Centre of Asian Studies
University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road

8 . 4 . 90

Dear David,

Thank you for your letter - I appreciate being kept lnformed. I am quite settled in, getting some work done, and having quite a good time. . . .

[. . . ]

With respect to the more personal level, it does sound a tiny bit like fun-and-games amongst the Ian-Pete-Sue club. I have always tried to deal with Sue and Pete on an absolutely separate basis and try and ignore their existence as a single entity - probably easier for me since I knew her years before there WAS any Peter. She can be very very difficult to deal with - worse than Pete in some ways, since his preoccupations are much more transparent. Sue has a great deal of loyalty but also a great deal of ego - the trick is to appeal to the latter.

Ian: what a pain. You should have been sent his report by now - if not, I should enquire about it. If I remember correctly, the Head is expected to show it to the subject, or at least some of it. The best thing is probably to write a draft and show it to Ian in any case, then he will know what is going to go on his file. That should put the frighteners on him enough to make him smarten up his ideas a bit.

That business about appointments: does he really think that appointments at the permanent/continuing lecturer/senior lecturer level are not very carefully scrutinised? The head has to write a detailed report as to who was on the selection committee (in your case(s), it was myself, Brian de Garis and Michael Scriven: the former from history, the latter from education - no personal prejudices there obviously), when it met, why it decided the way it did etc etc, then to the Standing Committee, through the Deans of both faculties, to the Promotions Committee to ensure parity between external appointments and internal promotions (ESPECIALLY for appointments to senior lecturer) through personnel and the DVC (A). I think if there was any doubt whatsoever about relative merits, someone along that line could have been expected to notice.

Another thing you might like to try is to get everyone (i.e. yourself, Sue and Ian) to tote up how many contact hours everyone will have for the WHOLE year. There is a standard average expected for this - I'm not sure now what it is, but you could ask Dave Johnson in Admin.- if you phrase it in terms of teaching load he should know. You might also wish to know that the usual expectation is that the Head should only work HALF the average. I have never bothered to attempt this, as I don't think it's very appropriate in a small department, but you could make the others aware of it.

Apart from those irritants, it sounds to me like things are going well, especially on the teaching side. Good news also about FTEs: should mean we can push for another whole new position, at least as opening ambit claim. Your idea of working with the education dept on evaluation sounds good; I think it's probably reasonable to do it ourselves, but it must be seen to have been done properly to benefit people who might want to use it for future promotions/ job applications etc.