Baptist University business dean Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung has been recommended as the next head of the city's main teacher-training institute.
The Hong Kong Institute of Education said yesterday Cheung was selected after a "global search" by a committee to fill the vacancy left by Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, who joined the government in July as transport and housing secretary.
Stephen Cheung is expected to meet students and staff at the Tai Po campus tomorrow, according to the search committee. He taught finance at the City University for 13 years and was made dean of business at the Baptist University in 2009. He has made frequent appearances in the media, giving his opinion on economic issues.
His finance background concerned HKIEd's student union, which called the committee's choice "negative". Cheung lacked managerial experience and expertise relevant to the institute, which offers mainly education degrees. It said Anthony Cheung had vowed to expand the school's focus, but not towards including degrees in finance or economics, union president Wong Chun-pong said. "Stephen Cheung doesn't really match the [direction] of HKIEd."
But Professor Sonny Lo Shiu-hung, of the institute's Department of Social Sciences, said he welcomed the recommendation, adding that one of Cheung's main challenges would be handling the institute's long battle to become a university.
The search committee said its recommendation together with views expressed by staff and students during and after tomorrow's meeting would be presented to the university council at a special meeting scheduled for February 5.
The search process had previously sparked fierce opposition from the student union, which sought a judicial review last month after the search committee decided not to allow student representatives to vote.