SCMP Tuesday, August 22, 2000

ROBERT CHUNG INQUIRY

University chiefs 'failed to lead in time of crisis'


Professor Ying Chan, Dr Robert Chung's current boss, said the university leadership had failed to lead and manage during a time of challenge and crisis.

She said Dr Chung's allegations on July 7 had "put the integrity of HKU's leadership on public trial". "Since then, the public has rightly demanded answers. HKU staff, students and alumni have also sought unequivocal and credible explanations from the university's top management," she said.

But Professor Chan said the questions had not been answered. "Instead, staff, students and alumni have been embarrassed by our leaders' performance. With their evasiveness, and at times incoherence, our leaders failed to clearly demonstrate unquestioned integrity. This follows their inability, as was evident when the controversy began, to lead and manage the university during a time of challenge and crisis. This is sad and deeply regrettable."

Professor Chan, director of the university's journalism and media studies centre, pointed to the failure of the vice-chancellor to answer questions raised at the press conference. "He gave . . . confusing answers. Or he was forgetful. The pattern has continued at the panel's hearings."