Democratic process for VC appointments is the best way forward

THE the government should consider allowing academic members of the respective universities to choose their own vice-chancellor (VC) or rector through an electoral process.

To do this, changes must be made to all our existing laws, rules and regulations regarding the appointment of senior positions in universities, including the Universities and University Colleges Act 1971 (UUCA) (Law 30) .

There are calls for positions to be filled by appropriate and qualified people through a democratic process. This would strengthen the role of universities and ensure the quality of education produced in the country.

According to Article 2 of UUCA, a vice-chancellor means the vice-chancellor, president, rector or principal of a university and includes any other person, however named, who has been appointed chief executive of the university, and assistant vice-president chancellor shall be construed accordingly.

A vice-chancellor plays an important role in a university. He is the leader who is responsible for leading. The vice-chancellor is also the academic director and administrative head of a university. He usually chairs the university council, the general council of faculties and the finance commission.

One of the main duties of a Vice-Chancellor is to provide leadership, academic and administrative advice to the whole university, to represent the university internally and externally, to obtain funding to advance the university’s mission, goals, and objectives, as well as to perform other important and civic ceremonies. functions.

With regard to the process of appointing a Vice-Chancellor, reference can be made to Article 4A of the UUCA, where it is stated that: “For the purpose of selecting a qualified and suitable person for the office of Vice-Chancellor of UUCA or for any other office to which a Minister has the power to appoint under this Act, the Minister shall, from time to time, appoint a committee to advise him on such appointments.

The word minister here means the minister responsible for higher education. Several processes are involved in the nomination. Generally, candidates will go through an interview process and will be appointed based on several requirements set by the respective ministry and university, to which they will be assigned.

Malaysia is currently home to dozens of public universities. They are funded by the government and are governed as self-governing institutions and report to UUCA. By enabling a democratic process for the appointment of vice-chancellors, every academician of a university can participate and play an active role in the progress and development of the respective university.

Similar to an electoral process, anyone qualified at a university can run for office. The candidate will have to undergo a process of debate and highlight their vision and mission for the university to other academicians. A vote is then cast for the preferred candidate.

By allowing a democratic process to take place, it is hoped that the elected individual will discharge his duties and responsibilities with greater seriousness and professionalism since he has been entrusted with the highest office by a vote. majority. He would have the respect of the academicians of the university. It would also increase public confidence in our institution and our higher education system. The above should also be extended for the appointment of deputies.

There can be pros and cons to this nomination process, of which a special committee can be set up to review the finer details.

Doctor Muzaffar Syah MallowAssoc Prof, Syariah and Laws Faculty, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia. Comments: [email protected]

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