Ding Shisun’s Death: The Last Principal of Peking University to Be a Principal – Tiger Sniffing Net


2019-10-12 22:31
Author Zhao Chenxi
At 8:04 p.m. today, the official microblog of Peking University released a message mourning the death of Ding Shisun, former president of Peking University.
Ji Xianlin once commented on the centenary anniversary of Peking University: “In the history of Peking University, there are two presidents worth remembering, one is Cai Yuanpei, the father of Peking University, and the other is Ding Shisun.”
Born in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, in September 1927, Ding Shisun served as President of Peking University, Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the Democratic League of China and Vice-Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. He was also a mathematician with outstanding achievements. Many achievements have been made in the research of algebra, number theory, Applied Algebra and Lie algebra theory, and the subject of program automation has been put forward. It is one of the advocates of algebraic number theory research in China.
Since 1944, Ding Shisun has studied in the Department of Mathematics of Shanghai Datong University and Tsinghua University.
In his early years, Ding Shisun was quite upset. In 1947, Ding Shisun was imprisoned by Kuomintang agents for participating in the student movement. After being expelled from Datong University in Shanghai, he was blacklisted and could not be re-admitted. In 1948, Ding Shisun re-entered the University and successfully entered Tsinghua University and Yanjing University. Ding Shisun chose the former.
After graduation, from 1950 to 1952, Ding Shisun was an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics, Tsinghua University. In 1952, Ding Shisun transferred to Peking University as an assistant, lecturer and professor in the Department of Mathematical Mechanics, and vice-director and director of the Department of Mathematics.
In 1982, after resigning from Peking University, he went to Harvard University as a visiting scholar. In 1983, Ding Shisun won the most votes in a public opinion poll on the election of a new president at Peking University.
In 1984, the Secretary of the Party Committee of Peking University informed Ding Shisun that he was elected president of Peking University. A month later, Ding Shisun returned to China and took office as the 26th president of Peking University for five years. During his tenure, Ding Shisun, on the one hand, made great efforts to carry out the reform of Peking University; on the other hand, he wanted Peking University to develop freely and create a relaxed teaching environment.
Don’t make yourself president of Peking University
Ding Shisun’s academic thought of “inclusiveness” and “democracy and freedom” has continued the temperament of President Cai Yuanpei and fostered the humanistic spirit of the campus of Peking University.
He believes that “science and democracy” and “inclusive, seeking common ground while reserving differences” are “the spirit of Peking University”, but the core thing is to respect people, respect their personality, and respect their free development.
During his stay at Peking University, Ding Shisun often wore a washed blue or gray dress and rode a bicycle across the campus. When students saw Ding Shisun, they could stop at any time and put forward various suggestions to the school.
Ding Shisun’s telephone number is public. Once, a student called Ding Shisun and complained that the dining hall of Peking University was too bad. He gave Ding Shisun a bad scolding.
Ding Shisun’s reform in Peking University started with the canteen, introducing competition mechanism, and the meal tickets were used in all canteens. Under the pressure of competition, the quality of canteens gradually began to improve. Every once in a while, Ding Shisun will also talk to the students of Peking University, listen to the students’ideas about school reform, and discuss major events happening at home and abroad.
As Ding Shisun recalled his experience as president of Peking University when he was interviewed by CCTV “Everybody” more than 10 years ago.
“I think I’ve evaluated it before. The most proud thing I said was how many years I was a principal. Nobody in the school thought I was a principal.”
“Nobody sees me as a very important person, which is a great achievement for me.”
During his time at Peking University, Ding Shisun carried out a series of reforms. Including: vigorously promote young people, implement wage contract system, implement competition mechanism, activate academic atmosphere, strengthen exchanges between students and schools, allow students to transfer departments, give priority to basic disciplines, promote discipline construction, broaden and activate students’thinking and vision.
