Thursday, 20 January 2011

The View from the Top

Tuesday 18 January 2011, morning, on top of the World.

It was a directive. Kampus Sejahtera to come under CGSS, the Centre for Global Sustainability Studies.  RCE Penang also to come under CGSS. The Corporate and Sustainable Development Division will no longer have anything to do with sustainability. Corporate will now focus on  monitoring and making sure the whole university is on track to achieve the APEX U agenda.

Caught "everybody" by surprise. Certainly, the management of CGSS was surprised. So, no surprise that they don't have an office for Kampus Sejahtera head (me lah!). Oh, yes, there is an empty office without any window to the outside world. I won't be caught dead (literally) in that office. It's inhuman to put anyone in such an office. Ah, but yes, there's an empty office but its labelled "Visiting Professor". The management wants to explore keeping the office at the old clinic (where the internal audit office is) and put me there, together with a bunch of other people as it expands. Wild horses can't drag me there.

So, I said, "I'm going to sit at my current office at Korporat. Until they decide to chase me out". In which case I will just float. Who really needs an office?

Anyway, the view from the top isn't that great. And the view from the office windows are horrifying. You see a high wall which goes up to your chest and huge air condensers. And big pipes.

This is the office on top of the world. It's quite confusing. You see a door on the left but the entrance is really along the corridor on the right. You see a huge expanse of concrete roof with poor quality construction full of cracks. Expect lots of heat. There's talk about making a roof garden but it will be costly. The curved roof was supposedly for solar panels but the promised funding evaporated in the heat.

We have a strange arrangement. Zakri on the right is the Director but his national duties as science advisor and also chair of the professors council means he's in KL most of the time. So, an acting director, Norizan (left), runs the show.

I have avoided having anything to do with CGSS all this while. But I guess "there must be some reason why they want to put Kampus Sejahtera under CGSS" (that's what I said during the meeting). I actually asked the big boss "why" in BCN. His response was "to work with the students". What about HEP? hhmm ...

 Looking at Desa Gemilang (picture above and below). We are still very green from the top.
 These are remnants from the British Military barrack. The Social Science enclave. It's a pity they replaced the tiles with metal roofing. Doesn't look so nice, does it?
That's Pusat Sejahtera (the Wellness Centre) a.k.a. the clinic. As the name implies, it's all about being healthy, not about curing illness, when its often too late.

The new PUMA. I learned the term yesterday from Mike. That's the student centre or Pusat Mahasiswa. I remember attending one meeting at the Development Office when the architect presented his drawings. From this vantage point, my view is that building is ugly. And most uninspired and uninspiring.

 That's the famous USM Library in the foreground. Now called the Hamzah Sendut Library in honour of  USM's first VC. CGSS is on the rooftop of the extension to the library. Notice the numerous highrise sprouting all over?

In the foreground is the physics school. Hilton is dead centre behind the physics building. For the uninitiated, Hilton is the hostel block where I spent my first year eons ago. On the right behind physics is the "international hostel" (for international students lah). The other highrise buildings in the background are condos outside of USM.

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