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May 13
2013年5月13日

員工與我

Way Cool Blog


 

員工是大學順暢運作的推手。

大學猶如一個小社會。城大校園雖小,五臟俱全,全職及非全職教職員三四千、學生人數約兩萬,在教研以外的行政支援工作,多不勝數。例如學生發展處、學生招募與輔導;教職員聘雇與福利;圖書館、電算服務中心;校友聯絡處;校園管理、清潔、保養及維修;教學設施與實驗室的設置;大學推廣及對外聯繫等,都有賴各類各級員工協助推動。他/她們是城大發展的助緣體,沒有他/她們,大學的運轉就不會這麼順暢,教研就不會取得這麼重大的成就。

雖然我能叫出他/她們名字的員工或許有限,但在城大五年,面熟的還真不少,更知道作為勤懇努力的城大團隊成員,忠心耿耿,為城大作出許多貢獻。

面對挑戰,全力以赴
香港高等教育推行本科學制三轉四,給大學發展帶來契機;與此同時,各部門面對許多挑戰。為準備2012-13雙學年和新學制的到來,大學教務處、招生處、電腦中心及資訊系統服務處的同事在兩年前已積極展開相關支援配套工作,包括設計全新的電腦系統,以處理龐大的入學申請數據,並制定新的招生政策。

為了學生選課更方便及更靈活,建立了全新的網上課程記錄系統,及提早在8月份公佈全個學年的課節安排,讓學生在選課及學習安排上有更充足的資訊。更在網上報告系統詳細列出個別學生所修的學分與整體學生的修課統計資訊,使學術部門了解學生的學習情況並給予輔導。教務處還特別設立新生支援中心,協助雙學年入學的5,220名新同學。

大學學制三改四,對我們是重大考驗。有賴各級部門及各學院、學系行政及支援人員的配合,得以順利完成,使大學發展踏上新里程。

盡忠職守,敬業樂群
財務處處理各類公事與員工學生的財務事項,任務繁瑣又往往有時間限制。城大財務處理有條理,財務處員工的貢獻不可沒。

大學校園人流頻密,每天大學校園主要入口(包括地鐵站、南山入口、達之路行人路及工務通道)的使用人次多達74,000。近年來,校園內擴充增多了至少50%的空間與設施,再加上現有校園建築的維修、清潔、安全等工作,都需要各類員工打理,遇上大風雨天,工作尤其繁重。

記得2010年7月28日,黑色暴雨警告信號懸掛期間,大學校園發生前所未有的嚴重浸水,大量雨水湧入學術樓(一)和綜合體育館內,舉步難行,淤泥滿地。幸得校園發展及設施管理處的同事緊急搶修,浸水很快清理得乾乾淨淨,同事、同學安然無恙,大學設施也絲毫無損。近年來,學校有多項基建項目及大型整修工程動工,也有賴校園發展及設施管理處同事的監督才如期順利完成。

校園裏,每天早上八點前,幾十位男女保安就會在城大廣場的空地上排成隊列,迎接一天工作的開始。夜黑換班時,他/她們又排成一長列,整隊下班。無論上班或下班,幾乎每個保安都會熱情地跟大家打招呼。我注意到,不論晴天或雨天,他/她們都專業地守在出入口,維持秩序,禮貌地回答詢問,指導人流。

我喜歡跟學校的保安聊天。其中有些保安,永遠在城大廣場外用心地指揮交通,就算颳風下雨也很少坐進亭內,而寧可站在擋雨棚下,以便工作。他/她們對學校很關心,有一天,一位保安很興奮地告訴我,他的鄰居恭喜他,因為城大的世界排名上升了很多,讓他感到既驕傲又高興。說來有趣又令人感動,學校排名進步,連外包的保安都歡欣鼓舞。

大學的另一個入口,在南山旁邊,因為來往人多雜亂,保安任務比較繁瑣,但是他/她們個個和藹可親地執行著職務。這些大學員工和保安,對學校的貢獻與支持體現了大學敬業樂群的精神,值得城大同仁欣賞與感恩。

同步齊心,誠意關懷
在過去五年裏,我和城大學生、校友、教職員及其親屬組成團隊,連續參加香港渣打馬拉松賽事,今年第六次的陣容更是歷年之冠,超過千人。與城大隊友在黎明前並肩而跑,互助共勉,建立起一種親切的聯繫,是個難得的寶貴經驗。這場馬拉松比賽已經成為城大同慶個人努力、團隊精神,以及大學核心價值的一年一度盛事。

