Confronting Challenges, Spurring Transformation
Bismillah-ir-Rahman-ir-Rahim. In the name of God, most Gracious, most Compassionate.
Assalamualaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh and Happy New Year to the Universiti Putra Malaysia community! Thanks be to Allah SWT, for it is by His will and blessing that we are given the opportunity to continue our pursuit of success this new year.
There is a saying in Malay – membujur lalu melintang patah – which reminds us to go forward no matter what kind of obstacles stand in our way. I hope that every citizen of the UPM community is armed with this indomitable fighting spirit as we face the swift tides of change, and not submit or yield easily to challenges. I believe that with this spirit, we can spur UPM to even greater heights on the international platform. This endeavour requires the UPM community to consciously increase their efforts and improve the quality of service in every aspect of life and work on campus: academic matters, research and innovation, student affairs, industrial linkages and community service, and other services in the university.
Let us demonstrate this stoicism as we march into a new year which heralds new beginnings, new resolutions and new hopes. I am sure that when 2016 dawned, we all made resolutions to strive harder and achieve more this year than we did in the last. To ensure that this positive change is realised, it is imperative that each of us – in our capacity as educator, researcher, staff or student – exercise resilience and hold to a high degree of integrity and work ethic. Indeed, we need to make these qualities of resilience, integrity and work ethics part of our natural disposition and way of life, if we are to successfully navigate the tides of economic and social changes. We can no longer compromise on safeguarding work quality and work ethics. The faithful observance of these principles is the self-transformation we need to achieve and maintain in facing the challenges to come.
This is my 37th year of service in UPM, counting from my time as a Tutor, and my 42nd in the university, if I take into account my years of study as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) student. UPM has become my second home, and the UPM community, my family. As the newly appointed 8th Vice Chancellor of UPM, I now hold a great moral obligation and duty to look after and lead this family, a responsibility entrusted upon me by the Minister of Higher Education, Yang Berhormat Dato’ Seri Idris Jusoh, in particular, and the Ministry of Higher Education, in general. Insyaa Allah, with God’s will, I will give my best. It is my hope that we, as members of a huge family, unite in a committed and concerted effort towards fulfilling our shared ambition to make UPM a competitive, world-class research university.
I also hope that UPM citizens will join me in putting the shoulder to the grindstone, in bringing to fruition the UPM Strategic Plan 2014 - 2020. Themed PUTRA GLOBAL 200 (PG200), this plan forms the basis for UPM’s commitment to securing a place on the QS World University Rankings list of top 200 universities in the world.
Efforts towards the transformation of UPM are important in upholding the legacy of excellence embodied in our motto Berilmu Berbakti, With Knowledge We Serve. By making Knowledge the pillar on which all our endeavours and practices rest, the university will fulfill the purpose for which it was set up: to contribute to national development and societal well-being. The contribution of UPM will most certainly be focused on three aspects that are at the core of the university’s foundation: Agriculture, Innovation, and Life.
The role of UPM in generating first-class human resource and in transmitting knowledge and expertise to society, will be reinforced through the five main aims of the Strategic Plan, namely, Enhancing the Quality and Competitiveness of Graduates, Creating Value through a Strong and Sustainable RDCE, Boosting Industry and Community Networking Services, Strengthening UPM as a Centre of Excellence in Agriculture, and Enhancing the Quality of Governance.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle once said, “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” In the course of transforming ourselves, we are certain to come up against a myriad of obstructions and impediments, and we are well aware that a public institution like ours is open to criticism from various quarters. We should face these challenges head-on and not be intimidated into silence for fear of being criticised. In fact, we should regard criticism positively as a stimulus for us to go higher and do better.
On behalf of everyone in UPM, I express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to Profesor Dato’ Dr. Mohd Fauzi Hj. Ramlan, the 7th Vice Chancellor of UPM, who led and kept UPM on the path of excellence. I also thank the staff and students of UPM whose commitment and continuous efforts have made the vision for UPM to be a university of international repute, a reality.
Lastly, let us pray that UPM continues its legacy of excellence, and let us carry out our responsibilities with sincerity, self-awareness and constant self-reflection, so that all our efforts are expedited and blessed by the Almighty Allah SWT. May 2016 witness quantum leaps in the transformation of UPM into a research univeristy of international standing and repute.
I wish you all a happy and successful 2016.
Sungguh riang anak Serdang
Mengayuh sampan sambil berdendang
Syair disebut nada terbilang
Di tahun baharu lebih gemilang
PROFESSOR DATIN PADUKA DR. AINI IDERIS
Universiti Putra Malaysia
15 January 2016
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan