Job Opening at Universiti Utara Sintok
by Azly Rahman
Imagine the possibilities in higher education as you read this.
Universiti Utara Sintok, is inviting applicants for the position of vice-chancellor. Universiti Utara Sintok, a world-class management university is located in the beautiful rolling hills of northern Kedah. It is a university with a diverse population of students from the major ethnic groups.
This foremost research university located in the northern region of Malaysia offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in all areas – the arts, humanities, sciences, and social sciences.
It is one of the most competitive universities in Asia, famed for its excellence in the humanities, social sciences, and management. It values critical inquiry and creativity as the twin concepts in the development of its faculty and students. It is world-famous for its Institute for the Study of Modern Hegemonic Systems, an international institute of advanced study for the study of all forms and manifestations of totalitarianism and Oriental despotism.
Our mission is to nurture creative, critical, ethical, and futuristic young minds of all races so that they may succeed as a nation and become vanguards of the new Malaysian who are well equipped to help each other succeed by replacing the concept ‘competitive’ world with ‘collaborative enterprises’.
We aim to create a new economic and cultural system based on the constant revitalisation of the definition of democracy. This philosophy will be the cornerstone of any public university in the new Malaysia we are forging. Universiti Utara Sintok aims to pioneer such a philosophy of higher education that will inspire the development of universities in the Asian region.
Our vision is to create radical humanistic intellectuals in all fields of study and to help them succeed globally as leaders who will help the nation's and the world's poor, to break the mould of communal politics, to design better systems of respecting human intelligence, and to work peacefully, sincerely, and creatively with people of all races.
Our graduates have found employment worldwide especially in the area of peace and social-reconstructionist movements. We invite applicants with the necessary personal and professional qualifications to lead the university into its next phase of excellence in the capacity of vice-chancellor.
The candidate must have an excellent track record of leading institution(s) of higher learning and of understanding education in the broadest sense of the word.
The following specific criteria are necessary in the successful applicant:
- A proven track record of scholarship and educational leadership at the national and international level.
- A proven track record of educational management excellence and of understanding the complexities of managing a diverse population of students, faculty, and administration.
- A proven track record of successful implementation of Affirmative Action; principle of practice irrespective of race, gender, colour, creed, and national origin
- A committed philosopher of education who has a deep grasp of intercultural understanding and sensitivity to diversity therefore able to mediate the complexities of multi-culturalism.
- A committed intellectual whose allegiance is to the pursuit of truth and social justice and able to bridge the theoretical aspect of good governance with humanistic and socialistic principles of intellectual development.
- A proven record of committed neutrality in political orientation and a total allegiance to the dialectical development of truth.
- A scholar-leader able to encourage the development of the varieties of intellectual traditions and perspectives and not suppress any of them.
- An ethical leader who will not use the resources at his/her disposal to suppress dissenting voices coming from the faculty and the students.
- An ethical leader who will be able to guard the university against any form of political influence or the influence of any form of ideology.
- A powerful command of the English Language and Bahasa Malaysia. Candidates who can speak or are fluent in more than these two languages will be at an advantage.
- A scholar well-versed in postmodern theories of education and human liberation.
- A leader who understands the concept of "appropriate technology, available resources" as a guiding principle in the technological integration in the teaching and learning.
A scholar-leader well-versed in the philosophical tradition of the Eastern and Western World and will help the development of spirituality of the diverse population of students.
The vice-chancellor will be the chief executive officer of the statutes of the university, the successful candidate will be entrusted to accomplish the following tasks:
- Create an environment of total academic freedom by establishing in all departments, committees to promote academic freedom that protects the rights of the academicians to perform their duties without fear or favor.
- Create a new version of the Academician Pledge of Loyalty (Akujanji) and call it Academician's Pledge of Loyalty to the Pursuit of Truth and Justice through Reason.
- Create a climate of transcultural dialogues that will help forge better understanding among all ethnic groups on campus.
- Create a system of financial aid based on merit and needs rather than ethnic origin.
- Create an intellectually and culturally diverse population of faculty members that will help educate and challenge the students and turn them into committed intellectuals that will become not only successful in their careers globally, but base their practice on the principles of humanism and social reconstructionism.
- Respect the intellectual orientations of the faculty members, be they from the traditions of Logical Positivists/Structural-Functionalists, Critical Theory, Phenomenology, Social Reconstructivist, Futurists, Naturalist, Transculturalists, Cyberneticists, Transhumanists, etc.
- Promote the ongoing study of social, moral, and economic corruption in all areas of inquiry so that the next generation of scholars will be competent in understanding the phenomena of the seeds of destruction of hypermodernising societies.
- Promote this institution as one which celebrates radical thoughts and not one that is averse to critical thinking.
- Promote critical, creative, ethical, and futuristic thinking as an important intellectual orientation, and enculturalisation
Universiti Utara Sintok has special needs which must be attended to urgently. Among those in our list of priorities are:
- The immediate reinstatement of faculty members fired for refusing to sign the Akujanji implemented by the old regime.
- The immediate reinstatement of students expelled by the previous regime for voicing dissenting views.
- The mediation of conflicts between warring factions in the university.
- The remedy of the culture of blind obedience to the dictates of the state.
- The building of social, emotional, and intellectual consensus amongst the different faculties that have been fragmented into institutional animosity, counter-productive to the development of the intellectual tradition.
Because Universiti Utara Sintok is a non-partisan, non-political, world-class institution of higher learning, candidates will be carefully screened through the following process:
- Public endorsement by the administration - Public endorsement by the faculties - Public endorsement by the students
- A televised confirmation hearing Shortlisted candidates will be required to publicly take an oath of allegiance to the intellectual development of the students especially and to promote ‘higher-order-thinking skills’ and to ensure that faculty members advance professionally through merit and scholarship and commitment to social change, rather than through political connections.
Salary is extremely competitive and commensurate with experience.
Applications must include the following:
- Latest resume - Five letters of recommendations
- Record of classroom teaching experience in diverse settings nationally and preferably, internationally
- Comprehensive explanation of philosophy of teaching (8-10 pages)
Candidates merely interested in political advancement need not apply.
Choose wisely It would be wonderful for Malaysians and the world to see the advertisement above in the Asian Chronicle of Higher Education.
I think the guidelines will be a much better way of choosing any university vice-chancellor; better than the system of appointment by the minister of higher education. Choose our university leaders wisely.
Let us immediately end the practice of appointing politicians in academic garb. They are hurting the young creative minds of tomorrow.
Let us not think that the appointment of a university vice-chancellors must be a secret affair that must be performed as a campaign for section heads of a political party.
Let us go back to the origin of the formation of universities – that of the advancement of the intellectual and professional development of the students so that they may serve their generation better and wiser.
Without students, would there even be a university or a ministry of higher education?