Ding Shisun said, “Individuals need to develop freely and teachers need to develop freely. I don’t think that’s the only way to deal with it. I don’t think the principal has a superior position. The only way you can do that is to create conditions for everyone to develop freely. ”
Ding Shisun put forward a number of principles of school management. Firstly, school management should be strict. Ding Shisun once said that Peking University has always been relatively inefficient and loose. Second, promote democracy. It is proposed that different forms of democracy should be adopted for different things. For example, academic issues can not be discussed by the whole school, but are decided by the academic committee. Life issues should be discussed at the Congress and the participation of the whole school’s faculty and staff should be mobilized.
Thirdly, adhere to the policy of “two hundred” and “one hundred flowers blossom and one hundred schools of thought contend”. Ding Shisun agrees with Cai Yuanpei’s idea of “all-inclusive” and holds that academic issues should not be framed. Considering that there was a discussion at that time that opposed Cai Yuanpei’s inclusiveness, Ding Shisun proposed to adhere to the “two hundred” policy.
Fourth, cadres should not overstep their powers. Ding Shisun said that if someone complained to him about the bad housing conditions, he seldom made a statement on the spot, and always consulted with the housing cadres for advice. Moreover, the recruitment work of the school is not under his control, and he will never write a note to the cadres responsible for the recruitment.
In 1998, when Ding Shisun’s name was pronounced on the centennial celebration of Peking University, warm applause rang from the audience. During the school anniversary, Ding Shisun was surrounded by alumni and students. He was invited to walk in his class to give you another lesson. Out of one classroom, and then “shelved” into another classroom, alumni of Ding Shisun’s feelings are sincere.
When Ding Shisun retired, he liked to listen to people and things about Peking University.
Promoting the overall work of the Democratic League
Ding Shisun also has an important status: he has been chairman of the Central Committee of the Democratic League since 1996, and then vice-chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress for two more sessions. Happy Birthday to President Ding, Zhang Meiying, First Vice-Chairman of the Central Committee of the Democratic League of China. „Äč In the article, this evaluation of Ding Shisun: During the period of the work of the Democratic League, Ding Shisun faced various pressures and contradictions and pushed forward the reform of the “three definitions” of the central organs of the League.

Ding Shisun encouraged everyone to reform and innovate, and he took responsibility for the problems. Ding Shisun supported the reform with public will and won the understanding and cooperation of the vast majority of comrades in the organs. The work of “three definitions” progressed smoothly. There were no problems in the reform, but a new atmosphere appeared in the organs and a new situation was created in the work. (The “three definitions” provision is the abbreviation of the main responsibilities, internal institutions and staffing of the departments under the State Council stipulated by the Office of the Central Organization Establishment Committee in order to deepen the reform of the administrative system.)
Ding Shisun’s public spirit is consistent, which is reflected not only in the reform of government organs, but also in many aspects. They are strict with the staff around them and never greet them for their promotion or treatment, write notes or make arrangements. However, they are very concerned about the young people in the organs and the reserve cadres in the League.
Ding Shisun does nothing to publicize. The alliance was heavy, and he had a serious leg disease. It was very difficult for him to act. It took more time, and he had to endure tremendous pain.
In the past ten years, he has not heard his only words of fear and complaint. Ding Shisun will personally take part in all the key research topics of the Central Committee of the Democratic League of China, lead the investigation, absorb everybody’s wisdom and put forward constructive suggestions to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.
In a commentary, the Chinese Journal of Science commented on Ding Shisun’s political experience as follows:
He entered the political arena with a hesitant attitude, “ready to fight from top to bottom, from front to back”. As he was not accustomed to conventions, he taught himself “badly” after the NLD, but his inherent honesty, refinement and approachability won more and more people’s warm applause.
In Yuan Xiangdong and Guo Jinhai’s Interview with Ding Shisun, the will written on Ding Shisun’s 65th birthday was published: “Perhaps there is still some cash after my death. Please donate one of my copies (according to the law) to the Department of Mathematics of Peking University. It is up to the Department of Mathematics to decide how to use it. I have feelings for mathematics.”
Nowadays, Siren is dead.