UM to tighten processes, guidelines after Gilley controversy


PETALING JAYA: Universiti Malaya is taking immediate measures to prevent a repeat of the incident involving people like American academic Bruce Gilley.

Policies, procedures and guidelines involving the management and regulation of events across the board will be revised, tightened and improved, UM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Seri Dr Noor Azuan Abu Osman said.

“All speaking functions or other related events in the university that involve any individual must be properly evaluated with necessary procedures and precautions in place before such events are allowed to take place, to prevent potential risks and to prevent any incident that might touch on sensitivities or violate existing national laws.

“The university is looking into this seriously and is taking the necessary action,” he said in an internal directive – “Important Instruction from the Vice-Chancellor – Message No.7”, to the varsity’s campus community.

The university, he said, has always been steadfast and unyielding in upholding academic freedom and openness in intellectual and academic discourse and will continue to uphold this facet of academic advancement and liberty as the nation’s top and oldest academic institution.

He, however, said in serving as the bastion of academic professionalism, openness and meritocracy, the varsity must be alert and not be negligent in ensuring that national or societal sensitivities are observed and paying special attention to local sentiments as well as any current national or international laws and regulations.

There is no room for neglect of this academic freedom that breaches the limits of academic integrity and boundaries, he said.

“I want to address the current issue of the controversy of a speaker coming out with statements that have touched on national and societal sensitivities while giving a talk on campus.

“This incident is very much and deeply regretted. I, on behalf of the university, offer our utmost and sincerest apologies for this unwarranted incident,” he said, adding that UM stands firm in supporting the Palestinian cause, in line with national and local policy and sentiments.

“We are also unwavering in our support for the Palestinian rights and interests, including our firm support to our Palestinian campus community.

“The speaker’s (Gilley) statement and actions do not in any way reflect our stance on this issue, and necessary corrective actions have been in place after this incident,” he said.

UM said all planned programmes and activities involving Gilley had since been cancelled and a detailed report on the matter is being prepared.

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education , Universiti Malaya

   

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