The main indicator for measuring an excellence university is in the quality of teaching and research, not in its management. But without good management, that success will never be achieved. Only with good management can the university develop good teaching, research, service, and academic culture, which ultimately boils down to achieving good learning outcomes.
The management of the institution should be interpreted as more than just a small group of individuals who are in the control center of the university, consisting of rectors, faculty and major leaders, and senior staff. As with leadership, management should be distributed to every work unit, but it needs to be strengthened with effective strategies, especially in maintaining work relationships, managing conflicts, overcoming pressures and competition, and in reading situations.
University leaders must also dare to take risks by taking controversial steps that they believe will work, especially in practicing the leadership system through a trial process. For this reason, assistant rectors, deans, and senior lecturers must be able to reflect and form the opinions of the academic community to win every initiative in the management of the university.
The question is what indicators can be used as a reference to assess the success of managing a university. Some of the following indicators can be used as a reference to the academic community whether the university where they studied is considered superior.
First, teaching, learning and research are the main programs (core business) of a university. The best students will choose a university that has a superior course of study in both of these fields.
Second, there is no absolute indicator in determining the success of a university, but institutional management, in a broader sense, is the most significant indicator in building and nurturing such success.
Third, managing a university is a holistic process, where all units are interrelated so that the weaknesses and advantages of each unit affect each other. Therefore, the key to the success of the university is on: a) the depth of the leadership’s understanding of their respective work units and about all existing units, and on b) strengthening synergies between units in integrated university management.
Fourth, financial stability is an essential component to achieving academic success. For that, it needs to be dug up diverse sources of funds and managed in proportion to applying fiscal tightness at a certain level. Conservative and efficient financial management to maintain the stability and continuity of programs under the university’s potential and high-quality academic traditions. Risks in the financial field need to be suppressed as little as possible to maintain financial security and institutional confidence.
Fifth, collegiality is a more effective management tool (compared to more managerial instructions, assignments, and orders) to achieve success in teaching and research.
Sixth, the Department (academic) is a representation of the university building. At successful universities, each major has a direct bridge to the university center (rectorate), with no intermediate layers, to speed up communication and decision-making processes.
Seventh, the character and composition of the university’s control center (leadership) are one of the determinants of the success of the institution. In this context, leadership is important but distributed on all fronts, does not rely on one’s charisma, and aims to produce high and sustainable institutional performance.
Eighth, good university management contributes positively to the success of the university, when all layers work together, from leaders to the academic community. Conversely, if there is a certain party that is more dominant, the progress of the university will be hampered.
Ninth, the socio-economic role of the university and its service program has significance for the community, especially in carrying out the cooperation and mission of the institution to solve complex problems that exist in society. To that end, the university builds partnerships with non-college parties in developing community service programs.
Tenth, the reputation, and image of the institution is an invaluable asset, beyond what the university realizes. Building and maintaining a university’s reputation requires long-term investment and commitment.
Eleventh, ambition is the key to success but the ambition of the institution must be translated into all the important activities that describe the performance of the institution. Universities that have ambitions of hiring only great academic and administrative staff, do not receive the second-best layer. In this case, the reputation for the dynamics of the institution becomes a spirit for all staff in work.
Twelfth, one of the most difficult steps to maintain and improve an institution’s performance is to turn setbacks into progress. For this reason, complete remedial action is needed in every problem-solving effort.
No university can maintain its success when it is not supported by a management style that reflects its commitment to being the best and its ability to maintain public trust. The success of the university is not determined by the command system but is developed through continuous dialogue between the center (rectorate) and existing units, combined with the ability to implement the program and the commitment to succeed. Successful university management has full autonomy in managing and optimizing the potential of its resources for the achievement of the university’s vision.