20 January 2009

CUHK Council Sets Up Search Committee
for the University’s Vice-Chancellor

The Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) was informed at its meeting today (20 Jan) of the decision of Professor Lawrence J. Lau to retire from the Vice-Chancellorship of the University after his term ends in June 2010. The University Council respected Professor Lau’s decision with regret and thanked him for his outstanding contributions to the University.

Dr. Edgar Cheng, Council Chairman of CUHK, said, “With Vice-Chancellor Professor Lau at the helm, CUHK has gone from strength to strength. The quality of its students, the education it provides and its research achievements have made CUHK one of the top-notch universities in the world.”

Dr. Cheng lauded the achievement of Professor Lau in enhancing the academic programmes of the University to make CUHK a preferred institution for students in Hong Kong and in the Asia-Pacific region. In preparation for the reversion to a four-year normative curriculum, Professor Lau has devoted much effort to the establishment of new colleges, and received warm support from the community to further enhance the unique collegiate system of CUHK. Professor Lau has recruited distinguished scholars and researchers, led the way in 2006 in formulating a 10-year Strategic Plan and identified five academic areas for focused research investment. Under his leadership, CUHK’s campus master planning will soon complete its conceptual stage, laying down a blueprint and creating the necessary conditions for the future planning and sustainable development of the University. (The text of Dr. Edgar Cheng’s remarks is attached.)

The Council will set up a search committee to search for a new Vice-Chancellor for the University, as prescribed by Statute 6 of The Chinese University of Hong Kong Ordinance (Cap. 1109 of the Laws of Hong Kong). The search committee will comprise seven members, including the Chairman of the Council, three members nominated by the Council from among its number and three members nominated by the Senate from among its number. Three Council members, namely Mr. Roger K.H. Luk, Dr. Anthony Neoh and Mr. Lau Sai-yung were nominated for the search committee at today’s Council meeting, and three Senate members will be nominated by the Senate shortly.

Council Appointments

The Council of CUHK has appointed Professor Henry Nai-ching Wong as Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CUHK for a period of two years from 1 February 2009. Including Professor Henry Wong, there are five Pro-Vice-Chancellors at CUHK. The other four are Professor Kenneth Young, Professor Jack Cheng, Professor Ching Pak-chung and Professor Michael Hui. The Council has earlier approved the appointment of Professor Fung Tung of the Department of Geography and Resource Management as Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor with effect from 1 January 2009, and Professor Dennis Kee-pui Ng of the Department of Chemistry, succeeding Professor Ho Puay-peng as University Dean of Students with effect from 1 February 2009.

Professor Henry Wong Appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Professor Henry Wong is currently Professor of Chemistry and Head of New Asia College. He obtained his B.Sc. degree with first class honours from CUHK in 1973, and was subsequently awarded a Shell Scholarship for Postgraduate Studies in the United Kingdom. He furthered his studies at University College London where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1976. After two postdoctoral research years at Harvard University, Professor Wong returned to University College London to begin his independent research undertaking as Ramsay Memorial Fellow. From 1980 to 1982, Professor Wong did research at the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, The Chinese Academy of Sciences. He returned to CUHK in 1983 and was the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1995 to 1997, and the Senate Committee on Student Discipline from 1997 to 2002. He has been the Chairman of the Research Committee and the Academic Equipment Grant Committee since 2004 and 2006 respectively.

Professor Wong’s research interests are concerned with the syntheses of natural and non-natural molecules. He serves on the editorial boards of a number of international and national journals. He received the degree of Doctor of Science from the University of London in 1994. Professor Wong has also been actively contributing to the research and scientific development on the mainland. He is Chairman of the Management Committee, Shanghai-Hong Kong Joint Laboratory in Chemical Synthesis, Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, The Chinese Academy of Sciences. He is also an honorary professor and guest professor of many tertiary institutions in Mainland China. Professor Wong has received many prestigious awards over the years. He won the 2nd Class State Natural Science Award of China in 1997. He was a Croucher Senior Research Fellow in 1999-2000 and was elected a Member of The Chinese Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of The Academy of Sciences for the Developing World (formerly known as The Third World Academy of Sciences) in 1999 and 2004 respectively.

Professor Henry Wong said, “I am deeply honoured to be appointed as Pro-Vice-Chancellor to help oversee research at the University. The Chinese University is a comprehensive research university of international repute, and enjoys a leading position in a large number of research areas. I will continue to work closely with my colleagues to further enhance our research efforts based on our solid foundation, and to transfer research output into initiatives benefitting mankind.”

Professor Fung Tung Appointed Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor

Professor Fung Tung obtained his B.A. and M.Phil. in geography from The University of Hong Kong. He was awarded a Canadian commonwealth scholarship and received his Ph.D. from the University of Waterloo in 1988. He joined CUHK in 1988 and is currently Professor of the Department of Geography and Resource Management. He was the Chairman of the Department of Geography and Resource Management, and the Director of the Centre for Environmental Policy and Resource Management at CUHK and has helped establish the new Centre of Strategic Environmental Assessment for China.

Professor Fung’s research and teaching interests include land use and land cover change detection, landscape analysis, hyperspectral data analysis, development of classification and change analysis methods for remote sensing images and application of geoinformation science in environmental monitoring and planning. Throughout the years, Professor Fung has provided consultancy services to various government departments on the use of remote sensing and geographic information systems, and has published widely in major international academic journals. He is a founding council member and past president of the Hong Kong Geographic Information System Association.

Professor Dennis Ng Appointed University Dean of Students

Professor Dennis Ng studied chemistry at CUHK, where he received his B.Sc. degree with first class honours in 1988 and M.Phil. degree in 1990. He pursued further studies at the University of Oxford, obtaining his D.Phil. in 1993. He was appointed a Research Fellow in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology before joining CUHK in 1994. Specializing in the chemistry of phthalocyanines, Professor Ng is currently Professor at the Department of Chemistry. He received the 2000 Exemplary Teaching Award of the Faculty of Science, and the 2005 Young Researcher Award of the University. Over the years, Professor Ng has served actively on various committees of the University related to student affairs, and been involved in promoting science education in local secondary schools. He was the Associate Dean (Student Affairs) of the Faculty of Science of CUHK from 2004 to 2008. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry since 2000 and a Chartered Scientist of the Science Council, UK since 2004.