At 18:06 of June 13th, the famous educator Zhu Jiusi passed away in Wuhan. As Li Peigen, academician in CAE and former HUST president remarked him: “ Mr Zhu is one of the most prominent educator in contemporary higher education circle, and the “era of Jiusi” has laid a solid foundation for HUST’s development in the next few decades. “
Devoting all his life to education
Zhu Jiusi was born in Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province in 1916. A year after his graduation from Middle School, he was admitted to the Philosophy Education Department of Wuhan University with his brother’s support and the next year he transferred to the Foreign Languages Department.
“ Prestigious educator, undergraduate of Wuhan University” are the introduction about Mr Zhu in Baidu baike entry. After resigning from the post of leadership, he has been fully devoted to the research on China’s Higher Education.
Professor Shen Hong in School of Education of HUST is the first doctor student instructed by Zhu Jiuxi. She recalled:” I have stated that I Should be sent to the univeristies situated in the economic and political center of China twice, but he firmly disagreed. He hopes that I can be closely related to HUST for all my life just like him.”
Writing to Deng Xiaoping for appeal for reform
In 1977 the party committee of Huazhong Institute of Technology （HIT） wrote to Deng Xiaoping to appeal for the integrated development of science and engineering in universities, for the establishment of teaching and research center and for the development of postgraduate education.
“ Following the hierarchy of power is report while jumping it is complaint.” Professor Chen Haichun in College of Public Administration, HUST remarked the behavior of Mr Zhu as ‘extremely bold’. Nowadys his deed seems very usual but that happened in 1977 ! He surely took a risk by doing so.”
The investigation of the American and Japanese higher education in 1979 firmed his idea of reform. Under his leadership, HUST became the first university to have a comprehensive reform, which also laid a solid foundation for its rise in later time.
Now that we cannot develop liberal arts, we can firstly establish the research institute. If we fail once, we will make consistent efforts. In 1983 the first liberal art major in the history of Huazhong Institute of Technology -Journalism was approved to establish, which became the “news” of the press. At that time, the school had submitted the instruction report to MOE three times in less than 2 months.
In his old age, he said in his memoir that” I’m a human not iron so I also feel afraid but I’m also the President and Party Secretary of HIT. When it’s time for us to make great deeds, we should not cower and be intimidated, otherwise we will come to nothing.”
Inviting the Father of Mechanics-Qian Weichang in HUST
“ So how is Qian Weichang the father of Chinese Mechanics related to HUST?” An old photo recorded the story long before between the two seniors. The introduction of the photo was revealed by few words. “ In 1977 HIT began to establish the mechanics faculty training program（ undergraduate） and in 1988 it set the Engineering Mechanics major…… after which professor Qian came to HIT for a month-long lecturing.
In the wake of cultural revolution, Full-scale reconstruction is under way. After fully realizing the disadvantages brought by the isolated development of science and engineering, Zhu Jiusi began to lead HUST to a reconstruction by establishing science and liberal art majors early.
Zhu Jiusi’s reputation of ” widely collecting talents’ is well known nationwide. Knowing that Qian Weichang intended to leave Qsinghua after the culture revolution, he tended to invite Qian to be the Dean of HIT.
At that time, many universities were trying to “snatch” Qian Weichang. Later Qian became the president of Shanghai University （its predecessor is Shanghai University of Technology）. For many years when Zhu recalled the story, he couldn’t hide his regret.
However, although Qian didn't become the dean of HIT, he became the part-time professor of HUST, under his guidance, HIT established the Mechanics Department.
Later the Autobiograpgy in 80s of Qian weichang recorded his several speeches delivered in HUST and revealed that:” thanks to the great support of Zhu Jiusi, dean of HIT, I was then able to write a lecteur note of more than 40,0000 words in Mount Lu.
Remarking himself to have mainly done two and a half things for HUST in his president-hood.
In a warm afternoon of spring last year, the reporter from Changjiang Daily met Mr. Zhu at his 98. When it came to the status quo of present higher education, he hoped that the question from the reporter could be “acuter”. When asked whether he was afraid of losing his official position while pushing forward the reform, he didn't answer it directly.
On the coming the 99th birthday of Zhu Jiusi on the Eighth day of the first lunar month, the collection of Zhu Jiusi was published in HUST press.In his self statement, he mentioned that “ the innovative work I have done as the president mainly focuses on two and a half things. The first one is to put forward a new model of development, which is taking a comprehensive path of development and giving more priority to scientific research than to teaching; the second is to attract a lot of talents to HUST by some unusual means, as for the half thing, it’s planting numerous trees in HUST.”
Remarks about Zhu Jiusi
He has laid a solid foundation and we add the bricks
--By former President of HUST: Huang Shuhuai
Comrade Zhu Jiuxi has built the framework for the university’s construction and development; he laid a solId foundation and pinpointed our future direction of development. So we don’t make innovations but to add bricks, adjust, consolidate and improve ourselves.
-By former President of HUST: Zhou Ji
It’s because of his great vision, foresight and the great discussion on education idea led by him that have made HUST able to grasp the opportunities in the 1980s and achieve an unusual great-leap-forward development, which exerted great influence on the later development of HUST.
-By former President of HUST: Li Peigen
HUST nearly regards Jiusi as the father of the university. He is one of the most prominent educators in modern higher education field of China. The foundation for the development of science and liberal art disciplines in today’s HUST was all laid in the “Jiusi era.”
-By Present President of HUST: Jing Lieyun
Behind numerous outstanding scholars in HUST are the leaders represented by Zhu Jiusi, who used their great vision and wisdom to create a valuable space for teachers to conduct whole-hearted scientific research and free exploration, establish a disciplinary system with reasonable structure and excellent faculty, and most importantly make HUST boast the vitality to prosper.
-By President of Wuhan University: Li Xiaohong
Zhu Jiusi is a famous educator who enjoys high reputation in China. His expertise and ideas on higher education have made great contributions to the development of China’s higher education development.
-By former president of Huazhong Normal University: Zhang Kaiyuan.
I have once had a very deep discussion with Mr. Zhu, from which I found that he keeps abreast of the new theory and new information in outside world and holds many valuable ideas on the current shortcomings of China’s higher education and its reform
-By former Administerative Deputy Minister of the Organization Department of the Central Committee of the CPC.
For half a century, Jiusi have devoted himself to HIT. He contributed his wisdom and whole-heartedness to the establishment, rise, comprehensive and scientific development of HUST, which under his strenuous efforts has now become one of the top universities in China as well as in the world. He has made valuable contributions to the development of China’s higher education and his achievements prove that he is a contemporary educator with excellence in both theory and practice.
-By the author of Remark on Zhu Jiusi: Wang Jionghua
For the past several decades, Zhu Jiusi has always been concerned with HIT’s development. In particular, he pioneered to initiate reform and led a comprehensive development trend for engineering-centered universities, which has made indispensable contributions to the rise of HIT to a top university in China and a world-renowned university.