【特首跑馬仔】任志剛應邀出任競選辦資深顧問 讚林鄭有五大優點足勝任特首

馬斐森任內歷佔領與任命李國章爭議 新任職大學全球排名比港大更高|甘樂宜

2017-2-2 18:59
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多個傳媒今午引述消息,指香港大學校長馬斐森經已辭職。有線新聞引述港大校委會主席李國章指,馬斐森因獲聘為英國愛丁堡大學校長,故作出請辭,馬斐森的合約原本在2019年才完結。李國章否認馬斐森辭職與政治原因有關,亦聲稱無人逼他離開及不滿他。至於馬斐森於發予港大教職員及學生的電郵則表示,他將於2018年1月離任,並透露「世上只得很少大學可以誘使我離開港大,但愛丁堡大學是其中一所。有很多私人原因驅使我回英國(There are very few universities in the world that could have tempted me to leave HKU but Edinburgh is one of them. I have many personal reasons for returning to the UK……)」。

馬斐森在電郵中亦兩度表明,不容因他一人離開,影響他團隊這些日子以來,領導港大邁向「創新視野、跨學科和國際化」的改革,成為「亞洲全球大學」的目標(achieving our Vision of Innovation, Interdisciplinarity and Internationalisation converging on Impact, and being Asia’s Global University…The departure of one person must not be allowed to derail the progress being made at this great and venerable University.)。他在回顧任內工作後,特別強調「當中或者最令人滿意的是」(Perhaps most satisfyingly of all),教職員和學生「在香港前所未有的政治複雜環境下,能夠捍衞到港大的核心價值,繼續尊重言論自由環境,並期望可長遠持續。」(we have articulated, promoted and defended the University’s core principles during a period of unprecedented political complexity in Hong Kong, ensuring that our students and staff can continue to flourish in an environment that respects their freedom of speech: long may this continue.)

翻查資料,本身是英國學者的馬斐森,在2013年獲港大校委會一致通過接任校長,於2014年4月1日上任,任期五年。然而,馬斐森還未上任,管治能力已屢受港大教員質疑。如當時出任該校外科學系系主任的盧寵茂一度批評他「無知、無能、又無心」,不懂中文致無法與香港以至大陸社會各界溝通;時任教育學院講座教授程介明認為馬斐森出任校長「仲爭一大截」,欠缺學術眼界;港大新聞及傳播研究中心總監陳婉瑩則認為馬斐森「未夠班」,對未來大學發展缺乏願景等。

馬斐森曾形容,他來港未幾爆發佔領運動,期間「感覺困難和充滿挑戰」,是他在港大的「黑暗歲月」。在他出任港大校長期間,校內曾發生過眾多爭議,而其對事件的回應,也引起部分學生與校外人士的不滿。2014年,特首梁振英在《施政報告》點名批評港大學生刊物《學苑》,馬斐森以「梁振英有言論自由」為由,解釋應由他本人決定是否要在《施政報告》作批評。至於其後冒起的港獨爭議,馬斐森則曾強調學生有言論自由,但須同時尊重法律,並形容港獨是「不切實際」,不符港大利益。

2015年除夕,梁振英在爭議聲中委任李國章出任港大校委會主席,其時已有輿論憂慮,馬斐森會自願或被迫提早離任,甚至不獲續約。李國章接任該職後,部分港大學生於2016年1月底圍堵校委會會場,馬斐森其後「譴責」(condemn)學生的行為,並指事件令他一度感到生命受威脅,他亦用上李國章曾使用的字眼「mob rule」(暴民管治)形容事件。同年2月,時任學生會會長兼校委馮敬恩因拒絕簽署人身安全承諾書,被逐離會議現場,必要性成疑,惟馬斐森事後表示,錄影片段證明馮敬恩有可能影響校委安全。

馬斐森尚未完成首任任期便另謀高就,特首參選人胡國興形容事件「極不尋常」,港大與馬斐森應向公眾交代,以釋疑慮。李國章強調其辭職不涉政治原因;港大學生會會長孫曉嵐則表示,馬斐森事前並無與學生會及校委會透露辭職事宜,並認為馬斐森需要公開交代請辭原因及去向。

馬斐森轉任的愛丁堡大學是一所位於英國蘇格蘭、創立於1583年的公立大學。根據國際高等教育資訊機構Quacquarelli Symonds(QS)公布的2016年世界大學排名,愛丁堡大學全球排名第19位,港大則位列第27。

馬斐森電郵全文:

Important message from Professor Peter Mathieson, President and Vice-Chancellor
Dear colleagues, students, alumni and friends,

I am writing to inform you that I have resigned as your President and Vice-Chancellor, and I plan to leave HKU in January 2018. Thereafter I will take up a new appointment as Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh.

