MOVING TO FRONT FROM OCTOBER 7--UPDATED INFORMATION IN THE COMMENTS
Jamin Asay, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hong Kong, writes:
I'm writing to let you and your readers know about some of the struggles over academic freedom that are taking place in Hong Kong right now.
Fears about encroachment from mainland China into Hong Kong politics are of ongoing concern across the territory, and there is growing worry that the autonomy of the universities in Hong Kong is under attack. The latest dustup revolves around the blocking of the appointment of Professor Johannes Chan to a senior leadership position by the University of Hong Kong Council, a body that includes several members appointed by Hong Kong's Chief Executive. Chan's appointment was blocked despite a unanimous recommendation of him for the post by the selection committee, and many suspect that political reasons are the source of his rejection. As former dean of HKU's law school, Chan is a colleague of Benny Tai, one of the leaders of the "Occupy Central" movement that overtook Hong Kong one year ago. Many believe that this action of the Council is serving as a punishment to HKU for its role in Occupy Central and the "Umbrella Movement", as many of the leaders of the movement are students or staff at HKU. Background on the issue can be found here:
My colleague Timothy O'Leary, Professor of Philosophy and Head of the School of Humanities, is one of the leaders of a protest movement to fight back against any threats to academic freedom in Hong Kong. He helped to organize a silent protest march yesterday that attracted upwards of 2,000 HKU students and staff, and future demonstrations are in the works. News reports on yesterday's protest are here:
I'm hoping you and your readers will stand in solidarity with us in Hong Kong, and will be pleased to know that philosophers are at the front lines of the battle.
I'm opening comments for more information about the situation in Hong Kong.