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Retitling of Senior Lecturer to Professor15 Dec, 2009

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Dr. C.W. Chan
Academic Staff Association

Dear Dr. Chan,

Retitling of Senior Lecturer to Professor 

I refer to your open email dated December 7, 2009 addressed to the Vice-Chancellor, regarding the legacy exercise of retitling an old-style Senior Lecturer to Professor and the associated transfer of the retitled Professor to the Professor salary scale.


In so far as our records show, there is only one instance across the University where this is an ongoing issue.  This case concerns the retitling of an old-style Senior Lecturer to Professor, and the University’s offer to the individual to transfer to the Professor scale, the top point of which is one increment higher than the Senior Lecturer scale.  The University honours its contractual obligations with staff, and accordingly offers the option to the individual concerned of either transferring his appointment to the Professor scale upon successful retitling or remaining on the Senior Lecturer scale.  It was specified clearly to the individual that if the decision is for the former, salary increments would henceforth take the form of performance-based reward steps, in lieu of retaining the Civil Service mode of automatic increments.  As in all similar cases, transfer to the Professor salary scale means embracing merit-based reward steps, in line with the spirit of the Human Resource Management Reform.


The choice offered in that singular case accords with the treatment applied to all other professoriate colleagues in a similar situation.  To facilitate that individual member of staff to make a transfer to the Professor Scale which is subject to reward steps, the Human Resource Section, in consultation with the Faculty-level administration, has been in constant communication with that individual for two years over his case, and with the involvement of the Academic Staff Association at one stage.  The rationale and the implications behind the offer made by the University have been thoroughly explained to and was understood by the individual.  Though the University administration tries to be accommodating, it has to maintain consistency and parity of treatment towards all appointees who have been successfully retitled.


I am fully apprised of this particular matter, and am satisfied that the University has honoured its contractual obligations to the staff member concerned, as well as done all it could reasonably do to facilitate the staff’s transition to a new human resource culture.


Yours sincerely,


Professor Joseph Hun-wei Lee
Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Staffing)
Redmond Chair of Civil Engineering

December 11, 2009 

cc.    Vice-Chancellor

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