HKUST Annual Report 2019-2020

BEST-IN-CLASS OPERATIONS The University’s administrative units proved their flexibility and dedication in responding to challenges and pursuing long-term strategic goals FIGHTING COVID-19 Preventative Measures Faculty innovations that helped to prevent transmission of COVID-19 were adopted, including Remote Fever- Screening Stations (see P.26) being set up at various locations on campus to enable campus users to monitor their temperature, and a novel anti-microbial coating technology being deployed to disinfect classrooms, offices, and other facilities (see P.26), effectively lowering the risk of infection. Health and Hygiene Guidelines Health and safety of the campus community is a top priority for the University. Measures formulated and announced in early January 2020 included travel restrictions, health declarations and reporting, special work arrangements, restrictions on laboratory activities, social distancing, and hygiene practices. Constant liaison with the Hong Kong government’s Department of Health and the Centre for Health Protection on COVID-19-related issues is also vital to adjust and optimize our safety policy. Mask Supply When face masks were in short supply in Hong Kong in the beginning of the outbreak, different units worked tirelessly together to source masks to protect students and staff. A mask supply scheme, launched in February 2020, provided one mask per day for staff working on campus and students in residence halls or coming to campus. A total of 463,000 masks were distributed by the end of June 2020. Testing Arrangements Adding to precautionary moves, COVID-19 testing became available at the on-campus medical clinic in February 2020, with special consultations held for concerned staff and students following confirmed cases on campus. University members needing to undertake Government Laboratory or Hospital Authority testing were aided with proper procedures, including sample delivery services. Quarantine Support Quarantine is an effective health measure to contain and manage the disease. To accommodate students and faculty needing a place to undertake 14-day compulsory quarantine or self-isolation, the University’s Conference Lodge, a residential quarter, and student halls were assigned as on-campus quarantine facilities. Off-campus hotel rooms were also arranged for quarantine and post- quarantine purposes. Information Hub Launched in April 2020, a dedicated COVID-19 Information Portal ( ) features University guidelines and announcements, health advice, and updates on campus-related cases for different groups on campus and the wider community. From the earliest days of the coronavirus crisis, a cross-departmental task force, led by the senior management, effectively coordinated HKUST’s operational response to the evolving situation with the Health, Safety and Environment Office playing a frontline role. CAMPUS DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT Construction projects at the Clear Water Bay campus only experiencedminor disruptions fromtheCOVID-19outbreak, mostly in February and March 2020. As a result, the year saw the completion of the Boathouse at the seafront and the 504-bed Global Graduate Tower, which was kitted out for use in Fall 2020. In addition, early structural work was finished on the Shaw Auditorium. On the residential front, a large remodeling project to convert four blocks of early career staff quarters into senior staff quarters and essential staff accommodation commenced. The initial phase of the staff quarters’ renovation is due for completion in the first quarter of 2021. Meanwhile, the design of the 1,551-bed UG Residence was finalized and approved, encompassing communal areas such as a co-learning space as well as accommodation. Enhancement of the eateries’ environment also continued, with the building of a well-received covered walkway to support food and beverage outlets in the Courtyard of the main Academic Building, and on-going work on the LG7 canteen extension. Following an operational review, the Facilities Management Office was restructured into two separate units from March 2020. The new Campus Development Office and Campus Management Office are now working closely together to support the continuous improvement of campus buildings and facilities, respectively. The latter focuses on building maintenance, security, campus access controls, housekeeping, and landscaping, among other responsibilities. DIGITAL EFFICIENCY HKUST became the first university in Hong Kong to launch a trust-free blockchain-based degree authentication system, setting an eco-friendly and efficient trend for the gradual replacement of conventional paper verification. The e-Verified Certification Platform, part of HKUST’s “Sustainable Smart Campus as a Living Lab” initiative (see P.41), will be used for graduation diplomas and academic transcripts, with “Blockcerts” data saved on a private and secured University server. Employers or third parties needing to verify the authenticity of an HKUST certificate can do so via a straightforward procedure on the University’s Academic Registry website. RECRUITMENT AND PERFORMANCE In early 2020, despite the widening COVID-19 outbreak, the University continued its global recruitment efforts through various channels for top local and overseas faculty and non-academic talents, carrying out online meetings and interviews via Zoom and Teams to meet the target of hiring 400 faculty in the initial stage. As plans for HKUST(GZ) progressed, recruitment also took place in Guangzhou and other cities in the Greater Bay Area. By the end of June 2020, the University identified nearly 20 senior faculty members from the Clear Water Bay campus as founding members of the Guangzhou campus and recruited 43 non- academic staff members. Strengthening the University’s inclusive environment, the Committee on Faculty Diversity and Early Career Support broadened its scope to cover teaching-track faculty and faculty internationalization. Regarding non-academic staff, a review of the Performance & Development Review outcomes was conducted to ensure appropriate recognition for good performance, among other issues. HKUST ANNUAL REPORT 2019-2020 39 38 BEST-IN-CLASS OPERATIONS

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