Vice-Chancellor talks relationship building at CASE conference
Prof. Rocky S. Tuan (top left) stresses that relationship building is a core competency for educational leaders and students.
Vice-Chancellor Prof. Rocky S. Tuan attended the 2021 Asia-Pacific Advancement Conference, organised by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), on 21 April. Speaking on the presidents’ panel, he noted that relationship building is a core competency for educational leaders and students.
Titled ‘Leading Change When Everything Is Changing Around Us’, the panel explored how leaders of educational institutions are strategically leading change for their institutions in a dynamic environment and looked at the leadership competencies needed to do so. In addition, the panel discussed their vision for educational advancement in an ever-changing environment. Moderated by Ms. Sue Cunningham, CASE President and CEO, the panel was also joined by Prof. Cheryl de la Rey, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Canterbury, and Prof. Seiichi Matsuo, President of Nagoya University.
Relationship building, said Prof. Tuan, is essential for leaders to be able to truly communicate and engage with different stakeholders and allows them to keep track of their progress towards their goals. Certainly, though, relationships can only be built on an equal footing, and Prof. Tuan pointed out that inequality is the root cause of many of the world’s problems. And as much as it matters to leaders, the ability to foster relationships effectively is fundamental for students. It is a university’s institutional responsibility to train its students to be competent in relationship building, an attribute that has lifelong impact.
While education has gone from being three-dimensional to two-dimensional as a result of the pandemic, Prof. Tuan stressed that the human touch and the emotional needs of individuals should never be overlooked. ‘As the saying goes, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” But we must not forget the trees!’ He noted that CUHK has added a cultural and social dimension to its Virtual Student Exchange programme, which was launched last fall under the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and attracted participation from 26 universities across four continents.
CASE is a global non-profit association dedicated to such areas of educational advancement as alumni relations, communications, development, marketing, and advancement services. It aims to be a champion of education with the belief that it can transform lives and society.