The Tun Abdul Razak Chair was established in 1980 by Ohio University’s Center for Southeast Asia Studies. The endowed chair, named after Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, ruling from 1970 to 1976, brings an eminent, senior scholar to Ohio University every two years. The Tun Razak Professor, selected by the Malaysian Ministry of Education, the Tun Abdul Razak Council, and Ohio University, conducts research and 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. The Razak Chair is supported by funds from the Malaysian Government and matching funds from American firms with business interests in Malaysia. An important aspect of this endowment is the provision of funding for the purchase of library materials. The office of the Tun Abdul Razak Chair is located in the Center for International Collections, on the first floor of Alden Library. 


The current Tun Abdul Razak Chair is Dr. Habibah Ashari, selected as the fourteenth chair in 2011. Dr. Habibah is Director of the International Education College (INTEC) at Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) and is a Professor of Education with a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University. She is the first Tun Abdul Razak Chair from UiTM and only the second woman to be granted this distinction.  




Former Tun Abdul Razak Chairs, top row, left to right: 2008-2010, Professor Dato Dr. Mohammad Salleh Din, Professor of Business,  Universiti Utara Malaysia; 2005-2007, Professor Dato’ Mohamad Abu Bakar, Professor of International and Strategic Studies, Universiti Malaya; 2003-2005, Dr. Kadir Din, Professor of Tourism, Universiti Utara Malaysia; 2000-3003, Dato’ Dr. Zakaria Ahmad, Professor of Political Science, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; 1997-2000, Dr. Mohamed Sulaiman, Professor of Business Management, Universiti Sains Malaysia; 1995-1997, Dr. Mohammed Yusoff, Professor of Economics, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia. Middle row, left to right: 1993-1995, Dato’ Dr. Ahmad Mahdzan Ayob, Professor of Economics, Universiti Pertanian Malaysia; 1991-1993, Datuk Dr. Sham Sani, Professor of Geography, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; 1989-1991, Datuk Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid, Professor of English, Universiti Malaya; 1987-1989, Dr. Haji Abdullah Hassan, Professor of Lingusitics, Universiti Sains Malaysia; 1985-1987, Datuk Dr. Zainal Abidin Abdul Wahid, Professor of History, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; 1983-1985, Puan Sri Datuk Dr. Fatimah Hamid Don, Professor of Education, Universiti Malaya. Bottom row, 1981-1982, Dr. Syed Muhammad Naquib al-Attas, Professor of Islamic Literature, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.