During my one year’s notice period, it will be very important that there is no loss of momentum at HKU: the Senior Management Team is unanimously and heavily engaged in a process of reform towards achieving our Vision of Innovation, Interdisciplinarity and Internationalisation converging on Impact, and being Asia’s Global University. I will remain dedicated to the task and working hard with all of you to achieve our goals. The departure of one person must not be allowed to derail the progress being made at this great and venerable University.

It has been a distinct privilege to lead HKU for almost three years and I am sorry and somewhat surprised to be leaving before the completion of my term. The HKU students, staff, alumni and friends are wonderful and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you all: I regret that it was not for longer. There are very few universities in the world that could have tempted me to leave HKU but Edinburgh is one of them. I have many personal reasons for returning to the UK and I have decided after extensive discussions with my family to take this opportunity now.

I will leave HKU with a sense of great progress having been made during my time here. We have articulated a strategic vision for the next ten years of the University and put in place many of the reforms and modernisations that will be required to deliver that vision.

We have already greatly improved our international visibility, including new strategic partnerships with top universities in the US, UK and Australia and our pioneering dual degree agreements with the likes of University College London, Sciences Po and University of Southern California.

We have put together a superb Senior Management Team (SMT), reformed the reporting structures for senior academic staff including establishing a clear mandate from the SMT for the Faculty Deans, reformed academic career structures, staff review and development procedures and streamlined and made more transparent and objective our hiring, promotion and tenure decisions.

Ambitious proposals are well-advanced to reform the budgeting of the University and ensure that our resources can be optimally deployed. We have established a recovery plan for Centennial College. We have radically improved the governance situation regarding the HKU-Shenzhen Hospital, including addressing the financial risks associated with the project and negotiating a detailed repayment schedule.

We have taken bold moves to address the University’s chronic shortage of accommodation for staff and students including purchasing and renting new sites; resolving a very longstanding issue around the lease for High West which will allow us to develop the site; collaborating with St John’s College on an exciting development plan; subdividing unduly large apartments and taking back from the private market numerous units for staff usage.

We have responded to the patchy results in Research Assessment Exercise 2014 by focusing attention on areas of concern, made strategic new hires, rewarded excellence and planned proactively for the next research assessment.

I have personally led efforts to improve gender equity at HKU and we have made considerable progress: eg shifting the proportion of women at Dean level or above from 9% when I arrived to over 20% and rising now; hosting or co-hosting numerous events with like-minded organisations and generally making equal opportunities part of the daily dialogue at HKU; we have improved maternity leave and provision of breast-feeding facilities; mandated female representation on all search committees, appointments panels and shortlists and made definite plans for a nursery on campus.

Perhaps most satisfyingly of all, repeatedly during the last three years we have articulated, promoted and defended the University’s core principles during a period of unprecedented political complexity in Hong Kong, ensuring that our students and staff can continue to flourish in an environment that respects their freedom of speech: long may this continue.

When I arrived it was clear that HKU already had many excellent staff and a superbly talented student body. We have continued to attract the brightest and best students and we have hired some wonderful new staff during my time here: they will help to take forward the bold plans that we have set out. As outlined above, my departure must not derail the progress or slow the momentum: I hope you will all give full support to my successor.

I am very optimistic about HKU’s future: it is a wonderful institution in a region of the world that is replete with further development potential. I hope to maintain a collaborative relationship with HKU in the future and to keep in close contact with you all. Tina and I will leave here with many friends and many happy memories. Thank you for giving us the honour of being part of the history of this distinguished University.

With very best wishes for the future,
Peter Mathieson
President and Vice-Chancellor

(撰文:甘樂宜)(圖片來源:蘋果日報)

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