JOHOR BARU, Feb 6 — Professor Haim Hilman Abdullah’s tenure as Universiti Utara Malaysia’s (UUM) vice-chancellor was shortened due to complaints, said Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin.
The higher education minister explained that these had come from lecturers and the university’s Board of Directors last year.
“The shortened tenure of the UUM vice-chancellor’s term was not at the behest of the ministry, but due to a decision by UUM.
“He (Haim Hilman) will continue to be a professor in his faculty, and it does not mean that he was expelled from the university,” he said to reporters after an official visit to Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in Skudai here today.
Also present was Johor Education, Information and Communication Committee chairman Norliza Noh and UTM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Ahmad Fauzi Ishmael.
Mohamed Khaled said an investigation will be conducted in response to the complaints, but he declined to elaborate further.
On December 20, the Higher Education Ministry announced in a statement that Haim Hilman’s tenure as UUM’s vice-chancellor has been shortened effective January 18.
The 49-year-old professor was appointed to the post on January 17 last year.
In a separate development, Mohamed Khaled said that the ministry is keen for UTM to be a leader in technology-based research to bring about the country’s digitisation transformation.
He said that this will help the country to compete with others, in addition to developing the national economy.
“The time has come for the university to increase its role and contribution to the country and society,” he said.
Mohamed Khaled, who is also the Kota Tinggi MP, said for the country to boost its economic progress, its economy must be based on innovation.
“With its mission as a university that is known for innovative solutions, I think this is the time for universities in the country, especially UTM, to increase its visibility and contribution to the country and society,” he said.
Mohamed Khaled said that the Higher Education Ministry will also give its full support to UTM to continue their role and responsibilities, which will increase the success of their research.
He added that another strength of UTM is its close cooperation with the industry and many of its research results are applied either for the community or to assist the government.