Bulletin Vol. 4 No. 11 Aug 1968

I V W ith respect to the third question fo r the role of the university in creating or reinterpreting the indigenous cultural past, there is a tragic dimension in one definition of a developing country that deeply involves the role of its universities. A developing country is a society that, by necessity, if not by choice, sacrifices much of its indigenous past for a new national identity and a greater economic benefit. E lio t saw the future as the fulfilment of the past. The developing country of our century sacrifices the sacred fo r security. Its past becomes increasingly irrelevant. Even its language is at stake. The new elite is often the rural youth who discards the village vernacular fo r the national language as he climbs from primary to secondary education, and then must learn a world language at the level of university study. He is the victim of a sudden breaking of social ties— first those of the family, then of the village as he becomes the modern youth — the individual who is himself several persons speaking several languages. In his own university, he studies subjects that have no roots in his own culture. His own university is structured along alien lines and judges him by alien standards. It permits, indeed encourages, him to live in two worlds, while it fosters a harsh new nationalism that is no more appreciative of the indigenous culture and the local past than it is of a foreign humanism. The new nationalism may find its symbols in the national language, the integrity of the indigenous culture, a fierce defense of superficial expressions of political sovereignty while it presses w ith ruthless zeal toward industrialization. The university often deepens the gulf between the indigenous heritage and modern studies. Its faculties may be fortresses of xenophobic conserva tism and fanatic scientism. Change in the present must of course mean the change of the past. Somehow the university, especially in the developing country, needs to serve the student as mediator between the conflicts and the tensions that are inherent in the society and articulate in its own faculties. In the breaking up of the patterns of traditional society, there must be some breaking down of the otherness of modern learning by a breaking down of the otherness of the past. Because of science and technology, there are developing countries, but science and technology alone are also disruptive of development— disruptive 'o f the slow and natural growth of social and political habits'. Does one crucial role of the university lay in the creation of a new past that relates tradition and technology, the indigenous heritage and the modern world, according to perspectives and procedures of universal validity? Here the university meets an­ other of its truly important roles: that of maintaining a relationship between different distinct dimensions o f time and thought. And in doing this, the university helps provide an understanding of what E lio t referred to as the ‘‘social and political habits" that universities must respond to. But in the very process of discovering the true past, it also illuminates the ‘‘real present” and the likely future. In this way, universities in the developing countries play a truly creative role in society, rather than remain a passive pawn adjusting to the ever- changing forces of history. ENLARGEMENT OF FACULTY BOARDS The Senate approved on 30th A p ril, 1968 a proposal that the membership of the Faculty Boards be enlarged so that each Board of Faculty shall consist of the Dean as Chairman, the Chairmen of all Boards of Studies w ithin the Faculty, its Pro­ fessors and Readers who are not Chairmen, and as many other members from each of the constituent Boards of Studies as there are College teaching departments. The Senate approved on 29th July, 1968 the further enlargement of the membership of the Faculty Boards so as to include the Vice-Chancellor and the College Presidents as ex officio members. Amendment of the Statutes is in process. JOINT COMPUTER COMMITTEE W ITH HKU The University of Hong Kong and this Univer­ sity have set up a Joint Computer Committee consisting of three members and one join t secretary from each university, to advise the Vice-Chancellors on computer development in the two universities. The representatives of this University are: Members: Dr. S.C. Loh (in his absence until December 1968 , Dr. R.E. M itche ll) Prof. Hsu Bay-sung Prof. David H. L i Joint Secretary: Dr. Ronald F. Turner-Smith — 5 —