Beating out two other candidates, noted political observer Pratikno was elected as the new rector of
Yogyakarta-based Gadjah Mada University (UGM) during the last stage of the election process held at the campus on Thursday.
Of the contended 32 votes, Pratikno won 26. The other two candidates, Marsudi Triatmodjo and Danang Parikesit, won six and one vote respectively.
Responding to his victory, Pratikno said that he would make UGM a front guard for the democratization process in the country, as well as the center of reference for national development. “This is the place where different fields of science find reference,” Pratikno said in his speech after the election.
Pratikno, who will be sworn in on May 28, 2012, to replace Sudjarwadi, said that UGM possessed extraordinary resources in varied disciplines of science. These, he said, had to be synergized in the future to offer solutions to problems faced by the nation.
“UGM has to be able to answer the people’s expectations to become the center of development, and therefore, UGM has to be more responsive regarding national issues,” he said.
To help realize this, Pratikno said he would consolidate and unite the campus’ resources for national development, including helping reach food self-sufficiency and finding the right answers to addressing problems related to the energy crisis.
“A rector will not be able to do anything unless he receives support from all elements of the university,” he said, adding that as rector he was not just the leader of the university, but an administrator and a manager responsible for thinking of ways to develop the true character of UGM as a national university capable of addressing the nation’s problems.
Representing the Education Minister, Director General of Higher Education, Djoko Santoso, expressed hope that Pratikno would be able to maintain the prestigious name of UGM, which has always had a special meaning to Indonesia.
Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X shared the same view and expressed hope that Pratikno would be able to receive and carry out the mandate given to him in developing the UGM identity for the future.
Born in 1962 in a remote village in Donogede subdistrict, Tambak district, Bojonegoro regency, East Java, Pratikno has long been known as a figure willing to accept challenges. Upon finishing high school in 1980, he enrolled in UGM’s School of Social and Political Sciences, majoring in state administrative studies. He received his post graduate degree in development administration from the University of Birmingham in the UK in 1991 and went on to earn a PhD from Flinders University, Australia, in 1997.