Education Minister Muhammad Nuh on Thursday urged Trisakti University’s conflicted parties to prioritize the education of their students and settle their differences amicably.
The statement came after hundreds of university students and employees rallied outside their West Jakarta campus and stopped court officers from executing a Supreme Court ruling ordering the rector and his eight subordinates to resign.
The ruling was based on a lawsuit filed by Trisakti Foundation against Trisakti Rector Thoby Mutis for changing the university statutes without the foundation’s approval.
“This legal dispute should not end up sacrificing the education of the students,” Nuh said at the presidential palace. “All conflict and arguments should be dealt with separately. This should not affect the students.
“In the end, the execution of the court ruling must occur. It’s a court ruling. However, we do believe reconciliation between both parties would be much better. It would be good if the university requests the government to mediate in this situation.”
Patra Zein, lawyer of the Trisakti Foundation, told the Jakarta Globe that the campus leadership dispute began in 2002 when Thoby changed the university statutes to apparently stay as rector of the university beyond his appointed term.
“He was appointed for the 1998-2002 period by the Trisakti Foundation. At the end of his term, there were clear indications he wanted to run the campus as he saw fit as rector, so he changed the statutes and revoked the managing rights of the foundation, when it had been the foundation itself which appointed him in the first place,” Patra said.