A scholar and adviser to Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's election campaign, Leonard Cheng Kwok-Hon, has been tipped to be the next president of Lingnan University.
The university's student union said it was disappointed that it had been denied a role in the selection process that chose the University of Science and Technology economics professor.
Executive councillor Bernard Chan, a member of the selection committee, claimed he did not know about Cheng's political affiliation until he was asked about it yesterday.
"We did not ask anyone about their political affiliation during the selection process," Chan told RTHK radio.
"This is to avoid giving the impression of political censorship."
Chan said Cheng had promised during a selection interview that he would back students if they got into trouble for joining activities, presumably such as demonstrations.
Student Union president Vivian Yip Wing-lam said the students did not know much about Cheng and had had little involvement into the selection process.
"In order for the new president to start his work in September, the school will hold consultations on the appointment over the summer period when the students are not at school to join the process," Yip said.
Cheng, a dean professor at UST's business school, was an adviser and one of the 11 members of Leung's election campaign team.
He wrote a newspaper article during the anti-national education row last year to accuse a certain group of politicians of taking advantage of the campaign.
Last month, Cheng joined a think tank that was formed by pro-government lawmaker Priscilla Leung Mei-fun to discuss political reform and universal suffrage.
Cheng will meet Lingnan teachers and students on June 17 to hear their views and share his plans for his presidency.
He is expected to get the nod of board members and move into his new office in time for the start of the next academic year.