Bulletin Vol. 5 No. 2 Oct 1968

staff has told me the story of someone who, having failed to gain admission to anyone o f the three Colleges, wanted to be considered fo r The Chinese University. The misunderstanding underlying this anecdote may be amusing or it may not, but I must say that its consequences even in m ilder forms could be a great hindrance to the development of the University. Therefore at the threshold of our sixth year, it behooves me as the Vice-Chancellor to present to you a clear description of the University's organization and the relationships among its elements in the hope that this w ill lead to better understanding and firmer support. The University has often been described as a federation o f three Colleges, and it has been said, perhaps too glibly, that the Colleges are the Univer sity, and the University is the Colleges. This may be a good description o f some federal universities, but it is not entirely true of ours, fo r in fact this University consists of four parts, namely, the three Colleges and the University-wide activities. This fourth part includes, besides administration, the Graduate School, the School o f Education, the University Library, the Research Institutes, and the Computing Centre. The graduates whom you have greeted w ith acclamation this evening come from the Graduate School and the three Colleges. There fore from the viewpoint of a student, his home in the University would be one of these four com ponents. From the viewpoint of the teachers, the rela tionship may be more complicated. Some o f them are appointed by the University and assigned to Schools such as the School of Education and the Lingnan Institute of Business Adm inistration. Others, the Professors, Readers, and Senior Lectur ers, are appointed by the University and assigned to the Colleges. Then there are the Lecturers of various grades, Tutors, and Demonstrators, who are appointed by the Colleges w ith the approval of the University and work in the Colleges. However, the teaching staff work across such dividing lines, fo r many of them are assigned to University Faculties, namely, the Faculty o f Arts, Faculty o f Science, and the Faculty o f Commerce and Social Science. Further, many of them belong to one or more Boards of Studies, whih also cut across the collegiate divisions. The Senate is the co-ordinating agency of the University in academic matters, to which some teachers belong in view of their rank or elected status. It is obvious by now that a teacher in this University belongs to many units and has direct or indirect relationships w ith various unit heads. For example, many teachers serve directly under a College President, and therefore their relationship w ith the Vice-Chancellor o f the University is in ­ direct. This explains why whatever direct contact the Vice-Chancellor has w ith the staff on matters relating to the Colleges is always made known to the Presidents. The same principle applies in the relationship between the Vice-Chancellor and the undergraduate students, all of whom belong to the Colleges. Although he has direct contact w ith the entering students at a welcoming reception each year, he is convinced that it would hamper college administration to meet students except through the channels offered by the Presidents of the three Colleges. Lest its friends think of the University as a conglomerate o f disparate bodies with little cohesion, I should point out that the four parts o f this federal university are integrated by a unique constitution and organization. As the Fulton Commission said in 1963, federal constitutions can vary to an almost infinite extent in the differing weight of authority they confer on the centre and on the constituent members respectively. “ In no case w ithin our knowledge ,” said the Commission, “ have the condi tions been sim ilar to those which we have been asked to consider in Hong Kong. The unique con ditions raise problems which call fo r their own solution." Accordingly the Commission recom mended that the draft constitution should be inter preted as conferring fu ll powers o f action in matters academic, administrative, and financial on the U n i versity. However, in assigning such powers to the University, the Commission said that it was doing no more than asserting the primacy of the common interest. The phrase "common interest" takes a concrete form in the Senate, the Faculty Boards, and the Boards of Studies, and is a watchword that, if observed in fu ll, would ensure the success of the integrating process o f the University. That is why members o f these boards are expected to serve, first and foremost, as individual scholars rather than representatives of sectional interests. As a cap-stone to all the integrative agencies, the University has a unique Committee called the Adm inistrative and Academic-Planning Committee consisting o f the Vice-Chancellor and the College Presidents as members and the University Registrar as Secretary. It meets once a week in a frank and cordial atmosphere to discuss major policies, ap prove appointments, ensure uniform action when ever necessary, scrutinize recommendations to the Senate and Council, and advise the Vice-Chancellor on various executive actions. — 2 —