每年參賽的那一天清晨五點,我抵達賽場時,早已有來自學生發展處、校園發展及設施管理處、人力資源處等不同單位的工作人員在忙碌:有的接待城大的參賽學生、員工;有的分派飲料、照顧衣物保存、註冊諸事宜;體育教練指導參賽者暖身;攝影、公關忙著拍照、採訪;當然還有不少參賽的員工彼此打氣、為大學加油。這些組成城大千人馬拉松賽事的基層員工、無名英雄,以及在馬拉松比賽前一晚在學校留宿的司機,都是城大上進的動力。

每年春節,人力資源處會舉辦新春團拜,也是我一定不會錯過的盛會。城大人共聚一堂,高高興興享用豐盛的自助午餐,欣賞精采的喜慶表演節目。大學藉此良辰吉日向一年辛勞工作的同仁表達一點心意。教職員退休聚會、員工長期服務頒獎典禮等活動,也讓我們有機會向同事送上感謝與敬意。

關懷共勉是社群健康發展的正能量,城大體育代表隊在2013年度的香港大專體育協會賽事中,第七次贏得男女子團體總冠軍,創下奪得全港大滿貫次數的最高紀錄。城大運動員的驕人成績,是體育教練耐心訓勉與悉心關懷的成果,功不可沒。每次祝捷會上,我能深深感受到他/她們對學生不斷進步而發自內心的喜悅。

服務學生,不遺餘力
最近數年大學努力推展國際化學習,內地及對外事務處在2011/2012學年訪問了數個海外國家,包括丹麥(哥本哈根)、印度(班加羅爾及海得拉巴)、印尼(雅加達)、俄羅斯(莫斯科及聖彼得堡),以及內地、台灣和韓國的國際學校,總共探訪了近60間當地知名高中,為城大拓展國際生源。2012年夏季更有同事跑到北京、上海、廣州、重慶、台北和首爾等6個內地和海外城市舉辦迎新會,向近240名新生和家長講解如何適應城大學習與在港生活。

我們更透過不斷擴展海外交流和實習計劃,開拓學生的視野和思維;積極與世界著名大學增加互訪,建立合作平台。城大近年訪客不斷,負責聯繫的同事、接待單位的職員、接送的司機、安排住宿的員工,都是訪問交流得以順利進行的功臣。我們更訂下目標,要在2015年前籌募5,000萬港元,藉以支援全校半數學生參加這些計劃。在大學發展處的努力下,我們目前已籌得5,000萬港元。

大學的順利運轉,需要對內與對外溝通。城大的公關部門是這方面的主力之一,對內他/她們需要保持資訊的流通,對外更要擔當與外界通聯的橋樑。就以今年4月20日而言,雖然是週末,公關部門還安排200多名中學老師和學生,參加「成功之旅 今日啟航」活動,帶領他/她們參觀校園,推廣我們的創新課程,還安排記者採訪。這項活動已連續舉辦四年,他/她們的奉獻,令人敬佩。

因緣際會,相待而起
城大每一個行政支援部門都有專門的工作範疇,員工盡忠職守,為校園發展作出重要貢獻。我曾經與職員茶聚,了解大家在所屬單位的工作詳情,溝通中能夠感受到大家對大學的誠意和歸屬感,以及同事之間的友誼。

去年底,我收到琳(Lynn)的來信,告知我她已於去年暑假退休。琳是我廿四年前在愛荷華州大當系主任時的秘書,每年都會寄給我幾封電子郵件。我與以往共事的美國員工,相處像家人一樣。琳的退休讓我想起當年辦公室換打印機,她教我使用的情形;也讓我想起我大學同學來訪時她招呼他們的情景。

類似愛荷華的經歷,與我十七歲起在清華大學讀書時接觸的秘書蔣小姐,到貝爾實驗室的助手凱娣,以至今天在城大共事的同仁,大致一樣。就以在城大的經歷來說,我與自己辦公室及幾個行政辦公室的同事接觸較多,視他/她們為合作伙伴,並親眼目睹了這些辦公室的秘書和助手安排繁瑣的行事曆、負責準備會議議程、撰寫會議記錄、跟進研辦事項,一切處理得有條不紊,值得讚賞。

城大員工是我們優秀團隊的重要成員。我祝願員工在城大工作愉快,也期望大學以及教師和學生能夠為他/她們提供的支援表示衷心的感謝,城大同仁因緣和合,相待而起,希望大家珍惜共創佳績的一分一秒。

The staff and I

The force driving smooth operations
We have 3,000 to 4,000 regular full-time and part-time staff and about 20,000 students at CityU. Such a large population requires a whole range of administrative support, from staff members who work in units such as Student Development Services, Run Run Shaw Library, Computing Services Centre, and Alumni Relations Office, among many others.

