POLYTECHNIC University president Timothy Tong Wai-cheung (理工大學校長唐偉章) will retire after he completes his 10 years in the post at the end of 2018. He is the fourth university head to step down next year.
University of Hong Kong’s Peter Mathieson (馬斐森) and Chinese University’s Joseph Sung Jao-yiu (香港中文大學沈祖堯) will also be leaving in January, and University of Science and Technology’s Tony Chan Fan-cheong (陳繁昌) is stepping down in September.
Announcing his decision in an e-mail, Tong said it had been “a challenge and an honour” to have served the university for nearly nine years, and it is now time for the university “to look forward to the next phase of development under a new leader for even greater success”.
A PolyU spokesman said the university council “regretted to note president Tong’s decision”. A global search for a suitable candidate will start soon.
Tong was first named president in 2009 for a five-year term. His contract was renewed to the end of next year. His decision to step down comes amid the Hong Kong independence controversy, and after students put up posters condemning him for trying to control their freedom of expression. Those posters were removed by the university.
Education sector lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen (葉建源) said he thinks it is normal and understandable for Tong to leave after he finishes his second term. Ip said being a university head is no easy position due to the pressure of political arguments and the students’ desire for free speech.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 09 October 2017)
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