My appointment at the institute will expire next end of May and if I have my own way, I will not continue. I have been with the institutes (initially Multimedia Institute, then Institute of Advanced Technology and presently Institute for Mathematical Research) for almost twenty years now. I believe I should move on and make way for new and more able leaders. I am also at the end of my career and have some goals that I wish to achieve before I retire and I'll probably need a new environment for this.
I have always tried to contribute whatever I can for the institute but it is probably not enough. It is always in my thoughts what could have been done and in which direction that it should go. I believe that the institute should have a differentiating role than the faculties with research leadership in some niche areas but yet inclusive enough for good researchers to join. There are many different models to look at elsewhere in the world but one should set a specific model to follow and be adaptable enough. In my view, the institute needs strong, dynamic and visionary leadership to bring it further progress, which I shudder at the thoughts of them but one can only do so much with one's own capabilities. The leader needs to be respected by many (if not all) both scientifically and personalitywise. Having this command of respect alone is enough for me to have the thought that I should be somewhere else.
I always think of the institute as a learning organization and it requires not a regimented administration but a creative environment with enough freedom for self-fulfillment. Perhaps this is a personal taste and probably my students know my style. But with research as being the thrust, I thought creativity should be a key feature. Administration is challenging and I certainly prefer research anytime. Here again, my view is not so much in "managing people" (processes can be managed) but to lead people. There should be a lot of self-realisation and self-improvement more than just obeying orders. Personality conflicts will always be there and here, individual members should always have that shared organisational interests in mind in a way be wise enough to let not the conflict grow and to the least, not throwing monkey wrench into works. Build trust and not ego. Of course, this is easier said than done. Perhaps my other reason to move away.
In any case, I have enjoyed contributing to the institute and hoped that they mean something. I will continue to support the institute even when I leave. It is in my prayers, that the institute will progress more and be even more respectable in the future.