Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

A New Chancellor Joins UKM's Journey
By: Sharifah Hapsah Shahabudin, Vice Chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

On July 21 2009, Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir, the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan, was proclaimed the new chancellor of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, in the historic Dewan Tun Abdul Razak (DeCTAR), named after its first chancellor.

In a ceremony steeped in UKM tradition, the higher education minister announced the appointment by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong under Section 8 of the University and University Colleges Act 1971 and the UKM constitution, in front of more than 3,000 academics, students, staff, alumni and guests.

Tuanku Muhriz succeeds his late uncle, Tuanku Jaafar Tuanku Abdul Rahman, who was chancellor for 32 years, and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who was chancellor from 1970 until his untimely death in 1975.

Chansellor are usually appointed from among dignitaries such as royalty, or other persons of eminence. Although largely titular and non-resident, several sections of the UUCA do invest power in the chancellor.

The chancellor appoints one or more pro-chancellors upon the advice of the higher education minister and he may delegate his duties to any of them.

He determines the date and frequency of convocation, and presides over those that he attends. He awards degrees, diplomas, certificates and other academic recognition. He can also withdraw the awards from those found guilty of scandalous acts, although this has never happened.

In the appointment of a royal professor, the chancellor consults with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who may bestow the honour on not more than three very eminent persons at a time.

The chancellor approves the university seal or any amendment to it. More importantly, on the advice of the governing board, the chancellor has the power to approve, amend or repeal any statute of the university (though the written approval of the University Senate is required for statutes on academic matters).

Generally, in Malaysia as in most Commonwealth nations, the chancellor is largely ceremonial, with day-to-day operations typically handled by a vice chancellor and the governing body headed by a chairman.

In other countries, vice chancellors are known as presidents or rectors or both.

The title “chancellor”, too, assumes different meanings in different countries, and even among different universities in the same country. The tradition has evolved in unique ways from its medieval origins, through the Renaissance and post World War 2 period, even among countries in the Commonwealth.

In Australia, besides having ceremonial duties, chancellors are also chairmen of universities’ governing bodies. They are frequently drawn from the senior ranks of business or the judiciary.

In some universities, a visitor, who is senior to the chancellor and is generally the state governor, or the bishop for Catholic universities, is appointed. The function is mainly ceremonial.

In the state universities of India, the governor of that particular state is the administrator and the president of the country is normally the chancellor, whose function is largely ceremonial.

In the Republic of Ireland, it’s more complicated. Two of four chancellors are figurehead leaders, while the other two (Dublin City University and University of Limerick) are also the chairmen of the universities’ governing authorities.

In the United States, the heads of universities are typically called either “president” or “chancellor”, depending on the preference and statutes of the university. Where there is a state university system, the chancellor serves as a system-wide chief, with presidents governing individual campuses, although in some state systems the two titles are reversed.

This is seen in the University of the Philippines system, where the head of its autonomous universities is the chancellor and the head of the university system is designated the president. Vestiges of the figurehead British “chancellor” are seen in College of William and Mary, but the executive there is called “president”, not “vice chancellor”.

Tuanku Muhriz joins this diverse and interesting world of chancellors at a very challenging phase of UKM’s history. The first chancellor kept us firmly on the path of a national university that arose from the aspirations of the Malay rulers since 1903, and the struggles of the rakyat since the 1920s, for a university that enshrines Malay as the language of knowledge.

UKM has stayed true to this mission and has built a corpus of knowledge that attracts scholars from all over the world.

The second chancellor inspired us to build a strong foundation from which to leap forward to new levels of academic excellence. Student enrolment, staff recruitment, and the establishment of faculties and research institutes, grew by leaps and bounds. The “kebangsaan” spirit continued to glow, kindled by the challenges of globalization and the necessity for internationalisation.

Now, on the threshold of its 40th year - 2010 - the third chancellor will preside over UKM’s transformation into a research university comparable with the leading universities in the world by 2018.

As key partners in contributing knowledge and innovation as drivers of national growth and competitiveness, we are cultivating not only an intellectual and academic environment but spawning a culture of enterprise, emanating from our scientific discoveries and innovations, thereby linking research with industry and other stakeholders, teaching and the world of work.

UKM has entered an exciting phase of its development where change is anticipated beyond every bend. In this spirit we welcome the new chancellor.

Source: New Straits Times, August 18, 2009
Related link: Plagiarism in Universiti Putra Malaysia

Sponsor Link
Proven Ways to Make Money on the Internet

No comments: