University of Indonesia Rector Under Fire (Again) for Dismissal of 9 Deans
University of Indonesia (UI) rector Gumilar Rusliwa Somantri is again at odds with university stakeholders after he dismissed nine UI deans, who have since declared a “motion of no confidence” against him. It was also announced that Gumilar’s term will end in a few weeks.
Gumilar removed the nine deans on Tuesday, saying the decision came after a meeting of UI’s board of trustees (MWA) last week. UI spokeswoman Sianne Indriani told Indonesian news portal tempo.co on Thursday that the same meeting also decided that Gumilar’s term would end on Aug. 14.
The nine deans, however, consider Gumilar’s move another example of his dictatorial leadership that they said was against UI policies. They said the rector failed to provide a clear explanation over the dismissals.
The dean of the medical school, Ratna Sitompul, who was among those dismissed, said Gumilar defied UI’s existing standards when he fired the deans, and said elections should have been held before the old deans ended their terms and the new ones replaced them.
“This system has been in place for years,” Ratna said on the sidelines of an event at an UI campus in Depok on Friday, as quoted by news portal, republika.co.id.
The nine deans declared their motion of no confidence against Gumilar at the event, after sending a letter to Deputy Education and Culture Minister Musliar Kasim, which notified the ministry of the motion.
The nine discharged deans were from the School of Cultural Science, Bambang Wibawarta; the School of Engineering, Bambang Sugiarto; the School of Public Health, Bambang Wispriyono; the School of Math and Natural Science, Adi Basukriadi; the School of Dentistry, Bambang Irawan; the School of Nursing, Dewi Irawaty; the School of Social and Political Science, Bambang Shergi Laksmono; and the School of Psychology.
Gumilar also discharged the chairman of UI’s Postgraduate Programs, Chandra Wijaya.
Gumilar also scuffled with the board of trustees in Dec. 2011 after he issued a letter to the board saying that under a new government regulation, the trustees had no authority over him and that as rector, he only had to answer to the Education and Cultural Minister.
In Sept. 2011, Gumilar was also at odds with the board following his decision to award an honorary doctorate to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, which came on the heels of a string of horrific abuse cases involving Indonesian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia. The decision provoked a firestorm of criticism.
Gumilar has been a rector of the UI, a leading Indonesian university, since 2007.