By Yiswaree Palansamy
By Yiswaree Palansamy
Noun: An official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against maladministration, esp. that of public authorities
GEORGE TOWN: University Sains Malaysia (USM) will establish an ombudsman office to provide a platform for its academic staff and undergraduates to voice out their dissatisfactions on various issues in the university.
USM Vice-Chancellor Professor Tan Sri Dzulkifli Abdul Razak (pic above) said the setting up of the ombudsman office would be a milestone in democratic practice at the university.
Meanwhile, USM senior deputy legal adviser Khairul Anuar Che Azmi (pic right) said ombudsman officers will be selected from among the university's high-ranking academic and non-academic fraternity.
The ombudsman office will be established by the end of this year and will be in accordance with Section 15 of the University Sains Malaysia Constitution.
The formation of the ombudsman office will add another feather to USM's hat, which is also the country's first and only Apex status accreditted university.
Khairul said the concept of having an ombudsman office within a university was still a novel idea, especially when it came to Asian universities.
"However, it is a very valuable inception in a university's administration," he said when met at USM's first ever senate members election day at the university yesterday.
The election is the first of its kind, after USM gazetted its new constitution in July.
USM is believed to be the first university in the country to select senate members via balloting.
Earlier, Dzulkifli said the formation of the senate marks the beginning of an autonomous driven governance in USM, as the senate will be overseeing policy and academic courses development matters.
He said they were also looking at having an undergraduate in the senate, to enable all quarters to have a representative.
The senate election, will take place once in every three years.
Yesterday's election took place simultaneously at all of USM's campuses including the Health Sciences campus in Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Advanced Medical and Dental Institution in Kepala Batas and the it's engineering campus in Kepala Batas.
A total of 195 candidates will be elected into the Senate and will see votes being cast by 576 voters comprising USM's academic fraternity, namely professors, full-time associate professors and visiting professors.