be renewed for a second five-year term. (Prior service as an elected Faculty Dean for whatever length of time does not affect the eligibility for appointment as a Faculty Dean under the new procedure.)
    The Dean will normally serve on a full-time basis, unless the appointee prefers a concurrent appointment.
    The full cost of the Deanship will be borne centrally.
    At the end of the term of the Deanship and upon reversion to an academic post, there will be a period of sabbatical to enable the appointee to resume research activities. In case the associated cost of academic appointment cannot be immediately absorbed by the teaching unit concerned, it will in the interim be also borne centrally.
    Currently serving elected Faculty Deans will continue to serve until the expiration of their current terms.
    Practice in other institutions

    Although details vary, this mode of appointment is practised in most universities, including all sister institutions in Hong Kong.

    Responsibility of the Faculty Deans

    It is expected that Faculty Deans appointed after a search process will be asked to take on a broader range of responsibilities, including the following.

    To recommend appointments of Department Chairs after broad consultation with individual members of the departments concerned.
    To take broad charge of the Faculty processes for appointment and pay review, with approval by the University simplified and reduced principally to substantiation, senior, and exceptional cases.
    To have authority over a portion of any additional budgetary resources that may be available to the Faculty (e.g., upon reversion to a four-year curriculum) in order to promote strategic developments in the Faculty.
    These changes in administrative procedure will need to be implemented in phases after the Faculty Deans have been appointed through a search process.

    Advisory group on implementation

    In addition to Statutory Amendment defining the new process in the broadest terms, the University will need to draw up detailed guidelines and procedures in relation to the search and the responsibilities. An Advisory Group on Implementation will be set up to provide advice to the Vice-Chancellor on these matters. The group will include all current Faculty Deans and the Director, School of Law.

    November 18, 2006