Newsletter No. 391

8 No. 391, 19.1.2012 …… 如是说 Thus Spake… Prof. Fung Kwok-pui, Head of United College 联合书院院长冯国培教授 你在中大求学时期环境是怎样的? 我六十年代末在联合书院念化学。未搬进沙田校园前在港 岛校舍上课,地方虽小,但实验室、康体设施等一应俱全, 课余参与多种球类活动,教授也会一起打球,关系很是融 洽。搬进沙田,我是首批汤若望宿舍宿生,那时宿舍设备没 有现在的先进,校园面积也大了,空间多了,相应地彼此距 离也大了,这是和我同辈的人都感到有点可惜的,也因此书 院致力培养保持与人相处相知心的环境。 你怎样看联合书院院长的角色? 我认为院长并不纯是一个行政的岗位,否则可能和学生甚 至同事之间出现距离。我视院长工作为教学的一部分,因为 可以在课室以外缔造一个环境,为学生的教育尽一分力,他 们的利益永远是我的最优先考虑,看到一届一届的学生成 长,自己也感到安慰。由于我还要教书和做研究,所以必须 有效地分配时间。我会利用晚上的时间,参加学生或宿舍 的活动。新来的教师也是我们关注的,协助他们融入书院 生活,提供资源助他们在大学安顿下来,在学术上起步,都 是我们的工作重点。 依你看,联合书院的学生有什么特质? 联合书院的校训是「明德新民」,明德是学问,新民是道 德,联合的学生在这两方面都做得不错。他们学科的知识 扎实,且热心社会事务。不单如此,他们实事求是,亦追求 创新。以我观察他们在检讨宿舍事务上的表现,可看出他 们持平、宏观,尊重不同意见,并且勇于提出破格的解决办 法。在现今的社会氛围中,这些都是颇为珍贵的特质。 联合书院五十五周年想达到什么目的? 我们目标有三个。一是提升学生的学术水平,故我们举办 了很多研讨会,也有艺文活动。学生也有自发的活动,当中 可见他们创意充盈。二是表彰联合人的贡献与成就,前校长 高锟教授、多位前院长、退休教授、罗德学人,对联合的发 展有莫大贡献,希望藉此机会志念一番。三是推动校友事 务,去年10月的校友日,我们邀请了毕业二十五及三十五年 或以上的校友回来,与当年的老师和舍监重聚,各方尽兴。 这个夏天再接再厉,正在筹划校友回归营这宗美事。 今年是你出任联合书院院长第十年。回顾这十年,你觉得有 何成就? 不敢说有什么成就,但还是有几件事值得一提的。首先是奠 下了一个坚实有效率的团队去推动书院事务。刚上任不久, 便在院务委员会之下增设一个内阁式的委 员会,结集了一批对书院教育有共同信念 的同事,及院务室和辅导处同事们和三位 副院长以及六舍堂的舍监,一起为书院的 事务及发展献策费心。此外,也致力校友 的连系及凝聚,因我自己是校友,也曾参 与校友会干事会,所以可能有少许优势, 在鼓励校友出任学长、分享经验、提供实 习机会,乃至捐赠方面都见到点成绩。我 也催生了横向的校友交流及组织,如级社 和宿舍旧生会等。 你的研究兴趣在哪里? 我是研究癌症的生化病理,特别是有关葡 萄糖传递体的研究。近十多年来,由于中医 中药研究的兴起,以及中大成立中医中药 研究所,更有系统地发展中医药的研究,现 在我致力研究从中药提纯出抗癌药。 你这么忙,如何保持灿烂的笑容? 最重要是保持心境轻松和过平衡的生活。 我清早会在家附近的海旁散散步,在校园 内,从一个会议地点到另一个,也会尽量 用腿走,这样既环保又健康。近来,我还 会和太太在星期天一起参与有机耕种,尽 量亲近大自然。 What was school like when you were an undergraduate at CUHK? I went to United College (UC) during the late sixties to read chemistry, and classes were held on our premises on Bonham Road before we moved to the Sha Tin campus. The old campus was small but fully equipped, with adequate laboratories and recreational facilities. I played a lot of ball games in those days, sometimes with our teachers, which did help to promote friendship between academics and students. Later we moved to Sha Tin and I was among the first students accommodated in the Adam Schall Residence. In those days the facilities in the hostel really did not compare with those that students enjoy today. Today we have a larger campus, and with relatively more space interpersonal relationship becomes more distant than before, which is what UC strives to preserve and deliver to its students. How do you see your role as the Head of UC? The headship cannot be regarded as a mere administrative calling, and not recognizing this point will result in a good deal of undesirable gaps and voids between the Head and the students, and even colleagues. I see the work of the Head as a part of my teaching. It enables me to create an additional dimension to teaching, quite outside of the classroom, where I can work fully for the sake of the education of the students, and where their interests are given the first priority. It gives me a great sense of fulfilment to see successive generations of students growing up. Since I both teach and do research, I have to divide my time in an effective manner, and I will make use of the evenings to participate in the activities of the students, some of which are held in the hostels. Teachers who have newly arrived at CUHK are also the focus of my attention. Giving them the assistance and support they need to integrate with life at the College, and providing the resources to enable them to settle in comfortably and happily on campus, are important aspects of my work as College Head. What are the characteristics of UC students in your view? The motto of the College is ‘ming de xin min’, where ‘ming de’ refers to learning and ‘xin min’ pertains to the ethical. I believe that the students and graduates of UC have done remarkably well in both aspects, serving the community with solid knowledge of their respective disciplines, and