The Tun Abdul Razak Chair at Ohio University
Named in honor of the second Prime Minister of Malaysia, the Tun Abdul Razak Chair is a unique and extraordinary venture in higher education.
Since its inception, the Tun Abdul Razak Chair has made important contributions to Malaysian-American understanding. It has educated more than 2,000 Malaysian citizens, helped countless Americans acquire expertise on Malaysia and Southeast Asia, developed partnerships, and built the finest library collection on Malaysia in the Americas.
The Malaysian government has placed education at the heart of their development planning. Guided by visionary leaders like Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and the current Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysians have progressively built an educational infrastructure and a national education system that have sent thousands of their best and brightest to study abroad, and they have linked their education policies to their overall national development plans (Vision 2020).
MALAYSIA AND THE WORLD: Cross-Regional Perspectives on Race, Religion, & Ethnic Identity - March 24-26, 2017
The conference aims to highlight Malaysia’s profile and role on the world stage by bringing together leading scholars from Malaysia, Europe, and North America into conversation at Ohio University campus. The intellectual academic exchange will provide a venue for competing comparative perspectives on Malaysia and other countries.
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About the Tun Abdul Razak Chair
The Tun Abdul Razak professor, who is a senior Malaysian scholar selected by the Ministry of Education in consultation with the Tun Abdul Razak Council and OHIO, has a two-year residency at OHIO. The Tun Abdul Razak Professor conducts seminars for undergraduate and graduate students in his or her respective areas of expertise and organizes an international conference on Southeast Asia in the second year. Tun Abdul Razak was Prime Minister of Malaysia from 1970 to 1976. A chair in his honor was established at Ohio University's Center for Southeast Asia Studies in 1980. The Razak Chair was endowed jointly by a grant from the Malaysian government and matching funds from American firms operating in Malaysia.
Professor Jayum Anak Jawan, the 15th Tun Abdul Razak Chair
Professor Jayum Anak Jawan is enjoying everything about Ohio University during the first year of his two-year term year on campus, even the snow.
Professor Jayum and his family moved from Malaysia to OHIO in August 2015 when he began his term as the 15 th Tun Abdul Razak Chair.
Established at OHIO’s Center for International Studies in 1980 and named in honor of the second Prime Minister of Malayisa, the Tun Abdul Razak Chair is a highly-regarded position. Each chair holder is selected by the Malaysian Ministry of Education in consultation with Ohio University and the Tun Abdul Razak Council.
“I am deeply honored,” Professor Jayum said when speaking about being selected to serve as the Razak Chair.
A recognized Malaysian expert on electoral politics, Professor Jayum is widely published and has been called upon frequently to speak on Malaysian television, in his country’s government meetings and in conferences throughout Asia.
He has taught with the Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) since 1982, where he serves as a Professor of Politics and Government. He earned his Ph.D. in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom, and his bachelor’s and master’s degree in political science from Appalachian State University and the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
At OHIO, Jayum has a joint appointment with the Department of Political Science in the College of Arts and Sciences and with the Center for International Studies.
Professor Jayum has already taken part in numerous conferences and events including:
- A special welcome ceremony at Ohio University hosted by President Roderick McDavis and First Lady Deborah McDavis, and attended by Distinguished Professor Shamsul AB.
- A meeting in Washington, D.C. with the Malaysian Ambassador to the U.S.
- The Malaysia-America Society meeting at American University in Washington, D.C., where he presented remarks.
- A forum that he led on “21st Century Islam: A Malaysian Model,” at Iowa State University
- Presenting a speech at the University of California Irvine on the topic of ethnic relations in Malaysia in the context of the New Economic Policy.
- Hosting two brown bag seminars at OHIO on Malaysian politics.
Professor Jayum is currently preparing to host a Graduate Colloquium on Malaysian Studies at OHIO in the fall of 2016.
Professor Jayum is also working on a proposal to help OHIO serve as a hub for Malaysian studies activities in the U.S.
While he is very busy with his work, Professor Jayum and his family are also adjusting to life in America. While Professor Jayum lived in the U.S. while in college, his son Karl was understandably excited to play in the snow for the first time. Jayum and his wife, Stephanie, live in Athens, near campus, with their son, Karl, who is a student at East Elementary School. Daughter Kimbery is attending graduate school and could not accompany the rest of the family to Ohio.
Ohio University has a proud history with Malaysia, and today more than 2,400 OHIO alumni live in Malaysia, more than any other country outside of the U.S.
As the newest Tun Abdul Razak Professor at Ohio University, Professor Jayum is continuing to further that history and working to facilitate new opportunities for OHIO students, faculty and staff, while also helping to bring about new educational opportunities for residents of Malaysia.
Shown below are photos from the Welcome Reception for Professor Jayum and his family. The reception, held during the Fall of 2015, was hosted by OHIO President Roderick McDavis and First Lady Deborah McDavis. Distiguished Professor Shamsul AB also traveled to OHIO to take part in the reception.