klinik dekanUUM ONLINE: The schools at Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) welcomed the Vice-Chancellor's wish by holding a walk-in 'Clinic with the Dean' to open opportunities for staff and students to share ideas, suggestions, and issues more closely.

Among the schools that have started the clinic are Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz School of Accountancy (TISSA-UUM), School of Multimedia Technology and Communication (SMMTC), School of Economics, Finance and Banking (SEFB) and School of International Studies (SOIS).

Dean of TISSA-UUM, Prof. Dr. Nor Aziah Abd Manaf, said that she had started a meeting session with staff and students since the end of June in response to the Vice-Chancellor's call.

According to her, since it was first opened to staff and students, the response was encouraging because, on average, they not only expressed the problems encountered but also shared opinions and ideas for improvement from the academic aspect and the governance of the school itself.

"I thank everyone who took the time to meet, and we will try to help as best as we could," she said.

As for the Dean of SMMTC, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Norsiah Abdul Hamid, the Compassion Session with the Dean of SMMTC is held every Thursday on the first and third weeks of the month beginning in July 21 at her office.

"This initiative was taken considering the need for a platform that allows all staff to meet the dean without an appointment and at the same time the dean will be more aware of the issues and problems they face.

"We understand that there are various issues faced by the staff, but they do not want to share them with others. So through this session, the staff can have direct access to the dean and share anything that was booked in their heart or delayed before," she said.

In fact, she said, the staff can also provide suggestions for the improvement of the arising issues, whether it involves individuals or the school as a whole.

At SEFB, the Dean, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Bakti Hasan Basri, said the relaxed sharing session between the dean and stakeholders, such as students and staff, provides a special space for them to communicate all information directly with the dean to voice their opinions and complaints for the actions of the management of the school.

"Since it was first opened, the response has been encouraging even among students and staff who have received advice outside of consultation hours. In fact, I believe that SEFB members can work together as a strong team and help each other to achieve the goals of the school," he said.

Meanwhile, Administrative Assistant (Clerical/Operations), SMMTC, Hamid Mat Hashim welcomes this initiative as previously, no special platform was created to enable staff, either academic or administrative, to express issues, problems, or suggestions.

According to him, this may be due to time constraints and their busy schedule; therefore, he will take advantage of the space and opportunity provided for both parties’ benefit.

"We are aware that time constraints and individual tasks make it difficult for the staff to make appointments with the dean, so with a session like this, it is hoped that it can be used to the best advantage.

"Interestingly, privacy is granted to all staff which allows for an open and transparent discussions which not only bring improvements to the school but also to solve the problems that arise," he said.

The clinic or session with the dean organized by the Dean's Office is a follow-up or idea of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Haim Hilman Abdullah, who started the Vice Chancellor's Clinic last April, which opens every Thursday on the second and fourth week from 2.30 to 5.30 pm.

The clinic aims to share ideas, views and issues that both staff and students of the university want to express directly to the Vice-Chancellor.