YOGYAKARTA – Prof. Dr. Pratikno, M.Soc.Sc., has been elected new Rector of Universitas Gadjah Mada period 2012-2017. In the final round of rector election at the Board of Trustees meeting, Pratikno has gained the majority of the votes, 26 of the total 32. He is followed by Prof. Dr. Marsudi Triatmodjo, S.H., LL.M. (5 votes) and Prof. Dr. Techn. Danang Parikesit, M.Sc. (1 vote).
After being declared the winner, Pratikno was asked to make a speech by students at the UGM Hall. Pratikno expressed his happiness as he was trusted by the Board of Trustees who had elected him. “Thanks should go to all students who have supported and obseved the election well,” Pratikno told the students on Thursday (22/3).
The Dean of Faculty of Social and Political Sciences made a promise to monitor the democratisation process and establish UGM a point of reference for the progress of the nation. “UGM has to become a point of reference for the nation’s progresses,” he said.
Pratikno promised to work with academic community in determining a policy and resolving a problem together, because in his opinion a Rector has to be able to prioritise the spirit of collectivity. “A Rector would have no meaning if he cannot work in synergy with others,” he said.
Director General for Higher Learning, Djoko Santoso, representing the Minister for Education and Culture congratulated Pratikno and gave him the Minister’s message to carry out the mandate well and uphold the UGM. “Universitas Gadjah Mada is a very special university for Indonesia, it has special significance in the Indonesian history of leadership since the begining until now,” he said.
The Minister also specially appreciated the Academic Senate and Council of Professors who had conducted the election successfully. “The last round has been well conducted and hopefully it will bring good use to UGM,” he said.
Congratulatory messages were also delivered by Governor of Yogyakarta Special Region, Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X. Sultan hoped Pratikno would be able to implement and accept the mandate from the Board of Trustees in developing UGM’s identity in the future.
Getting Used to being Independent
Pratikno was born in an isolated kampong in Donogede village of Tambak in Bojonegoro, East Java in 1962. Some 40 kilometer away from Bojonegoro, it was a village surrounded by teak forests and tobacco plantation that was enjoying electricity not until 1994. Due to the unavailability of schools, Pratikno along with 13 friends had to study at the house of the village chief. “I remember we did not put on shoes going to school. Of the 13 students, I was the only one who continued to the junior high,” he recalled.
The location of the junior high school which was 20 kilometer from his kampong was not able to kill his intention in pursuing education. He had to pay the rent to stay in someone’s house. “At junior high, I got used to being independent, cooking my own food. Every morning I had to produce fire in the wood stove to boil rice, but I bought vegetables and side dishes at the food stall nearby,” he said.
After graduating from junior high school, Pratikno went to a high school in Bojonegoro and graduated in 1980. Later, he studied in Government Studies Department at Faculty of Social and Political Sciences UGM as he had aspired to become a secretary at regional government. But, fate had led him to another direction. He was accepted as lecturer at his Faculty so he continued to have his master and doctorate programmes in the UK. “It was so that I returned from the UK to my kampong which still had no electricity. That made me sad everytime I went home,” he explained.
In 2005, Pratikno established the Ademos NGO (Association for Democracy and Social Welfare) to remedy his homesickness. “It served as a pasttime to remember my hometown. I facilitated a study group there.”
He gained his bachelor degree in Government Studies from UGM (1985), master in development administration from University of Birmingham, UK (1991), and Ph.D. from Flinders University, Australia (1997). The moderator of presidential candidate debate back in 2009 was recently appointed by the President as member of the selection team of General Election Commission and General Election Monitoring Board. He has also been appointed by Yogyakarta Governor as committee member of Human Rights National Action Plan for the Province.