Firstly, of course, as the title suggested, the vice-chancellor of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) said that "the university would recruit at least 30 top professors from the West and Australia".
Secondly, and more interestingly - an surprising not covered by the New Straits Times who did the earlier story - apparently the contract for the incumbent vice-chancellor, Prof Datuk Mohd Zulkifli Ghazali who was reportedly not renewed - has been renewed! But since it's quite "out of topic" for this post, I'll blog about it in the next one :-)
The newly "re-appointed" vice-chancellor celebrated the new lease of life by making a move to "re-brand and internationalise" UTM.
“These professors will help to lift the name and status of the university and make it more well-known,” he said, adding that each faculty will have at least three top professors. The professors, who include those from France, Italy, the United States and England, will serve in all 10 faculties of the university.Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Zulkifli even went so far as to say that he would like UTM "to be like Oxford or Cambridge". One of the first moves, probably more symbolic than anything else, is to have all sign boards to have English versions in addition to Bahasa Malaysia.
More interesting, good news for the students, but bad news for laggards of the English language in the university's academia - the vice-chancellor announced that "our professors will also have to adapt to having discussions or meetings in English".
Nevertheless, the vice-chancellor seems to have started on a spirited note. Lets hope that the move to recruit foreign academics is a serious attempt to boost our teaching faculties as well as research capabilities and not something silly like boosting the international teaching faculty to improve rankings.
The vice-chancellor should take the recruitment process one step further. Whoever recruited should have their academic resume published for public analysis to establish their credibility as indeed being "top academics" from the West.