A comprehensive review of the humanities curriculum would be the first step to reform the research-burdened and conservative Arts Faculty at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU), the new dean, Professor Kwok Siu-tong, said. Professor Kwok, who was elected Dean of Arts in August, will carry out a detailed review of the faculty with the help of three new positions. Three sub-deans - Professors Archie Lee Chi-chung, Chan Wing-wah and Serena Jin Sheng-hwa - will be responsible for teaching development, research development and cultural and educational development. Professor Kwok believes a repositioning of the faculty is crucial. 'The goal and mission for culture, education and society has been weakened in the last few decades,' he said. 'Academics in the arts faculty bury themselves with teaching and research activities. They lack the vision and mission the community needs. They are not keeping up with the times and fail to speak up on current issues.' There was a need to strengthen the humanities curriculum - the study of people and the value of people - through a series of reviews, he said. This would help boost the teaching methodology and improve teaching quality. Professor Kwok said humanities education was essential to shape the personality and to nurture the quality of the next generation. 'We are not a life machine but we should lead a quality life. Most secondary education cannot achieve humanities education and it is our mission to give them [the students] correct cultural values in tertiary education,' he said. In teaching development, each department in the faculty will carry out an internal review of its curriculum, teaching methodology and research activities to find out if they are congruent with the times. Besides research development, teaching exchanges with leading universities in the world will be a major focus. Professor Kwok said data on the development of arts subjects in all mainland universities would be stored in a CD- ROM to help academic exchanges. He said teaching evaluation would help improve teaching quality and set new directions for development of the faculty. The sub-dean of research development will work closely with the Arts and Languages Panel of the university's research committee and the Research Institute for the Humanities to co-ordinate research efforts within the faculty and to encourage inter-disciplinary research. 'We have to find new ways to maintain the uniqueness of research in arts with intellectual reflections and an inter-disciplinary nature. We also need to meet the Government's requirements,' he said. Professor Kwok said academics were facing the dilemma of 'publish or perish' that made them spend less time cultivating the culture and values of students. It was important to discuss with other faculties of arts in Hong Kong how articles and books should be published and evaluated. 'We want to put creative endeavours into music, art, literature, philosophy and religion,' he said. On cultural and education development, the sub-dean will be responsible for promoting culture in educational activities among secondary schools and youth. Professor Kwok said dating from 1963 the university had adopted a strong cultural mission towards China which it should continue to carry out through the development and dissemination of Chinese culture and Chinese-Western cultural exchanges. 'Academics at this crucial moment should not hide in an ivory tower. It is important to contribute towards the society in which we live,' he said. He said people's ideals, their sense of mission, responsibility, belonging and their identification with the times and society had been neglected in a money-oriented society. The comprehensive review is aimed at establishing clearer roles for the humanities curriculum early next year. Professor Kwok graduated from the Chinese University in history in 1972 and is now a professor in the history department. He has been the university Dean of Students since 1996.