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    Head of Human Resources Mr Jack Fan: A fond farewell to the OUHK
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    Head of Human Resources Mr Jack Fan: A fond farewell to the OUHK

    Stepping down in November 2012 from his post as Head of Human Resources, Mr Jack Fan still clearly remembered his first day at the University back on 14 November 1988. He was involved in preparing for the establishment of the then Open Learning Institute of Hong Kong, which was officially founded the following year and later renamed the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK). He said, 'The OUHK is like my baby girl, and I saw her grow up.'

    Over the past 24 years the road has been at times bumpy for the University, and Mr Fan has vivid memories of some particularly challenging moments. The Institute was established in 1989, when Hong Kong was faced with rapid socio-economic development and a strong desire of the public to pursue university education. The first enrolment attracted 60,000 applications. Mr Fan recalled how colleagues, all of them new, had to work under heavy pressure against a tight timetable. In 1991, frustrated by the teething problems of a new institution, he lost heart at one point and asked himself the question 'Should I stay or go?' But he soon found the answer when the then Acting Director Dr Gajaraj Dhanarajan and the Human Resources Committee Chairman Mr Peter Wong Hong-yuen persuaded him to stay. 'I was touched by their sincerity and commitment to education, and I made up my mind to work with them to help move the Institute forward,' Mr Fan said, reminiscing, as tears welled up in his eyes.

    The introduction of a staff voluntary departure scheme in 2005 was another trying time. In the midst of financial pressure, implementing the scheme was nonetheless a very difficult decision for the management to take. As Head of Human Resources, Mr Fan understood that he could not pass the buck to anyone else, despite discontent among colleagues and even calls for him to quit. He knew these were but natural human feelings and endeavoured to finish the job. Eventually against all odds, the University pulled through the ordeal, and was soon going ahead at full strength again.

    Despite his many contributions during the past two decades, Mr Fan humbly said that he had simply done his best to serve the University and his colleagues, and downplayed his achievements. He believed that fate had brought him to the OUHK. He said a leader should know when to step down and it was time for him to go. Mr Fan is now working part-time at the University to assist the Council Chairman to select the next President. After that, he will say goodbye to the human resources field and go on to help his brother in business.

    When asked whether he had any words of wisdom to share, Mr Fan said, 'Just remember to look for integrity more than ability when it comes to picking the right people for a job.'

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