YOGYAKARTA- Young and having many achievements. These titles seem appropriate to the Dean of Faculty of Philosophy UGM, Dr. M. Mukhtasar Syamsuddin, M. Hum. Therefore, no wonder if he is among the Top 20 of Indonesia Academicians, according to CAMPUS Indonesia Magazine version August 2011 issue. In terms of age, Mukhtasar is currently 43 years old. He was born in Luwu, South Sulawesi, February 2, 1968. At his age, Mukhtasar has become Dean of Faculty of Philosophy UGM more than three years since being inaugurated in 2008.
Related to the title as Indonesia Top Academicians, Mukhtasar claimed not to know the survey done by the magazine. He assumed the profile and information about him had been obtained from the website. "I was surprised, too. I, myself don’t feel I have done excessively. But, yes, journalism can done a lot, for example surveying websites and others," Mukhtasar said in his office on Thursday (25/8).
He admitted nothing special or prestigious achievement. Mukhtasar talked much about his efforts in raising and advancing Faculty of Philosophy, which has been viewed as "the dry department". However, because of his tenacity and hard work, Faculty of Philosophy UGM continues to "squirm" and able to participate in finding solutions to problems facing the nation. "This can be seen from the number of interested students registering at the Faculty, which has increased. In 2010, the number of students of Philosophy was only 46. Now, it increased to 92 people," the husband of Yuli Ismulyati said.
Mukhtasar said during his deanship, Faculty of Philosophy is also heavily involved in the formulation of the concept of personality education with Ministry of National Education. Through his role in national working group, Mukhtasar has successfully redefined the method of Pancasila Education. In fact, Pancasila education is made a compulsory subject in college. "In the past, the National Education System Law, Pancasila was only included in the Civics Education, but then there was a circular from Director General of Higher Education that requires longer course of Pancasila education in college. Well, in Faculty of Philosophy UGM, Pancasila Education and Civics Education are 2 credits each, which is also emulated by many other campuses," he said.
Not only that, Mukhtasar made a breakthrough by establishing cooperations with foreign universities, which was not much previously. An example is the MoU with several major universities in the U.S., joining the SIT (School of International Training). "The cooperation is particularly related to student exchanges or short courses, for example, U.S. students learn a lot about Pancasila, culture, and religion," he explained.
In 2009, Mukhtasar obtained a scholarship from Fulbright to teach at Northeastern State University, Oklahoma, USA. Mukhtasar has delivered many presentations related to the Indonesian philosophy and local wisdom in some countries, such as Korea, India, Thailand, Vietnam, and Netherlands. "In principle, the mission of the Faculty to develop the philosophy of the archipelago in the international community can be achieved," the Ph.D holder from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Seoul, South Korea, said.
With his new title as Indonesia Top Academician, Mukhtasar hoped he can continue to work creatively to contribute in solving national problems, particularly through personality education. Mukhtasar also hoped that the values of Pancasila can be increasingly internalized within the nation of Indonesia. "I also wish there is a paradigm shift toward graduates of Faculty of Philosophy community, previously many people consider that they would become unemployed. This is not true. Graduates of Faculty of Philosophy are able to work and be accepted anywhere," the father of Taqiyya Tsaqifa, Fazla Syathira, and Azka Masagena added.
Mukhtasar along with 19 other academicians, such as Eep Saefulloh Fatah (political expert of University of Indonesia), Effendi Gazali, Ph.D. (Communication expert, University of Indonesia), Prof. Adrianus Meliala (criminology expert, University of Indonesia), Prof. Ismunandar (youngest professor/chemist of Bandung Institute of Technology), and Prof. Firmanzah (Dean of Faculty of Economics, University of Indonesia), has been named as 20 Top Indonesia Academicians version of CAMPUS Indonesia Magazine Jakarta August 2011 issue. In the magazine which contains much about education, the 20 academicians are considered to be young, accomplished, and young figures with many achievements. The twenty academicians are under 50 years old.