A Chinese University professor was granted an 11th-hour reprieve yesterday from dismissal for alleged violence against his wife and daughter after the university agreed to set up a committee to consider his appeal. The university's council had been scheduled to endorse the recommendation of its Administrative and Planning Committee to dismiss Professor Wong Wai-leung from the Department of Chinese Language and Literature yesterday afternoon. But after receiving an appeal from Professor Wong at noon the council decided to defer the decision, and last night appointed a six-member appeals committee to review the recommendation. Professor Wong was notified on June 13 that he had been 'removed from appointment' because of conduct of an 'immoral, scandalous and disgraceful nature', bringing the university into disrepute. In terms of the Chinese University Ordinance, the committee will comprise a council chairman, two other council members and three members of the university senate. Professor Wong said he wanted the two other council members to be non-university staff and the senate members to be chosen from among those due to retire next year so as to guarantee the inquiry's impartiality. He has threatened to seek a judicial review against the university if his appeal fails. Solicitor Thomas Tse Lin-chung said universities could require teaching staff to follow codes of conduct. 'Generally speaking, universities can determine that staff have breached their rules even if this is not strictly related to academic performance,' he said. Professor Wong complained that the university had neither evidence to prove he had beaten his wife and daughter nor spelled out how the episode had brought disrepute to the university. Mr Tse said the professor had a strong prima facie case to pursue a judicial review. Professor Wong said he testified before the university's Administrative and Planning Committee on June 13 and received notification of dismissal that evening. 'The university's decision was too hasty,' Mr Tse said. The Federation of Hong Kong Higher Education Staff Association welcomed the university's decision. Federation vice-chairman Professor Chan Chi-wai said its inquiry into the matter would be complete before September, and he hoped the university would consider the results of the federation's inquiry before making a final decision.