These units take care of student enrolment and counseling, faculty recruitment and benefits, campus management, cleaning, maintenance and repairs, the set-up of teaching facilities and laboratories, and promotion and outreach. They act as facilitators for CityU's development, and without them, the University won't run so smoothly, and we won't have made such significant achievements in teaching and research, either.

Though the number of staff members I know by name is relatively limited, I recognise many faces, and I know from my five years at CityU that these industrious and devoted colleagues contribute a great deal to our mission.

Meeting the challenges with innovation and creativity
The switch from a 3-year to 4-year undergraduate curriculum in Hong Kong has been an opportunity for the University to develop, but it has also raised challenges for every department. Two years ago the Academic Regulations and Records Office, Admissions Office, Computing Services Centre and Enterprise Solutions Office began to prepare in earnest for the double cohort of undergraduate students that would be entering the University in the 2012-13 academic year and for the launch of the 4-year academic structure.

Their support work included designing a new computer system for processing the enormous amount of application data and establishing a new admissions policy. They also set-up a new online course registration system and made sure that announcements concerning training sessions that would run for the whole academic year were made in August 2012, well in advance, to make sure students received timely information to be used when selecting their academic programmes and allowing them to study in a more flexible and convenient way.

In addition, an online report system was set up so that course credits earned by individual students as well as the statistics for classes taken by all students could be detailed. This system not only gives academic departments a full picture of the students' learning, it also allows academics to offer appropriate guidance. As for freshmen, the Academic Regulations and Records Office established a service centre designed to assist the 5,220 freshmen that made up the double cohort year.

The 334 transition posed a major challenge to all of us at CityU, but the hard work of our administrative and support staff from all units, departments, schools and colleges has paved the way to the successful introduction of our new curriculum, and allowed the University to take a significant step forward.

Dedication: the spirit of our motto
Good financial management at CityU comes from the substantial contribution made by staff in the Finance Office, which handles the various business and financial matters related to our staff and students. These seemingly trivial chores must be completed within a specified time frame, and we need dedicated professionals to manage them.

We also have an excellent team that looks after our facilities. CityU is a busy campus, and every day about 74,000 pedestrians pass through the University, the subways, the Nam Shan Chuen entrance, Tat Chee Avenue and other walkways. What's more, the useable space on campus has grown by more than 50% in the last few years, adding more routine maintenance, cleaning and security tasks to the daily list.

In adverse conditions, the workers who handle these tasks are particularly essential. For example, our campus was seriously flooded on 28 August 2010 during torrential rain that saw the Black Rain signal hoisted. Rainwater gushed into the Academic 1 building and the sports centre, leaving the ground covered in so much mud that it was difficult to walk. But thanks to our colleagues from the Campus Development and Facilities Office (CDFO), the water was drained away, no one was hurt, and all the facilities were safe and sound.

Indeed, we have a lot to thank CDFO for. Over the past few years, the University has undertaken several capital projects and large-scale renovations, and we owe a debt of gratitude to our CDFO colleagues for their professional management.

Carrying out one's duties politely and in good spirits, even in adverse conditions, is always welcomed; it is essential for building esprit de corps, too. Every morning, before 8am, dozens of security guards line up for inspection in the University Circle, ready to start the day's work. When they are about to change shifts at nightfall, they line up again. No matter they are on or off duty, every one of them greets the people they meet. Whatever the weather, they stand guard at campus entrances, maintaining order, politely responding to enquiries and directing the never-ending stream of people entering campus.

I like to chat with the security guards. One day, a guard excitedly told me that one of his neighbours had congratulated him on working for a university that was making such substantial gains in world university rankings. He said he felt so happy and proud to receive such praise. Even those guards from outsourced companies have expressed pride at working for a university that is doing so well, which I find very touching.

Close to Nam Shan Chuen, there is a busy entrance to the University. To work there could be a very demanding job. However, all the security guards perform their duties in a friendly manner. The contribution of our staff members and the security guards to the University is a reflection of their dedication to CityU, and it certainly deserves our admiration.

Working together with compassion and care
I have joined CityU students, alumni, staff and family members in running the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon for the last five years. This year we had the largest ever team of runners from CityU, over 1,000 athletes. It was a unique and valuable experience for me to run side by side with CityU runners before dawn, establishing a bond as we cheered each other on. This marathon has become an annual CityU event for the celebration of individual effort, team spirit, and the core values of the University.