an enthusiasm inspired by an admirable civic spirit. And not only that: while they are apt to be practical, they also seek to be creative. Take for example what our students demonstrated in the issues regarding the management of the hostels, and we could have a glimpse of their ability to maintain equity and broad-mindedness in their views, their willingness to respect opinions from all sides, and an audacity to propose extraordinary measures in the way of solutions. In the context of the milieu of our society, these are rare and valuable qualities. What does the College hope to achieve through the 55th anniversary celebrations? We have three objectives. The first is to raise the students’ academic standards, which explains why we are mounting a good number of seminars, as well as cultural functions. There are also many events initiated and organized by the students. The second is to celebrate the achievements and contributions of members of UC: former Vice-Chancellor Prof. Charles K. Kao, the former UC Heads, and many retired professors have all played significantly facilitative roles in the development of the College, and the 55th anniversary provides an appropriate occasion for us to remember their dedication and to celebrate their great deeds. The third is to strengthen our liaison with alumni: last October, graduates who left the College 25 and 35 years ago were invited back to meet with their teachers and the wardens of the hostels in their days, to the great enjoyment of everyone. We are planning to organize a home-coming camp for alumni in the summer of 2012. It has been ten years since you took up the Headship of UC. What would you count as your major achievements as you look back? I would not boast of great achievements, but there are quite a few matters with which I am particularly pleased. Shortly after I took up office as Head, a committee similar to a cabinet was formed under the Assembly of Fellows. This group comprises colleagues who share the same convictions and ideals in college education. Together with administrators who form the backbone of the College Office, three Associate College Heads and six wardens, we worked hard for the advancement of the College. I have also put in a lot of effort to promote our links with alumni and to enhance their allegiance to the College. In this I might have had a little advantage as an alumnus myself, and having been engaged in the work of the alumni association. There are some noticeable achievements in enlisting qualified alumni as mentors, in inviting alumni to share their experience with students, in seeking internships for students, and in canvassing donations and gifts. I have also helped to institute alumni interactions and networking on the horizontal level. What are your major research interests? My primary research interest is on the biochemical pathology of cancer, especially on research related to the glucose transporter. In the past decade or so research on Chinese medicine has grown tremendously and, with the more systematic study of the subject through the establishment of the Institute of Chinese Medicine at CUHK, I am now concentrating on the elicitation of drugs to combat cancer from Chinese medicine. How do you manage to keep your proverbial smile despite your busy and heavy workload? I think it is very important to be light-hearted at all times, and keep a balanced life. In the early morning I will take a walk along the sea front near where I live, and on campus I will walk, the best I can, from one meeting to another, which is a healthy practice and ecologically sound too. More recently, my wife and I take part in organic farming activities on Sundays, which is another way of getting closer to Nature.

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