Professional mentality of a professor

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Since I was promoted to a full professor last year, a lot of my friends call me “professor”, a title which sometimes makes me embarrassed and think: “Do I deserve to be called professor?” I am still embarrassed because I feel my mentality does not reflect the professional quality of a ‘real’ professor. This article aims to describe the attitude and mentality that need to be possessed by a professor. I will strive toward it, Insha Allah.

Quality Mentality

This is the main characteristic of a professor, which is concerned with quality than quantity. Please read my article entitled Quantity or Quality? (in Indonesian). I tried to explain the important of quality in research and teaching in that article. I think someone is not worthy of being a professor if he’s just relying on quantity of his/her academic works only – although he/she has had a long teaching experience.

Altruistic mentality

This is the second mentality that must be possessed by a professor – after he/she meets on the quality mentality. This mentality is driven by a dedication to teach and dissemination of his/her knowledge to others. According to Wikipedia: “Altruism is a concern for the welfare of others. It is a traditional virtue in many cultures, and a core aspect of various religious traditions, though the concept of ‘others’ toward whom concern should be directed can vary among cultures and religions. Altruism is the opposite of selfishness.“. This is very important, because the professors are always dealing directly with the scientific community and students.

Educating mentality

Educating is not the same with teaching. In educating, a professor is expected to be a role model for his/her students. It can not be said “educating” if a professor told that plagiarism is a disgraceful act, while he/she did not appreciate the hard work of students – such as by putting his/her name at the forefront of scientific publication – although all the results in scientific publications based on the result of hard work of students, from idea, making proposal and writing publication.

Learning Mentality

Professor should always update his/her knowledge all the time. Do not let students said he/she is not feasible as a supervisor. I once met a student who told me about this. It was very embarrassing.

Devotion Mentality

Devotion to science and knowledge is professional mentality of a professor. There are still many “administrative professors” that who do not have this mentality – where a person was appointed as a professor not because of his/her academic and scientific achievement, but based on to his/her administrative position. For example, a person is promoted to the rank of professor because his/her administrative positions such as dean or deputy rector.

Creativity Mentality

Creativity does not only belong to a professor but also by everyone. However, if the professors are not creative, there will be no new discoveries generated by them.

Ethical Mentality

In this age of materialism, ethical issues are rarely addressed. Please refer to my article on this subject with the title: Scientific Ethics in Research and Higher Education in Indonesia (in Indonesian). Since the professor working in higher education, the ethic is the most important aspect to be considered and noticed.

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Hadi Nur

I enjoy living in Johor Bahru area and always seek the truth.

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