Every year I arrive at the start of the marathon at 5am to greet colleagues from units such as Student Development Services, Campus Development and Facilities Office, and the Human Resources Office. They are busy receiving the student and staff runners, distributing drinks, taking care of personal belongings and clothes, and checking registrations. While the coaches take the race participants through their warm-up exercises, CityU's photographers and communications staff members are busy taking photos and conducting interviews. And, of course, the runners are cheering each other on, boosting each other's morale. These general grade staff and unsung heroes as well as the drivers who have to sleep in the University dorm the night before the race are genuine driving forces for CityU's growth.

Get-togethers with staff are also an invaluable part of the CityU calendar. I never miss the Staff Party organised by the Human Resources Office after the Chinese New Year. It brings colleagues together to celebrate a special buffet lunch and live performances. It also gives me an opportunity to express my gratitude to our staff for their hard work over the past years on this special occasion. In addition, retirement parties and the Long Service Staff Award Ceremony also give us a chance to express our thanks and pay tribute.

In addition, I really appreciate the receptions held to celebrate the successes of our men's and women's sports teams. Our athletes won the overall championships in the University Sports Federation of Hong Kong, China competitions this year for an unprecedented seventh time. Our athletes' brilliant performances are a result of the patient guidance and care of their coaches. At the celebration receptions, I experience the genuine sense of achievement that our student athletes exude.

Sparing no efforts in serving our students
In recent years, CityU has stepped up its efforts in promoting internationalised learning. During the 2011-12 academic year, colleagues from the Mainland and External Affairs Office visited a total of 60 locally well-known high schools and international schools in several countries, including Denmark (Copenhagen), India (Bangalore and Hyderabad), Indonesia (Jakarta) and Russia (Moscow and St Petersburg) as well as in mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea, aiming at expanding enrollment for international students. In the summer of 2003, some colleagues even organised an orientation programme in six cities— Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing, Taipei and Seoul— briefing 240 freshmen and their parents on how to adapt to studying at CityU and living in Hong Kong.

Moreover, we have broadened our students' horizons and ways of thinking by expanding our overseas exchange and internship programmes. We have increased the number of our exchanges with some of the world's most prominent universities, thereby building a platform for further cooperation. In recent years, we have received a succession of visitors, too. The smooth success of these visits depends on the efforts of colleagues in charge of making contacts and organising receptions, the drivers who chauffeur guests to and from campus, staff who make the arrangements for food and accommodation, to name a few. Meanwhile, we set a target of raising HK$50 million by 2015 so that 50% of our students could participate in these exchange programmes. With the support of the Development Office, we have already achieved this target.

Good internal and external communications are essential for a well-functioning university. The Communications and Public Relations Office (CPRO) at CityU is one of the main expert forces behind this work. Internally, CPRO ensures the free flow of information at CityU, while externally it serves as a bridge between the University and the outside world. Take the "Shaping Your Future: A Lifetime of Difference" programme on 22 April 2013 as an example. CPRO organised a sharing session for around 200 secondary students over a weekend, showing the students around campus, promoting our Discovery-enriched Curriculum, and arranging media interviews. CPRO's dedication and devotion to this programme, held at CityU for the fourth consecutive year, wins our admiration.

My honour to work with you all
Each of CityU's administrative units makes a unique contribution to campus development. I know this because I regularly seize the opportunity to chat at tea receptions with colleagues about the details of their work in individual departments or offices. In our interaction, I can feel a sincere sense of belonging to the University and a bond among our colleagues.

These kinds of friendships can last a lifetime. At the end of last year, I received a message from Lynn, my secretary when I was working as a department head at Iowa State University 24 years ago. Lynn emails every year, and this time she was letting me know that she had retired. In fact, my former colleagues in the US used to work together as if they were part of the same family. Lynn's email reminded me of the time she tried to show me how to use the new printer in the office, and the way she used to receive my college classmates when they came to visit me.

I had similar experiences with Ms Chiang, a secretary working at National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan where I started my undergraduate studies when I was 17; and with Katie, a research assistant at Bell Labs as well as CityU colleagues here. Take my current job for example. I have regular contact with colleagues in the administration offices and regard them as my partners. I have witnessed how the secretaries and assistants in these offices keep track of busy calendars, arrange agendas, write up minutes and follow up items that require attention and execution. Their methodical way of going about their work deserves our praise.

CityU staff members are an important part of our terrific team. I wish them a happy career here, and I also hope our faculty and students will feel grateful for their consistent support. Our common destiny brings us together. We depend on each other, which is why I hope everyone will cherish each and every moment we work together to achieve excellence.

May 13, 2013

  

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