HKU Bulletin October 2003 (Vol. 5 No. 1)

2 Chinese Premier Visits HKU P remier Wen Jiabao praised the University’s contribution to controlling SARS when he met with more than 100 students and staff during a visit in Ju T n h e e . Premier gave an impromptu address during his meeting with medical students at the University’s Yu Chun Keung Medical Library. He praised our success in helping to control SARS but at the same time reminded us that our mission, to develop a reliable diagnostic test, treatment and a vaccine, has not been fully accomplished. During his tour, he visited the Cheung Kung Hai Conference Centre, the Genome Research Centre and the Yu Chun Keung Medical Library. He was greeted by Pro-Chancellor Dr David Li, Council Chairman, Dr Victor Fung, Vice-Chancellor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui and Dean of Medicine, Professor S.K. Lam. He was also joined by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Professor Arthur Li and Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food, Dr E.K. Yeoh. Radical Scheme Saves Energy W hile the rest of Hong Kong was reaching to turn on the air conditioning over the summer, a radical new green scheme at the University helped save enough electricity to power a colour TV for 1,377 years. The Energy Saving Measures scheme helped the University cut down on more than 1.68 million kilowatt hours (kw hrs) and save more than $1.8 million from our energy bills, by simply switching off the power. Professor Peter Hills, who is Chairman of the Working Group on Energy Saving, was behind the latest stage in the University’s bid to cut down on the environmental impact and also trim expenditure in the proce H s e s. said: “We have been pleased with this scheme because it has been reasonably successful and in keeping with the University’s environmental policy to reduce our impact on the environment. “We are one of the major users of power on Hong Kong Island and we have to recognise a responsibility environmentally. Plus saving energy has the additional benefit of reducing costs.” The taskforce targeted air conditioning, lifts and lighting as the main drain on electricity and began by assessing the University’s needs building by building and department by department. Hills said: “Even though summer is the hottest part of the year there is less activity during the vacation and a significant number of staff are away on holiday. “We saw this as an opportunity to manage the availability of certain kinds of services and facilities that require energy but without being excessively disruptive.” At the end of June the taskforce began by cutting back the hours of air conditioning which were limited to core periods in many buildings throughout July and August. For July, Hills has calculated that the University saved six per cent of its electricity consumption and this converted into savings of seven per cent on its power bill – in both cases year-on-year. This meant 670,000 kw hrs saved and $820,000. For August consumption dropped by more than nine per cent or one million kw hrs with a drop in expenditure of $1.05 million or 9.49 per cent. This converts into a reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 1,656 metric tonnes, a drop in nitrogen oxides by around 2.196 tonnes and sulphur dioxide emissions were reduced by 2.581 tonne H s i . lls said: “The point we want to get across is that all of us should try to manage our approach to the use of energy throughout the year. “This should not be seen as an exercise for the summer and for that we need the active support of the staff, faculty and students.” 3 Premier Wen NEWS ROUND-UP University Welcomes Distinguished Visiting Professor B elgian born but with dual US and French nationality, Professor Paul Vanhoutte is a one man walking, talking United Nations who has pioneered research on heart disease. Newly-installed as the Distinguished Visiting Professor to the Department of Pharmacology with a special interest in bio-pharmaceutical development, he brings with him an impressive reputation. Vanhoutte also comes with a CV that stretches to 146 pages and takes in Rwanda, Poland, China, Denmark, and Switzerland as well as a wide body of published pape H rs e . said: “I decided to come to Hong Kong because I had research links to China. I thought Hong Kong would prov ide the ideal plat form for al l those di f ferent elements – east and west. “With that in mind I could not refuse the offer to come here.” New Communications Director Sets Her Goal N ewly appointed Director of Communications Karen Tang Shuk-tak has pledged to make the University a byword for excellence on the world stage by selling its successes and achievements more effectively. Karen Tang styles herself as a ‘facilitator’ to unite members of the University through improved internal lines of communication as well as enhancing their communication with the wider community. She said: “We want to centralize information rather than power. It has to be a partnership so that we can have synergy and so maximize effectiveness. It is about information sharing.” Hong Kong born and bred, the sociology graduate from the Chinese University has a Masters degree in Public Administration from The University of Hong Kong. Tang came to the University after a long career in the private sector working on corporate development and a series of new media projects with the newspaper group Ming Pao, Hong Kong Telecom and Hutchison. Tang believes that her experience in both the public and private sectors will enable her to bring a fresh approach to the job. She said: “I have a lot of experience of strategic planning of which a key area is to develop internal and external communications.” It was a two month law course at Tsinghua University last year which gave her a taste for academia. On her return to Hong Kong she saw the advertisement for the communications job and decided this was for he S r h . e said: “I like to take something new and develop it. At HKU I would like to help to facilitate more regular dialogue between staff, management and students but conversely, they must accept democracy. Once a decision has been made we have to agree to disagree because we cannot satisfy all parties.” Good news needs good publicity and Tang wishes to encourage staff to let her and her colleagues in the External Relations Office of the Registry know of these successes and achievement. Tang said: “The Vice-Chancellor said that you must ‘sell success while you can because it will not stay that way for ever’. We need to remember this as we communicate the position of HKU on a global level.” Karen Tang Paul Vanhoutte