September 2023 is a new beginning for Prof. Dr. Ir. Ignatius Pulung Nurprasetio, M.SME.. He officially serves as the new Dean of SBM ITB.

Prof. Dr. Ir. Ignatius Pulung Nurprasetio, M.SME. or usually called Pulung, has been through a long journey to reach this point. Born in Bandung, he led a nomadic life during his early years, moving around until he eventually completed his high school education in Jakarta. In 1977, he enrolled in the Mechanical Engineering Department at ITB (formerly a part of FTI ITB). His choice was unconventional compared to the prevailing trend of those around him who favored Electrical Engineering as the dominant field at the time.

Pulung began his career as an ITB lecturer in 1982, teaching in classrooms and becoming a civil servant in 1984. Two years later, he pursued further education by commencing a Master’s program at the University of Michigan. Subsequently, he earned his PhD at ITB, a journey from 2008 to 2012. Remarkably, Pulung encountered minimal obstacles in his educational journey, extending from his school days to the present. He was honored to represent his class by delivering the opening address at his doctoral graduation ceremony.

A Dream to Fly High

One of Pulung’s early aspirations was to pursue a career as an engineer. Upon graduating, he was even granted a scholarship and received a job offer. However, he opted to begin his career as a lecturer instead.

During this phase, his perception of a lecturer’s life underwent a transformation. He realized that lecturers are not solely responsible for teaching; they must also engage in diverse research and collaborate with the industry to gain the expertise needed to convey this knowledge effectively in the classroom.

Pulung found his position at the Faculty of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (FTMD) ITB and began his career in the administrative world of the faculty. His structural role started from student affairs advisor in 2006 to Vice Dean for Resources in 2011, and he served for two periods at FTMD ITB.

When COVID-19 hit Indonesia, Pulung felt the urge to make good use of his time to positively impact the world around him. This wish was answered with an opportunity to serve as Acting Vice Dean for Resources at SBM ITB.

Pulung seized this opportunity without hesitation. Presently, he holds the position of Dean at SBM ITB. Having established extensive interactions and familiarity with the SBM staff over time and pursuing diverse studies within this institution, he believes that this role aligns perfectly with his qualifications and aspirations.

Challenges Overcome

Pulung’s driving force is a deep sense of sincerity and genuine goodwill. He regards these qualities as the foremost factors that have propelled him to his current position. He also reflects on his past experiences in ITB’s operational processes at FTMD, where he honed various competencies that now serve him well. These include problem identification, designing practical approaches, synthesizing solutions, and adept conflict management skills.

Furthermore, Pulung recognizes the profound significance of self-confidence, which he views as a critical competency for leaders and individuals. He underscores that the ability to make independent decisions is paramount. Leaders who cannot decide autonomously will encounter challenges guiding themselves and their teams, as their course of action will constantly shift in response to others’ opinions and words. Thus, Pulung emphasizes the importance of knowing when to assertively and decisively lead, a skill he continually cultivates today.

Paving the Way for the Next Destination

By becoming Dean at SBM ITB, Pulung aims to create a strong and comprehensive foundation to bridge SBM today with a brighter future, just like air traffic control confirms planes wishing to land on the runway. He believes this change is a major step forward, especially from an administrative perspective, by providing clear direction in an ever-changing business world.

One of the important changes in this period was the elimination of less important components in the bureaucracy. Pulung tries to implement agile communication in SBM ITB administration, especially between SBM and ITB.

This provides an opportunity for SBM ITB to make important decisions more quickly due to a shorter workflow and also provides better transparency regarding how communication is carried out between the important components involved. Pulung also strives to provide adequate accommodation and facilities for staff and students and a quality academic and working atmosphere.

A Message for the People of SBM ITB

With his official appointment as Dean of SBM ITB, Pulung has a few words to say to the academic staff and students.

To the academic staff of SBM and other faculties in ITB, Pulung wishes to remind us that we cannot work alone. He points out how deans from universities abroad tend to be open positions, so it is not uncommon for people from foreign backgrounds to take on the position, something that is also the case for him in this position. He will work together and coordinate with Dr. Ir. Subiakto, M.B.A., RFA, QWP, CFP as Vice Dean for Academics, and Prof. Tjandra Anggraeni, Ph.D. as Vice Dean for Resources, respectively – to handle the business process of SBM ITB with full thrust and ensure sustainable improvement. In this regard, he hopes that teamwork and support can be established between him and the staff of SBM ITB, be it the teaching team or the administrative team. For the students, Pulung reminds us of the unique college experience that SBM’s are given – from fewer years in college, highly-qualified graduates based on tracer studies, and the opportunity of studying in an AACSB-accredited school – and urges students to use it to our best extent.

Overall, Pulung’s vision can be derived back to SBM’s famous tagline, “For the Greater Good”. He strives for a higher calling above that, wanting to not only reach the greater good but to reach for “always the greatest good”. That is the kind of change Pulung wants to work towards in his period as Dean of SBM ITB.

Written by Student Reporter (Abdurrafi Prayata Abidin, Management 2024)