President’s Blog – The Way > Posts > 2013年8月13日
 

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August 13
2013年8月13日

城大與我-
富貴不淫貧賤樂
學術創新乃正道

Way Cool Blog


 

加入城大之後,我仍經常受邀前往全球各教研、政府、企業單位就各類科、研、教學專題做報告。重要的是,我希望將三十年來在美國高教界資深管理的經歷,與大家共享國際化的真諦。此外,身為校長,還兼及推廣城大在全球招聘人才、招收學生、招募資金的任務。

就各方面的觀察了解,無論是城大校董會、多種國際大學評審單位的評估、香港教資會審定機制的正式評核,或者我與學生、教職員、校友,甚至與許多對城大作出貢獻的寂寂無聞的敬業百工、學術人員的交流中所接觸過、聆聽到的看法,城大目前在各方面都可稱得上是一所進展成功的卓越大學。

毫無疑問地,以上與我交流過、為數龐大的師生員工、校友、無名英雄,是貢獻良多的沉默大多數。他們是城大的主力。

切莫「窮」得只剩下金錢

來港之前,我對香港的了解有限。透過李小龍、成龍的電影,想像香港是個充滿正義感的社會,從孫中山的革命故事裏,也看到香港是個伸張公道的城巿,又從蕭芳芳的身上,體會到香港溫馨的一面,更從我大學時訪談過的大師錢穆口中,認識到香港是個文化人的避風港。

當然,曾經作為殖民地長達一百五十年的香港,還是個聚集了各路好漢、貧富懸殊的國際都會。一般來說,香港是個缺乏歷史感(包括中國史與世界史)的社會,機會主義盛行。今天的香港,從殖民地的桎梏中解脫出來後,正邁向民主自治;在發展的過程中,各方勢力縱橫捭闔,社會關係錯綜複雜,用可靠度的專業術語說,是生命週期中脆弱早夭期(infant mortality)的典型表現。

在我看來,香港百年來接納了來自各地的移民,因此港人智商(IQ)出眾,平均期望壽命(expected life)甚長,又因為造就了許多功成名望的各界人士,因此香港應該是個充滿智慧的風水寶地,引人注目。

我了解到,或許是移民城巿的緣故,金錢在部分港人心目中佔有重要的地位。我不忽略金錢在社會上所扮演的角色,它是一項重要的資源,幫我們從事教研,達到教育學生、服務社會、增進人類福祉的目的。

可是大學就是大學,君子愛財,取之有道。在大學工作,錢財不應該是我們爭取的首要選項。況且無論與香港社會其他行業相比,或者與世界各地其他大學對應職務相較,香港的大學員工待遇都更為優厚。我在許多場合對學生說,要充實自己,不要求人;若有本事,事情機會會造訪於你。如果只能靠抗爭來求得錢財、謀取職位的回報,則必然是讀書人的下下策。

做事先學做人,是古今中外放之四海皆不變的準則。正統的中國人從小受到教導,禮是規規矩矩的態度,義是正正當當的行為。如果大家都守規矩,社會自然安定和睦,個人也一定會快樂又有成就。否則,若不能發揮團隊精神,或者拖慢大學的進步,或者對教研服務無法做出貢獻,應該不是我所了解的香港精神。

近聞小故事

在結束本文及本系列之前,再說個小故事。

有一天,在一個度假村前,一輛高檔轎車油箱出了問題,漏出的油淌到車外,轎車旁一位身穿名牌西服的男人,急得像熱鍋上的螞蟻對著圍觀的人群高聲說:「你們誰能幫我爬到車底下擰緊一下螺絲啊?」

他身旁的女子說:「不用著急,重賞之下,必有勇夫!」

於是他掏出一張百元大鈔:「誰幫我擰緊,這錢就是他的了!」

一個小孩走近前來,說:「我來吧。」

小孩在男人的指揮下,很快就把螺絲擰好,爬出車底,用期待的眼神看著那個衣著光鮮的男人。

男人剛想把那張百元鈔票遞給小孩,卻被女人呵斥住了:「太多了,給他10塊已經夠了!」

男人從女人手裏接過零錢遞給小孩,小孩搖了搖頭。聽見人群中的噓聲,男人又加了10塊。

小孩子還是搖頭,男人有些生氣:「你嫌少?再嫌少這20塊也不給你啦。」

「不,我沒有嫌少。我們老師說,助人是不需要報酬的。」小孩如此答道。

男人有點不明白了:「那你怎麼還不走?」

小孩說:「我在等你跟我說聲『謝謝』。」

我們是不是該跟周遭為我們提供服務的大眾道個謝,而未必要一切都以強求金錢、不求付出的社會價值觀與人交往?香港精神應該是孫中山伸張公道的精神,蕭芳芳關懷的溫馨精神,錢穆代表的文化精神,更應該是小男孩期待得到服務後的男人說一聲謝謝的精神。

富貴不淫貧賤樂,學術創新乃正道!這,才是我們城大要努力推行的國際化吧!

 

"CityU and I"
-Pursuing academic innovation is the right Way

Since assuming the presidency at CityU, I have received invitations from various research institutes, schools and universities, government departments and business enterprises to deliver lectures or give talks on science, research and teaching. These invitations provide valuable opportunities for me to share my administrative experience and explore my vision on internationalisation with the community, based on my personal experience in institutions of higher learning in the US. In addition, as a president, I also have responsibilities for promoting CityU, leading a world-wide search for talents through faculty and student recruitment, and engaging in fund-raising for the University.

