How to Create an Academic Culture?
Academic culture is one of the keys which could empower a knowledge wheel at an educational institution, especially university. A university that has good and strong academic culture will easily produce invention and innovation which is useful not only for the institution itself but also for society.
The question is, how to create an academic culture? According to Dr. Muhammad Ridlo Zarkasyi in his paper entitled “Creating Academic Culture at a Pesantren-based University”, creating academic culture is not different from creating organization culture. There are six steps to take: 1) evaluate the organization situation and determine the goal and strategic direction; 2) analyze the existing culture and design the desired culture; 3) analyze the discrepancy between the existing and the desired.
After implementing those three steps, the next steps are; 4) expand plans for culture development; 5) implement the plan; 6) evaluate change and new efforts to be involved in maintaining the culture change.
He stated that the steps in creating and maintaining academic culture can be supported by several programs such as change of procedure and selection, new form of socialization and training program, as well as effective and accurate performance evaluation system. These steps can be strengthened by leadership which communicates cultural values in discussions, and actions.
Creating academic culture is the same as constructing strong buildings: it needs careful planning, implementation, and appropriate time to be tailored with the complexity of construction. For any education institution desiring to create academic culture which contributes to building world civilization, the six aforementioned steps are worth to be implemented. [Taufiq / Ed: Wafi / Trans. Eka / Ed. Nurrahma]