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UUM ONLINE: A total of 221 staff members of Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) received the Excellent Service Award (APC) on the occasion of the University Awards Conferment Ceremony and Innovation Day (HIMPU) 2013 at the Mu'adzam Shah Hall, on the morning of 9 July 2013.

The Vice-Chancellor of UUM, Prof. Dato' Dr. Mohamed Mustafa Ishak, said that the University conferred the award upon deserving members of staff in recognition of their excellent performance at work and their unwavering commitment to performing their responsibilities and duties well.

He said that the recipients of the APC had to go through a selection and screening process as well as meet the criteria set by the University to determine excellent work performance.

He added that UUM also recognised the contribution made by staff members beyond the purview of their official duties, in the area of the community service, through the conferment of a Special Award for the Best Community Service.

"The University greatly appreciates the dedicated service of our staff members who have undertaken the task of developing our community. We believe that, indirectly, they will act as our 'ambassadors' in shouldering and implementing the University's corporate social responsibility (CSR)," he said.

Among the other awards presented at the ceremony were the University Special Award and the Quality and Innovation Practice Award (5S). The ceremony also saw the presentation of letters of promotion to 38 academic staff members. Of those, 3 were promoted to the position of Professor, 24 were promoted to the position of Associate Professor, and 11, to that of Senior Lecturer.

In addition, Dr. Mohamed Mustafa mentioned that, since 2010, several measures had been taken to improve the welfare of University staff members. Among those measures, he said, were an increase in the benefits of the health and accident insurance coverage for staff members, as well as the promotion of 239 academic staff and 127 administrative staff.

He said that, in order to enhance the competency level among the staff, UUM had taken the initiative of sending staff from the Management and Professional (P&P) category to undergo training overseas as well as to further their studies at the PhD and Master levels.

Meanwhile, Pro-Chancellor of UUM, Tun Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Fairus Sheikh Abdul Halim, said that the University should continue to intensify its efforts to diversify the approaches and explore new ideas for improving the quality of education, as well as to produce more credible scholars.

"We have to get out of our comfort zone and the cocoon of our routine work so that the organisation can accomplish its tasks through the development of new and effective ideas," he said, during the opening ceremony.

He also reminded all members of staff to strike a balance in their efforts towards handling sources of internal and external pressure among which he cited the pursuit of top university rankings as well as the scramble for the best academicians and also students.

"The University administration needs to be more manageable, with a more organised system of evidence storage, and needs to work towards continually implementing innovations in developing the curriculum and incorporating the use of technology in its operations," he said.

The University Special award went to the School of Business Management while the second and third places went to the School of Computing and the Othman Yeop Abdullah Graduate School of Business, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Quality and Innovation Practice Award (5S) was won by the Sultanah Bahiyah Library while UUM Press and the Centre for Culture and the Arts won the second and the third places, respectively.

Among those present at the ceremony were the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International Affairs), Prof. Dr. Rosna Awang Hashim, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Prof. Dr. Abdul Razak Saleh, and senior officers of the University.




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