Newsletter No. 406

12 No. 406, 4.11.2012 What are alumni affairs about? ‘Connecting alumni’ sums up the work of the Alumni Affairs Office (AAO). Students study, make friends and get inspired in university. They pursue different paths after graduation but their connections with their alma mater do not end here. It’s a virtue to be grateful to the soil that nurtured you. We initiate connections with graduates to help them express this sentiment, and to pass on love and care from CUHK. This keeps them informed of the University’s growth and fosters bilateral communication. Another aspect of alumni affairs are the internal links among alumni groups. There are currently 150,000 CUHK alumni, with an age difference of 50 to 60 years between the youngest and the oldest. They belonged to different academic departments and have different professions. Together this group could potentially make up a massive and sustainable learning community where there’s frequent exchange of experience and know-how. Could you talk about your work? Maintaining and updating a large database is crucial and it never ends. To strengthen alumni’s sense of belonging, we publish and dispatch some 90,000 copies of the Chinese University Alumni Magazine every quarter to keep them informed of the latest at CUHK. When there are important developments, such as the new 3+3+4 curriculum and the Shenzhen campus, we host seminars to let them know more about the situation and to express their views. A major part of our work is keeping close and systematic communication with local and overseas alumni groups. Prof. Michael Hui and I recently paid a visit to associations in Australia and New Zealand, and reported CUHK’s recent happenings to them. We have also been helping mainland students set up such associations in mainland China, to help extend their relations with the University and with Hong Kong. I have launched a series of luncheons and dinner gatherings in the hope of bringing graduates together so we can discover everyone’s forte and build a network of synergy and knowledge exchange. Is being an active and veteran CUHK alumna an advantage for managing alumni affairs? Definitely. The Chinese University has a different structure from other universities. Someone who didn’t study here would have to spend time familiarizing himself/herself with its organization, procedures and network. As a veteran graduate, I have mastered all these already. I do not need to invest time in building relations. Networks don’t come about overnight. Almost all of my friends are CUHK graduates. I’ve known some of them for decades. When I need help, all I need to do is pick up the phone. Do years of experience in education facilitate your current job? How? I had been with the Education Bureau for close to 30 years. Then when Hong Kong’s education reform was well underway, I took up the reins of a new secondary school. I started from zero—setting the school’s vision, systems and curriculum; recruiting the teachers, mobilizing the parents, helping students build confidence and diversifying their growth. That took me 11 years and the school finally received accreditation. I had to think of ways to highlight the school’s strengths, motivate my colleagues to give their best, and know when to stick with our principles rather than blindly follow the government’s new policies. That was a solid experience. I learnt that a leader must have vision and must dare to innovate. He/she must have a clear mission and action plan to lead the organization and the stakeholders down the right path. It’s often said the CUHK graduates have the most distinguishable characteristics among those of local institutions. Do you agree? I do. CUHK students are good at thinking independently, so it’s only natural that they speak up no matter what fields they are in. Our alumni hold a diverse range of beliefs and value systems, and these should all be respected and tolerated in a free society. My responsibility is to try to see things from their points of view, and to relay to them the facts and the supporting data. How do you feel after more than half a year on the job? I’m very happy here and I’m grateful for the opportunity to give back. Through my work, I’ve got to know quite a few alumni and reconnected with friends I hadn’t met in years. I learnt a lot from them. My challenge is finding the right mindset and means to deal with unprecedented requests and tricky issues arising from this immense group of former students. The University is celebrating its Golden Jubilee in 2013. It’s a time for graduates to reminisce and rekindle the flame, and to become more involved in the University. I’m hoping for more harmony, consensus and solidarity, and a better understanding of University policies. 请扫描QR码阅读全文版 Scan the QR code for the full version Photos of Ms. Connie Au in this issue are by Keith Hiro Ms. Connie Au , Director of Alumni Affairs 校友事务到底是怎样的概念? 「联系校友」四字是校友事务工作 的精义。学生在大学得到学识、友 情、思维的启发,毕业后,事业人 生路各有不同,但不代表他们与 母校的关系就此中断。对育养的土 地存感恩之心,是一种美德。我们 主动联系,既协助他们表达这份心 意,也传送母校的关怀,加强他们 了解大学发展,造就双向沟通。校 友社群的内在联系是校友事务的另 一面。中大校友现时已达十五万之 多,涵盖了五六十年的年龄差异、 各种系别、修业模式、专长;试想如 果能够促进不同届别的校友交流经 验和知识,凝聚成一个可持续的学 习社群,那将是一股多大的力量! 可讲解一下具体工作吗? 维持和更新庞大的资料库是联系所 倚,工作终年不竭。要加强校友的 归属感,必须让他们掌握大学的脉 搏,每季我们寄出的《中大校友》就 达九万多份。举凡有重大发展,如 3+3+4新学制、深圳校园等,必组 织座谈会让校友了解实况,发表意 见。了解增加,误会自然减少。有系 统地与本地与海外校友会密切联 络,是重点工作。最近我就和许敬 文副校长探访了澳洲和新西兰的校 友会,汇报大学近期发展。我们也 戮力协助内地生在内地成立校友会,这有助延续他们跟中大以至香港 社会的关系。我也开展了一系列茶聚晚饭,希望建立联系基础,并发掘 校友的优点和强项,建立协作和知识转移的网络。 身为一向积极参与的资深校友,统领校友事务是否特别有利? 绝对是。中大的架构跟别的大学不一样,非校友需花时间认识其组织、 工作程序、人脉。身为资深校友,我对此了然于胸,否则,便要多花点时 间互相认识,建立关系。关系的建立不是朝夕间事,可幸我的朋友几乎 都是校友,有些已有几十年交情,一通电话,二话不说便会帮忙。 多年的教育界经验对现在的工作有何帮助? 我在教育局工作近三十年,继而在香港教育改革如火如荼的时期,出任 一间新中学的校长,由零开始,建立学校远景、系统、课程、老师团队, 动员家长力量,鼓励学生建立自信,多元发展,用了十一年,发展至学校 广获认可。我要思考如何突出学校的优点,诱导同侪发挥所长,坚持办 学宗旨,不盲从受制于政府的新政。那是很扎实的经验,我学习了身为 领导人必须高瞻远瞩,敢于创新,订立清晰的理念和行动方案,带领团 体和持份者迈向正确的方向。 都说中大校友最有性格和特色,同意吗? 的确是。中大人都强于独立思考,在社会各岗位积极发声、发光、发 热,理所当然。校友的思考模式和价值观各有不同,在自由社会应得到 尊重和包容。我的责任是了解其诉求和理据,也让他们了解客观事实。 上任半年多了,感受如何? 我在这岗位觉得很开心,也感恩能有机会身体力行,全心全意回馈母 校。我因工作认识不少校友,又重会很多数十年不见的朋友,从他们身 上获益良多。面对这样庞大的校友社群,用什么心态和方法照顾一些 闻所未闻的要求,或化解尖锐的问题,是我面对的挑战。2013年金禧校 庆是牵动校友缅怀、燃点热情、加强参与的良好契机,期待大家从此更 加和谐,对大学政策和事务更多理解,有更强的共识,更加团结。 区月晶女士 校友事务处处长

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