欲恪守院校自主，莫若改變制度。 校監權力過大，為院校自主之極大威脅，當中以任命校委會校外委員尤甚。從昔日港督及主權移交後的特首，兼任港大校監時均明確表明為禮儀角色，無論港英政府和特區政府，均曾多次表明大學校監僅是名義首長或只具有禮儀性質（見附錄）。現時二十四名校務委員中，校監可自行任命七個連同主席在內的校外人士。前任校監梁振英恣意擴權，任人唯親，越演越烈。放眼世界諸頂級學府如劍橋大學、牛津大學、倫敦大學學院等，其最高管治架構之組成亦有校外委員，惟人選及任命皆由校內制定。校監一人獨行專斷任命校外人士之制，外無國際學府沿用，內無港大師生授權，實難服眾。我們嚴正抗議校監林鄭氏之無理決定。 二零一六年，檢討大學管治專責小組向校委會工作小組提交報告，建議校監應屬榮譽性質，並要求任命連同主席在內之校外委員之權力下放予校委會。惟其後校委會成立的六人工作小組卻以「修改法例程序費時」為由，推出四人顧問委員會與校監溝通人選作幌子，從今次再度任命李國章為主席的決定，過程處處不開誠布公，明顯反映出顧問委員會仍屬閉門做車。再者工作小組析律貳端，誤引條文，實有失職，事實上，下放校監權力並將任命校委會成員及其主席之權力交予校委會，毋須修改法例，只需在校委會動議下，通過校董會向校監提出修改《香港大學規程》之建議。
我們面對迫在眉睫的威脅，更應奮起當先，戮力完善《香港大學條例》及其規程，改弦易轍，堅守院校自主，使香港大學邁向真正師生共治。 現邀請各位香港大學學生、校內組織、校友、教師及職員參與聯署，向校監、校董會及及校委會鄭重表達下列訴求： （一）校監應恢復百多年傳統的屬榮譽性質角色。（二）檢討及修改《香港大學規程》第十八條「校務委員會」中校外委員任命程序，並按照檢討大學管治專責小組的建議，將校委會主席任命交予校委會，並在過程確保各持份者參與（三）對校監倒行逆施再度委任李國章擔任校委會主席表示嚴正抗議
It has been most horrendous that former Chancellor Leung Chun-ying perversely appointed Arthur Li as the Chairman of the University of Hong Kong Council against the public’s will; that the current Chancellor Carrie Lam now continues her wrongdoing and reappoints Arthur Li is not only a grave misdeed but also an utter dismay for all members in HKU.
Only with a reformed system can the institutional autonomy of the University be upheld.
The excessive power of Chancellor is undoubtedly a great threat to our institutional autonomy, particularly the authority to appoint 7 members in the HKU Council, who are not students or employees of HKU. From former Governors of Hong Kong to the Chief Executives after the handover of sovereignty, it has been reiterated that the Chancellor of HKU has always been just a ceremonial role. Both British-Hong Kong government and Hong Kong SAR government mentioned several times that the Chancellor in all tertiary institutions is just a titular head with only ceremonial duties. Currently, amidst the 24 Council members, the Chancellor has the power to appoint 7 members who are not students or employees of HKU, including the Council Chairman. Former Chancellor Leung Chun-ying willfully abused such power which in result led to a more severe situation of cronyism. Indeed, of many top universities around the world, such as the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford, and the University College London, there are also external members in the composition of their highest governance structures. Yet, such selection and appointment of external members are all decided by the University. The practice of granting the sole power to Chancellor to appoint external members as Council members is hardly convincing, as it has never been adopted by any other international institutions. Worse still, there is no authorisation from HKU members. We solemnly remonstrate against the unreasonable decision made by Carrie Lam, the current Chancellor.
The Working Party looked into the recommendations in a report submitted to the Council by a Review Panel on University Governance in 2016 recommended that the Chancellorship shall be honorary and the HKU Council shall be authorised for the appointment of the 7 members who are neither students nor employees of the University, including the Council Chairman. However, the Working Party was excused that ‘amending legislation... is time-consuming and uncertain in result’, thus an incompetent Advisory Committee on Council Chairmanship was introduced. Yet, the reappointment of Arthur Li revealed the lack of transparency of both the Committee and the appointment process of the Council Chairman as a whole. In fact, delegating the authority of appointing external members of HKU Council does not require any legislative amendment while the Working Party misinterpreted it. The amendment of the Statutes of the University of Hong Kong could be raised to the Chancellor through HKU Court once the HKU Council proposed.
As the threat is hanging over us, we should stand up for refining the University of Hong Kong Ordinance and its statutes. In addition, it is pressing to safeguard the institutional autonomy, so that the University could be brought towards the genuine co-governance by students and staff.We cordially invite all students, alumni, teachers and staff members of, and organisations within the University to join this petition to the Chancellor, the Court and the Council:
1. That the Chancellorship restores its time-honoured status as a titular office;2. That the procedure to appoint Council members not being students or employees of the University in Statue XVIII of the University of Hong Kong be reviewed and amended; that the appointment of the Council Chairman be vested in the Council as recommended by the Review Panel on University Governance; and that it be ensured all stakeholders can participate in the appointment process;3. Against the Chancellor’s perverse reappointing Arthur Li as the Council Chairman.