Based on different sources of feedback, CityU is firmly recognized as a progressive university with outstanding achievements. It has been making impressive progress on all fronts, a view expressed by our different stakeholders, including the CityU Council, international university ranking organizations, the University Grants Committee's academic audit panel, our academic peers, students, alumni, faculty and staff. They are our driving force. In particular, our faculty and staff, students and alumni have been making immense contributions quietly and steadily to build this great university.

Don't be left poor with nothing but money

Before I came here, I imagined Hong Kong to be a society where people were ready to set things right when they saw something had gone astray. I admit that most of my preconceptions were influenced by films starring Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. I also saw Hong Kong in my mind's eye as a city where people were chivalrous knights who never failed to help the poor, the weak, the injured and the wronged. These ideas stemmed no doubt from stories I had read about the revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen.

I also expected Hong Kong to be a place of tender caring as embodied by well-known actress Josephine Siao Fong-fong. And after my interview when I was still a university student with Professor Ch'ien Mu, the renowned historian, educator and philosopher, I believed that Hong Kong would be an ideal haven for learned men and women of letters who cherish our humanity.

It goes without saying that, as a colony for some 150 years, Hong Kong is a place where heroes and gangsters from all walks of life gather, and where one can see the polarising disparity between the rich and the poor, as in other metropolitan cities. Generally speaking, the society of Hong Kong has roots that are still relatively shallow due to insufficient understanding of Hong Kong's culture and history, and opportunism tends to prevail. Present-day Hong Kong, having freed itself from its colonial shackles, is confronted with an increasingly complicated world where different interest groups and sectors compete fiercely to maximize their own individual benefits. This city has yet to learn to move toward becoming a truly democratic, united and autonomous society, stumbling as it goes along to forge its post-colonial history. At this moment, the society is at the fragile "infant mortality stage" of its life-cycle, to borrow a term from reliability studies.

Despite this situation, I see that Hong Kong has embraced immigrants from all corners of the earth for about a hundred years. This diversity partly explains why the collective IQ of Hong Kong people is outstanding and their average expected life-span is particularly long. In a way, Hong Kong is a Mecca for world talents where fame and success are often within their reach.

But there are also some Hong Kong citizens who take money too much to heart. Perhaps this mindset results from the fact that Hong Kong is a city of immigrants. I do not ignore the role money plays in our lives: It is important for our daily living, enhancing our scientific research, educating the young and advancing social well-being as a whole. But I do hold the view that a university should be above all an institution of higher education where academic mission, and not monetary reward, should be the first priority. University faculty and staff in Hong Kong generally enjoy better terms and conditions than many of their counterparts in the world, which enable them to concentrate on their educational mission. As I have reminded our students on many occasions, as educated people we should not exploit our position to obtain benefits for ourselves or to resort to confrontational and destructive means to press our demands. We should be seeking to improve and add value to ourselves to enhance the reward and recognition we think we deserve.

"Make yourself virtuous before you endeavour to make yourself capable." This guiding principle is well acknowledged both in ancient and modern times. Chinese children are taught important rituals from a young age so that they will not deviate from propriety and will be instilled with a sense of virtue and justice as an integral part of their character. Chinese traditional culture emphasizes virtue and justice as the cornerstones of a harmonious society where we can all thrive together. Otherwise, people would never seek to identify themselves with their community or display any team spirit. If we all are willing to play by the rules and respect the common good, we will create a stable environment for individuals to realize their goals. The same principle works for a university community. Otherwise, we will be running counter to what I perceive to be the Hong Kong spirit, and failing in our role and responsibility as educators.

The story of a boy

Before concluding, I would like to share with you a story.

One day, petrol was found to be leaking from the fuel tank of an expensive car parked in front of a resort. A well-dressed man was looking agitated. "Can anyone help me tighten a loose screw under the car?", he asked the throng of people gathered around his car.

"If you offer a handsome reward, someone will do it for you," said a woman by his side. Hearing this, he produced a $100 note. "Whoever is willing to help me, this will be the reward," he said.

A young boy stepped forward. "Let me give it a try," he said.

The well-dressed man instructed the boy what to do. He crawled under the car, tightened the screw in no time, and crawled back out, looking at the man expectantly.

But the woman who had suggested offering the reward stopped the well-dressed man from handing over the $100 note. "It's too much," she said handing over a ten dollar note. "Ten dollars is enough."

The man took the ten-dollar note from the woman and handed it to the boy, but the boy shook his head. Shamed by the hooting from the onlookers, the man added another ten dollars.

But the boy still shook his head. This made the man somewhat angry. "Do you think this is still too little? Either $20, or nothing at all."

"No, that is not my point. My teacher told me that we should not expect any reward when helping others," the boy replied.

The man, puzzled, said, "Why are you waiting then?"

"For you to say 'Thank you,'" the boy said.

Often we forget the importance of conveying our genuine appreciation through saying a sincere "Thank you" to the many others who have helped or served us, which can mean a lot more to the recipient than monetary reward. To me, the Hong Kong spirit is embodied in the sense of righteousness exemplified by Sun Yat-sen; the tender caring virtue of Josephine Siao and the humanistic aspirations harboured by Ch'ien Mu; and above all, the gracious altruism demonstrated by the boy who simply expects a "Thank you" from the man who benefited from his help.

The right Way is to pursue academic innovation to realize our educational goals while refusing to be infatuated by wealth and high position, or to be defeated by poverty and hardship. This, perhaps, is the essence of internationalisation that we should promote at CityU.

August 13, 2013

 

 

 

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