Research Challenges and Opportunities in Indonesian and Adventist Context
Tertiary education has tripartite functions: teaching, research, and community service. Teachers who have no government-recognized academic rank and national teaching certificate are basically illegible to teach in tertiary education level. There are four levels of academic ranks: asisten ahli (associate lecturer), lektor (lecturer, lektor kepala (‘chief lecturer’ or associate professor), guru besar (professor). Teachers’ academic rank, private or public, can only be increased if and only if they submit their semester report of their fulfilled tripartite duties to government, and furthermore it will be recorded in the official website of the Ministry of Research, Technology, and Tertiary Education. Like it or not, doing research is mandatory for Indonesian university teachers.
Furthermore, teaching overload is inevitable, since lack of teachers is a common phenomenon in Adventist universities; and teachers’ extra-mile work is necessary to accomplish their tripartite duties. Thus incentives are invented so as to boost the spirit of research among them, since most of the teachers are prone to focus on teaching duty alone due to the conventional teaching-oriented in Adventist campus atmosphere. If these required tripartite duties are not satisfactorily met, a teacher is given three warnings before a mandatory transfer to administrative staff duties. The government can legally close a program of study, wherein the required minimum number of teachers is not met. Adventist universities are now challenged with their denominational policies pertaining to the limitation of incentive.
With their required master’s and doctoral degrees, the university teachers are literally capable to do research. The Indonesian government provides quite an amount of funds to encourage university teachers do research once their research proposal is accepted. In addition, the Indonesian government also provides the national-certified teachers with some kind of professional allowance depending on their level of government-recognized academic rank. The university can also try to approach some big business companies for sponsoring research, based on the corporate social responsibility funds. This can serve to generate other source of income for the university. Eventually, research-oriented university can increase student enrollment.
Keywords: university research, tripartite duties, overloaded teachers, SDA denominational policy.