Monday, June 23, 2008

Islamic Economics without Islamic Economics Professors

We are losing people, and we are losing them very fast. The greatest asset for an academic institution is good teachers. In this world of competition, when you cannot compete freely in the market, you need to create something that will differentiate you from others and hence you can claim that you cannot compete with others since you are very different. That's how companies in the same market try to attract loyalty from their customers by creating a brand and other stuff that will make us think that their good is somehow unique and superior.

Since the birth of IIUM, we claimed that through Kulliyyah of Economics and Management Sciences, the university shall be the leader of Islamic Economics as well as the leader of the controversial Islamization of Economics as part and parcel of the Islamization of Knowledge plan. Now, after our Silver Jubilee celebration, we are still short of realizing that dream. Yes, 25 years may not be enough to make the university as the leader of Islamic Economics, which is the track that we choose ourselves. What more to compete with others in the field of Economics. We may need more time to do that.

However, none can deny that whatever decision that we choose today will eventually affect our target. Since I joined the university during my undergraduate years, I've been told that some senior professors of Islamic Economics left the university because of the differences that they have with the top management. Yet there are still some other good professors left and I managed to learn under them. After four years I graduated, many have left and more are leaving. Other institutions seem to offer better pay for these good academicians, especially those from Middle East countries as well as local private institutions. With so many people with background in Islamic Economics leaving, how can we pursue our goal?

Surprisingly, with so many people gone, human resource management of the university seems to be ignorant of the sign. We have designed a special car that normal driver cannot drive it, yet we did not bother our special drivers are leaving. Maybe not so distant in the future there will be no more Islamic Economics in IIUM...

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