Friday, May 30, 2014


ISDEV is in receipt of yet another joyous news.

This time it is about the extended service bestowed on ISDEV Director, Professor Dr. Muhammad Syukri Salleh. Following his retirement on 31 July 2014, Prof. Syukri has been appointed as a contract Professor in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) for a duration of three more years beginning 1 August 2014 till 31 July 2017. He has also been reappointed as ISDEV Director beginning 1 May 2014 till 31 December 2015.

Prof Syukri is the founder of the Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies, or ISDEV, founded in 1995 at the School of Social Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Initially known as the International Project for Islamic Political Economy (IPIPE), the name then evolved into Islamic Development Management Project (IDMP) in 1997, and finally, to its present name, Centre for Islamic Development Management Studies (ISDEV) in September 2005. Prof Syuki has been at the pinnacle of ISDEV position since it was known as IDMP.

Prof. Syukri delivering a Keynote Address at The 8th ISDEV International Graduate Workshop 2013 (left) and presenting a paper in Brunei Darussalam in December  2013 (right).

ISDEV owes its beginnings to Prof Syukri. With such an illustrious career and a formidable background behind him, it is timely to get up close and personal on this Oxford-don ISDEV Director. Prof. Syukri, as he is affectionately known, was born on 1st August 1954 in Kuala Besut, Terengganu to Salleh Abdullah and Lijah Awang Besar.

He is married to Marzizah Darus and they are blessed with four children: A`firah (Food Bio-Technology, Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia), Muhammad Qutham `Akif (Applied Physics, Universiti Sains Malaysia), Muhammad Taariq (Wood Technology, Universiti Teknologi MARA) and Ummu Habibah (Al-Mashoor Girls’ Secondary School).

Prof. Syukri's family : Wife (at the back) and Akif, Ummu, Taariq and A'firah (front, from left to right) during Eid-ul-Fitr 2013 in his hometown, Besut.

Prof. Syukri has been in service with USM since 1981. In 1991 he was conferred with the title Dr upon the completion of his D.Phil thesis (Islamic-Based Development) at the revered University of Oxford, UK. His D.Phil thesis received the thumbs up from his examiners as no corrections need to be made to his D.Phil thesis. Upon his return to USM he was appointed in 1992 the Chairman of the Development Studies Programme (now known as Development Planning and Management Programme), School of Social Sciences, USM. Two years later he became the Associate Professor of the said Programme until October 2000 where he received his full professorship, a title that he carries with him to this very day.

As the founding Director of ISDEV since 2005, Prof. Syukri led his team in establishing and coordinating the Master and PhD (Islamic Development Management by Research) and Master of Social Sciences (Islamic Development Management) Programme (Mixed Mode), School of Social Sciences, USM as well as chairing the Islamic Development Management Programme, School of Social Sciences, USM. Both positions he held until 2010.

International networking with (clockwise) Norwegian, Turkish, Qatarian and Tunisian scholars. 

Indeed it is not an easy task to juggle between the responsibilities of being a lecturer simultaneously a Director of a research centre that currently has over 100 registered postgraduate students. Yet Prof. Syukri is tireless and full of vigour especially in sharing his knowledge to both the RISDEV (Postgraduate Research Mode) and MISDEV (Postgraduate Mixed-Mode) students as well as to lead and chart the course for ISDEV to strive and achieve for excellence.

With USM Vice-Chancellor, signing MoU with Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara (UMSU) and participating in The 6th International Conference on Islamic Development (ICID-6) in Medan, Indonesia, on 5 May 2014.

Although it is an opportune time for Prof Syukri to retire come 31st July this year, and thus sit on his laurels and bask in the glory in the achievements he has made thus far by spending time with his beloved family, nonetheless he has chosen to sacrifice all these sweet things in life to take the bitter sweet and strive further and continue to provide his services to ISDEV. This is commitment and perseverance of the highest degree in his hope to continue to share his knowledge and expertise to the younger generations as well as strive for the very best and bring glory to Islam.

Prof. Syukri with some of ISDEV fraternity.

Thanks to the efforts of all parties as well as the success achieved on the guidance of Prof Syukri the dedicated leader, finally as at 17 April 2014, ISDEV is now an independent Research Centre of Excellence. Following a one-year meticulous evaluation by a Special Committee chaired by USM's Vice-Chancellor Professor Dato' Omar Osman himself, and comprised of two USM Vice-Chancellors (Research & Innovation Professor Dato' Muhamad Jantan and Academic & International Affairs Professor Dato' Ahmad Shukri Mustapa Kamal), three Deans (Dr Nor Malina of the School of Social Sciences, Associate Professor Dr Hajar Abdul Rahim of the School of Humanities, and Professor Dr Fauziah Md. Taib of the School of Management), Mufti of the State of Penang SS Dato' Seri Haji Hassan bin Haji Ahmad, Professor Unggul (Distinguished) Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Kamal Hassan of International Islamic University Malaysia, and USM's Ombudsman Office Director and Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka's Chairman Board of Control Professor Dato' Seri Dr Md. Salleh bin Yaapar,  and later on an approval by USM's Senate and USM's Board of Governors, ISDEV finally received a Watikah from USM Legal Advisor on 14 May 2014. With this upgrade from a Virtual Centre previously to the current Research Centre of Excellence, ISDEV now operates independently from the School of Social Sciences.

With such joyous news, ISDEV is confident that Prof. Syukri will set new and higher goals for ISDEV members to meet and thus achieve greater success especially in the name of Islam. One of his main plan is to have an ISDEV's own complex to be built based on waqf, apart from driving ISDEV to be a National Reference Centre in three years and Regional Reference Centre in six years time.

ISDEV building at present
Future ISDEV Complex

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